Sunday, September 16, 2018

U.S. rally falls short; Sanchez wins WTA doubles title

Sam Querrey, a late pick by U.S. captain Jim Courier, upset
Marin Cilic of host Croatia today in the Davis Cup semi-
finals. Croatia, however, defeated the United States 3-2.
File photo by Paul Bauman
   The United States, receiving an unexpected boost from Sam Querrey, almost pulled off an amazing comeback today in the Davis Cup semifinals.
   The U.S. came within one set of stunning host Croatia after trailing 2-0 on outdoor clay in Zadar on the Adriatic Sea. However, Borna Coric defeated Frances Tiafoe 6-7 (0), 6-1, 6-7 (11), 6-1, 6-3 in 4 hours, 6 minutes to give Croatia a 3-2 victory. 
   Tiafoe, ranked No. 40, trailed 4-0 and 5-1 in the third set. against Coric, ranked No. 18.
   Coric, 21, was playing in his 16th Davis Cup singles match and Tiafoe, 20, his second after debuting on Friday with a loss to 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Marin Cilic. Coric shocked Roger Federer to win Halle (Germany) on grass in June.
   U.S. captain Jim Courier chose Querrey, a 30-year-old San Francisco native who has struggled this year, over Steve Johnson at the last minute to face Marin Cilic in today's first singles match. Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion and a two-time Grand Slam runner-up, was 6-0 against Querrey and 5-0 against Johnson.
   Querrey, who has plummeted from a career-high No. 11 in February to No. 61, responded with a 6-7 (2), 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-4 victory. He trailed 6-1 in the second-set tiebreaker.
   The United States was missing its top two players. Six-foot-10 (2.08-meter) John Isner, ranked No. 10, is awaiting the birth of his first child. Jack Sock, ranked No. 17 in singles and No. 2 in doubles, withdrew with a hip injury after winning his second consecutive Grand Slam men's doubles title with Mike Bryan in the U.S. Open.
   Bryan and Ryan Harrison began the United States' comeback on Saturday by edging Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic 7-5, 7-6 (6), 1-6, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5) in 4 hours, 41 minutes. Bryan and Harrison came within two points of losing at 5-6 in the fifth set.
   Croatia, slightly smaller than West Virginia with a population (4.2 million) comparable to metropolitan Detroit's, improved to 5-0 against the United States. In the teams' previous meeting, Croatia stunned the U.S. 3-2 after trailing 2-0 in Portland, Ore., in the 2006 quarterfinals.
   Only once in the 118-year history of the Davis Cup has the United States overcome a 2-0 deficit, accomplishing the feat in 1934 against Australia in London. 
   The U.S. has failed to reach the Davis Cup final since winning its record 32nd Davis Cup championship in 2007. Australia is next with 28.
   Croatia, which won its only Davis Cup title in 2005, reached the final for the second time in three years. It will play at defending champion France on Nov. 23-25 in a rematch of the World Cup soccer final in July won by France in Moscow.  
Asia Muhammad, left, and Maria Sanchez won
the doubles title in Quebec City on the WTA
tour. File photo by Paul Bauman
   WTA tour -- Unseeded Americans Asia Muhammad and Maria Sanchez, a 28-year-old product of Modesto, Calif., surprised second-seeded Darija Jurak of Croatia and Xenia Knoll of Switzerland 6-4, 6-3 to win the doubles title in Quebec City. It was Muhammad's third WTA doubles crown and Sanchez's second.
   Sanchez claimed the singles title in the inaugural Sacramento Challenger in 2012. Muhammad won the doubles crown in Sacramento in 2012 with local product Yasmin Schnack, who retired the following year at 25, and in Berkeley in July with former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs.
   Also today, two U.S. qualifiers who excelled in Sacramento singles lost in their first career WTA finals to 32-year-olds.
   Amanda Anisimova, 17, fell to second-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei 6-2, 6-2 in Hiroshima. Anisimova, who won her first professional title in last year's Sacramento Challenger at 15 before the tournament moved to Berkeley, became the first player born in 2001 to crack the top 100. She zoomed 39 places to No. 95.
   Jessica Pegula, 24, lost to eighth-seeded Pauline Parmentier of France 7-5, 6-2 in Quebec City. Pegula, the daughter of Buffalo Bills and Sabres owners Terrence and Kim Pegula, fell to Sanchez in the 2012 Sacramento final.
   Pegula soared 86 spots to No. 141, 18 notches below her career high of No. 123 in 2013 before injuries derailed her career.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Opinion: Serena, crowd embarrassed themselves, USA

   These days, it's almost impossible to make the United States look any worse.
   But Serena Williams and the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium managed to pull it off in the recent U.S. Open women's final, embarrassing themselves and their country.
   The soon-to-be-37-year-old Williams acted like a spoiled brat, throwing a tantrum because she was being beaten at her own game by 20-year-old Naomi Osaka. Williams was manipulative and hypocritical in her diatribe with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who has been widely criticized for -- gasp -- enforcing the rules.
   Equally disturbing were Williams' condescending, entitled, chip-on-her-shoulder attitude, the rudeness of the crowd during the awards ceremony, and the mild reaction, even support, by the fawning media and public.
   Williams committed three code violations in the match, which according to the rules mandate a warning, then a point penalty and then a game penalty. (Had there been a fourth violation, Williams would have been defaulted.)
   Williams was penalized and later fined a total of $17,000 for receiving coaching from Patrick Mouratoglou in the second game of the second set, smashing her racket against the court after losing her serve for 3-2 in the second set and, with Osaka leading 4-3 in the second set, calling Ramos a "liar" and "thief."
   After being warned for receiving coaching, the imperious Williams gave Ramos lecture No. 1.
   "One thing I've never done is cheat, ever," proclaimed Williams, who has residences in Florida, Southern California and Silicon Valley. "If he gives me a thumbs-up, he's telling me to, 'Come on.' I don't cheat to win. I'd rather lose. I'm just letting you know."
   This was Williams playing the victim card. Ramos ruled that Mouratoglou, not Williams, was cheating. Coaching is allowed on the WTA tour but not in Grand Slam tournaments.
   Furthermore, Mouratoglou didn't give Williams a thumbs-up. He moved both of his hands forward, clearly urging Williams to go to the net. To his credit, he later admitted he had been coaching. To his discredit, he justified it by saying that everybody does. Patrick, if you get stopped for speeding, try telling that to the officer and see how far it gets you.
   Finally, as The New York Times reported, Ramos is widely known for being strict and fair. Players and coaches might want to act accordingly.
   After the point penalty for racket abuse, Williams gave Ramos lecture No. 2: "You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life. I have a daughter, and I stand for what's right for her, and I have never cheated. You owe me an apology."
   This was Williams playing the celebrity card -- Do you know who I am, officer? -- and, like a politician kissing babies, the family card. Yes, Serena, smashing your racket in anger sets a great example for your 1-year-old daughter to watch someday on YouTube.
   Martina Navratilova characteristically put it best when she wrote in the Times: "There have been many times when I was playing that I wanted to break my racket into a thousand pieces. Then I thought about the kids watching. And I grudgingly held on to that racket."
   After Osaka broke serve again for 4-3, Williams gave Ramos lecture No. 3: "For you to attack my character, then something is wrong. It's wrong. You are attacking my character. ... You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live.
   "You are a liar. When are you going to give me my apology? Say it! Say you're sorry. ... How dare you insinuate that I was cheating."
   As Williams got up from her chair to return to the court, she told Ramos, "And you stole a point from me; you're a thief, too." So it's OK to attack his character.
   Williams still wasn't done. Then she played the gender and Trump cards.
   "Do you know how many other men do things that are ... much worse than that?" Williams told Grand Slam supervisor Donna Kelso. "This is not fair. There's a lot of men out here that have said a lot of things, but if they're men, that doesn't happen to them."
   Like that tremendous leader in the White House, Williams was trying to distract everyone from the real issue, in this case sportsmanship. Verbal abuse doesn't have to include profanity. Some would say impugning a chair umpire's integrity is worse.
   Most men and women actually make it through a match, especially a Grand Slam final, without incurring even a warning. But if they do get one, almost all have the good sense to mind their manners subsequently to avoid being penalized a point and then a game.
   At the beginning of the awards ceremony, the crowd -- apparently believing Williams had been wronged -- booed. Osaka, promptly lowered her visor and cried after clearly outplaying Williams to become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title.
   Nice job, fans. Williams may be a poor sport, but she's our poor sport.
   Williams promptly sprang into damage control and lectured the fans, telling them to stop booing. She can't control herself, but she can tell Ramos and the crowd how to behave.
   True, a robbery occurred last Saturday, meriting an apology. Williams, who fancies herself as an honorable role model for her daughter, made a mockery of the final and should have apologized in front of the crowd for stealing Osaka's moment of glory, for which she worked incredibly hard virtually her whole life and can never regain. As the Times' outstanding tennis writer, Christopher Clarey, noted, "You only win your first Grand Slam title once."
   Ironically, Osaka and her older sister Mari took up tennis because of the Williams sisters. Naomi and Mari's Haitian father, Leonard Francois, had moved to Japan, where he met the girls' mother. Francois was inspired after watching Venus and Serena in the 1999 French Open.
   None of Serena Williams' behavior is surprising. She was fined a record $82,500 and placed on two years' probation for threatening a lineswoman in the 2009 U.S. Open semifinals and $2,000 for berating a chair umpire in the 2011 final at Flushing Meadows.
   After the lineswoman called a foot fault on Williams, the player fumed at the official, "I swear to God I'll ----ing take the ball and shove it down your ----ing throat." After the chair umpire ruled that Williams had hindered Samantha Stosur by yelling "Come on," during play, Williams snarled to the official: "You're totally out of control. You're a hater, and you're just ... unattractive inside." Williams lost both matches.
   The underlying problem is that celebrities, especially Williams, are generally treated like royalty. After a while, many start to believe they are.
   Need proof?
   The cover of Sports Illustrated's 2015 Sportsperson of the Year issue depicted Williams draped across a throne (Novak Djokovic deserved the award more, but that's another issue).
   Williams' outfits during this year's U.S. Open were part of Nike's new "Queen Collection," and "Queen" was printed on her gear bag.
   In a music video-style television ad for a headphones company during the tournament, Williams was portrayed as the "Queen of Queens." At the end of the ad, she wears a regal blue gown, a massive crown is placed on her head, and Nicki Minaj bellows, "Now watch the queen conquer!"
   Williams, in fact, has been catered to her entire life. Once, she all but admitted being a spoiled brat.
   "I'm the baby (of the family), the youngest," she said. "I do have a temper tantrum sometimes. But I think it shows my passion. Sometimes getting angry really works for me."
   See how this works for you, Serena: Read the recently published biography of Ashe, if you haven't already, and learn how to conduct yourself with class and dignity.

U.S. barely survives; Anisimova, 17, gains first WTA final

Ryan Harrison, playing in Sacramento in 2014, and Mike Bryan
won a fifth-set tiebreaker today to keep the United States alive
at Croatia in the Davis Cup semifinals. Photo by Paul Bauman
   The United States still has a chance.
   Not much of one, but a chance nonetheless.
   The U.S. barely avoided elimination today as Mike Bryan (Stanford, 1997-98) and Ryan Harrison edged Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic of host Croatia 7-5, 7-6 (6), 1-6, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5) in 4 hours, 41 minutes in the Davis Cup semifinals. Bryan has won a record 18 Grand Slam men's doubles titles, and the other three players have earned one each. 
   Croatia leads the best-of-five series, on outdoor clay in Zadar on the Adriatic Sea, 2-1. The winner will face defending champion France on Nov. 23-25 at a site to be determined.
   In Sunday's reverse singles matches, No. 6-ranked Marin Cilic of Croatia will face No. 30 Steve Johnson, and No. 18 Borna Coric of Croatia will meet No. 40 Frances Tiafoe.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Cilic, who will turn 30 on Sept. 28, won the 2014 U.S. Open and reached the final of Wimbledon last year and the Australian Open this year. Coric, 21, shocked Roger Federer to win Halle (Germany) on grass in June.
   Johnson, 28, is 1-3 in Davis Cup singles. Tiafoe, who won the 2016 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger, made his Davis Cup debut at age 20 on Friday and lost to Cilic 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
   The United States is missing its top two players, not that they necessarily would make a difference. Six-foot-10 (2.08-meter) John Isner, ranked No. 10, is awaiting the birth of his first child. Jack Sock, ranked No. 17 in singles and No. 2 in doubles, has a hip injury after winning his second consecutive Grand Slam men's doubles title with Bryan in the U.S. Open.
   The United States has failed to reach the Davis Cup final since winning the 2007 championship in Portland, Ore. Croatia, which won its only Davis Cup title in 2005, is trying to advance to the final for the second time in three years. The team lost to Argentina 3-2 in Zagreb, Croatia, in 2016.
   Croatia, slightly smaller than West Virginia with a population (4.2 million) comparable to metropolitan Detroit's, is 4-0 against the United States in the Davis Cup. In the most recent meeting, Croatia stunned the U.S. 3-2 after trailing 2-0 in Portland in the 2016 quarterfinals.
   WTA tour -- Two U.S. qualifiers who excelled in the now-defunct Sacramento Challenger reached their first WTA finals today. Both will play 32-year-olds.
   Amanda Anisimova, who won her first professional title last year in Sacramento at 15 years old, knocked off top-seeded Zhang Shuai of China 7-6 (4), 7-5 in Hiroshima.
   Jessica Pegula, the runner-up to Modesto product Maria Sanchez in the inaugural Sacramento Challenger six years ago, outlasted 19-year-old compatriot Sofia Kenin 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in Quebec City.
   Kenin has won Northern California Challengers in each of the past three years (Sacramento in 2016Stockton last year and Berkeley in July). The Sacramento tournament lost its primary sponsor and moved to Berkeley this year.
   Anisimova, who turned 17 two weeks ago, became the youngest player to reach a WTA final since Donna Vekic of Croatia lost in Tashkent in 2012 and Birmingham in 2013 as a 16-year-old. Anisimova, ranked No. 134, also will become the first player born in 2001 to crack the top 100 on Monday.
   A potential star, Anisimova improved to 12-3 since returning from a four-month injury layoff in San Jose in July and 24-6 overall this season, including 11-4 in WTA main draws. She broke a foot in Miami in March.
   Anisimova is scheduled to face second-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei on Sunday. The 40th-ranked Hsieh, playing her second match of the day, beat Wang Qiang of China 6-4, 6-4.
   Earlier, Hsieh topped fifth-seeded Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 in a rain-postponed quarterfinal. Tomljanovic, a Croatia native, withdrew from the final of the 2017 Sacramento Challenger with a shoulder injury.
   Hsieh upset top-ranked Simona Halep in the third round at Wimbledon in July before losing to Dominika Cibulkova.
  Pegula, the 24-year-old daughter of Buffalo Bills and Sabres owners Terrence and Kim Pegula, has been plagued by injuries during her career. Ranked No. 227, she will meet eighth-seeded Pauline Parmentier of France. Parmentier, ranked No. 69, nipped Heather Watson of Great Britain 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
   In the Quebec City doubles semifinals, unseeded Asia Muhammad and Sanchez topped third-seeded Desirae Krawczyk and Giuliana Olmos 3-6, 6-3 [10-7] in an all-American encounter.
   Krawczyk and Olmos, who's from Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area, won last year's Sacramento Challenger.
   Muhammad took the Sacramento crown in 2012 with local product Yasmin Schnack, who retired the following year at 25, and in Berkeley in July with former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs.
   Muhammad and Sanchez, who reached the second round of the 2015 U.S. Open together, will play second-seeded Darija Jurak of Croatia and Xenia Knoll of Switzerland for the title.
   Muhammad seeks her third career WTA doubles title and Sanchez her second.

Friday, September 14, 2018

U.S. trails 2-0; ex-Sacramento stars reach WTA semis

Frances Tiafoe, playing in Newport Beach, Calif., in January,
made his Davis Cup debut today and lost to No. 6-ranked
Marin Cilic of Croatia. Photo courtesy of JFS Communications  
   At least the United States extended two sets to tiebreakers today.
   So much for the Americans' highlights as host Croatia swept all six sets on outdoor clay to take a 2-0 lead in Zadar on the Adriatic Sea in the Davis Cup semifinals.
   Borna Coric defeated Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-3, and Marin Cilic beat Frances Tiafoe 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (5). Tiafoe, who won the 2016 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger, was making his Davis Cup debut at 20.
   The United States must win Saturday's doubles match to stay alive in the best-of-five competition. Americans Mike Bryan (Stanford, 1997-98) and Ryan Harrison are scheduled to oppose Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic. Bryan has captured a record 18 Grand Slam men's doubles titles, and the other three players have won one each.
    The United States has not reached the Davis Cup final since winning the 2007 crown in Portland, Ore. Croatia, the 2005 champion, is trying to reach the final for the second time in three years.
   Croatia's commanding lead over the United States is hardly surprising:
   --The nation, slightly smaller than West Virginia with a population (4.2 million) comparable to metropolitan Detroit, is 4-0 against the United States. In the most recent meeting, Croatia stunned the U.S. 3-2 after trailing 2-0 in Portland in the 2016 quarterfinals.
   --As the host, Croatia chose the United States' weakest surface.
   --Croatia has a formidable team. The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion and a two-time Grand Slam runner-up, is ranked No. 6 in singles. Coric, who upset Roger Federer to win the Halle (Germany) title on grass in June, is No. 18. Pavic and Dodig are No. 4 and No. 24, respectively, in doubles.
   --The United States is missing its top two players, not that they necessarily would have made a difference. Six-foot-10 (2.08-meter) John Isner, ranked No. 10, is at home in the United States awaiting the birth of his first child. Jack Sock, ranked No. 17 in singles and No. 2 in doubles, is out with a hip injury. Bryan and Sock have won the last two Grand Slam men's doubles titles.
   WTA tour -- Two ex-champions and one former runner-up in the Sacramento Challenger reached the semifinals in Quebec City or Hiroshima.
   No. 5 seed Sofia Kenin, a 19-year-old American, dismissed No. 3 Monica Puig 6-3, 6-1 in 55 minutes in Quebec City to reach her second WTA semifinal.
   Kenin has won Northern California Challengers in each of the past three years (Sacramento in 2016, Stockton last year and Berkeley in July). The Sacramento tournament lost its sponsor and moved to Berkeley this year.
   Puig claimed Puerto Rico's first Olympic gold medal in any sport in 2016 singles in Rio de Janeiro.
   Kenin, ranked No. 67, will play compatriot Jessica Pegula, a qualifier ranked No. 227 and the runner-up to Modesto product Maria Sanchez six years ago in the inaugural Sacramento Challenger.
   Pegula, the 24-year-old daughter of Buffalo Bills and Sabres owners Terrence and Kim Pegula, surprised No. 2 seed Petra Martic of Croatia 6-3, 7-5. Martic won last week's inaugural Chicago Challenger.
   In the doubles semifinals on Saturday, No. 3 seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Giuliana Olmos will play unseeded Asia Muhammad and Sanchez in an all-American matchup.
   Krawczyk and Olmos, from Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area, won last year's Sacramento Challenger. Muhammad took the crown in Sacramento in 2012 with local product Yasmin Schnack, who retired the following year at 25, and in Berkeley in July with former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs.
   Amanda Anisimova, a 17-year-old U.S. qualifier, gained her first WTA semifinal with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over No. 2 seed Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia in Hiroshima.
   The 134th-ranked Anisimova, who won her first professional title in the 2017 Sacramento Challenger, will face China's Zhang Shuai, seeded first and ranked No. 41.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Six Stanford women earn preseason singles rankings

Stanford sophomore Michaela Gordon, playing in the 2017 Sacramento Challenger,
is 10th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I preseason singles rankings.
The Cardinal returns all of its starting singles and doubles players after winning its
second NCAA title in three years in May. Photo by Rob Vomund
   Barring injuries, the Stanford women won't sneak up on anyone in 2018-19.
   The Cardinal returns all of its starting singles and doubles players after winning its second NCAA championship in three years in May. Stanford, which has played in the last three NCAA finals, matched its 2016 record as the lowest-seeded team (15th) to win the title.
   All six of Stanford's singles players and two of its doubles teams received Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I preseason rankings on Tuesday. The ITA ranks 125 singles players and 60 doubles teams.
   Rated in singles are No. 10 Michaela Gordon, a sophomore from Saratoga in the San Francisco Bay Area; No. 13 Melissa Lord, a senior from Bloomfield, Conn.; No. 24 Emily Arbuthnott, a junior from England; No. 47 Caroline Lampl, a senior from Leesburg, Va.; No. 56 Janice Shin, a sophomore from Houston; and No. 63 Emma Higuchi, a junior from Los Angeles.
   In doubles, Arbuthnott and Gordon are No. 3, and Lampl and Kimberly Yee, a senior from Las Vegas, are No. 17.
   The Cal women have three singles players, all in the top 34, and one doubles team in the rankings. Listed in singles are No. 28 Julia Rosenqvist, a sophomore from Sweden; No. 29 Anna Bright, a sophomore from Boca Raton, Fla.; and No. 34 Olivia Hauger, a senior from Tulsa, Okla. Hauger and Rosenqvist are No. 33 in doubles.
   Three other women with Bay Area ties are ranked in singles and doubles. Texas Tech's Felicity Maltby, a senior from Sunnyvale in the Bay Area, is No. 37 in singles and No. 53 in doubles; Mariia Kozyreva, a Saint Mary's sophomore from Russia, is No. 85 in singles and No. 23 in doubles (with sophomore Hind Abdelouahid of Manteca); and UCLA's Alaina Miller, a senior from Saratoga, is No. 86 in singles and No. 47 in doubles.
   Santa Clara's Maddie Pothoff, a junior from Tucson, Ariz., is ranked No. 110 in singles, and South Carolina's Paige Cline, a senior from Kentfield in the Bay Area, is No. 39 in doubles.
   Vanderbilt's Cameron Klinger, a senior from San Jose, is rated No. 7 in men's singles and No. 4 in doubles. Columbia's Victor Pham, a senior from Saratoga, is No. 13 in singles and No. 18 in doubles.
   The Stanford and Cal men each have two ranked singles players. The Cardinal's Axel Geller, a sophomore from Argentina who finished 2017 as the No. 1 junior in the world, is No. 48, and Sameer Kumar, a senior from Carmel, Ind., is No. 63. The Bears' Jacob Brumm, a sophomore from Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego region, is No. 102, and Jack Molloy, a sophomore from England, is No. 113. Also, Cal sophomore Can Kaya and junior Mert Zincirli, both from Turkey, are No. 59 in doubles.
   Florida's Sam Riffice, from Roseville in the Sacramento area, and Cal's Yuta Kikuchi of Japan are rated the No. 1 and No. 8 freshmen/newcomers, respectively. Both are freshmen. Riffice also is No. 38 in doubles.
   The ITA Women's All-American Championships are scheduled for Sept. 29-Oct. 7 at Pepperdine in Malibu, Calif. The ITA Men's All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., are set to begin the same day and end Oct. 8.
   The first team rankings of the season will be released on Jan. 2.
INTERCOLLEGIATE TENNIS ASSOCIATION
DIVISION I PRESEASON RANKINGS
Top 10
Women's singles
1. Bianca Turati, Texas
2. Makenna Jones, North Carolina
3. Estela Perez-Somarriba, Miami
4. Ashley Lahey, Pepperdine
5. Gabriela Knutson, Syracuse
6. Anastasia Rychagova, Kansas
7. Fernanda Contreras, Vanderbilt
8. Katarina Jokic, Georgia
9. Stacey Fung, Washington
10. Michael Gordon, Stanford
Women's doubles
1. Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy, Duke
2. Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham, North Carolina
3. Emily Arbuthnott and Michaela Gordon, Stanford
4. Gabriela Knutson and Miranda Ramirez, Syracuse
5. Chandler Carter and Emma Davis, Wake Forest
6. Elena Christofi and Morgan Coppoc, Georgia
7. Jessica Golovin and Eden Richardson, LSU
8. Lauryn John-Baptiste and Ilze Hattingh, Arizona State
9. Megan Kauffman and Lauren Proctor, Winthrop
10. Sara Daavettila and Alle Sanford, North Carolina
Men's singles
1. Petros Chrysochos, Wake Forest
2. Nuno Borges, Mississippi State
3. Mazen Osama, Alabama
4. Brandon Holt, USC
5. Giovanni Oradini, Mississippi State
6. Timo Stodder, Tennessee
7. Cameron Klinger, Vanderbilt
8. Thomas Laurent, Oregon
9. Carl Soderlund, Virginia
10. Alex Rybakov, TCU
Men's doubles
1. Nuno Borges and Strahinja Rakic, Mississippi State
2. Brandon Holt and Riley Smith, USC
3. Jack Jaede and Laurens Verboven, USC
4. Carmeron Klinger and Billy Rowe, Vanderbilt
5. Johannes Schretter and Will Little, Baylor
6. Loic Cloes and Clement Marzol, South Alabama
7. Niclas Braun and Giovanni Oradini, Mississippi State
8. Jack Mingjie Lin and William Matheson, Columbia
9. Mazen Osama and Edson Ortiz, Alabama
10. Guilherme Osorio and Nico Borter, San Diego

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Redding pro tournament canceled because of wildfires

Ana Veselinovic of Montenegro ousted
top-seeded Sofya Zhuk of Russia in the
first round of last year's $25,000 tourna-
ment in Redding, Calif. Photo by
Paul Bauman 
   The $25,000 Ascension Project Women's Open, scheduled for this week at Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness in Redding, Calif., was canceled because of wildfires that have ravaged the area.
   The Carr Fire, the sixth-most destructive in California history, began on July 23 and was 100 percent contained on Aug. 30. Caused by a flat tire that ignited sparks, it killed eight people and injured three, burned 229,651 acres, destroyed 1,079 residences and 525 other structures, and cost more than $1.659 billion.
   The Hirz Fire, which has scorched 46,150 acres since it began on Aug. 9, has been 97 percent contained. But the Delta Fire, which began on Wednesday and has burned 49,874 acres, has been only 5 percent contained.
   "We have three kids in our competitive program, as well as countless members, who lost their homes," Ascension Project tournament director Toby Osborn said Monday. "It's just been a tough time for the community, and we felt it was better to fundraise for those people in need rather than to fundraise to host and support a tournament."
   The fires have raged west and north of Redding, which has a population of 90,000 and lies 200 miles (322 kilometers) north of San Francisco. Sun Oaks is east of downtown.
   The tournament was canceled in early August, Osborn said.
   "It's a very good thing we canceled it because we could not have played with the smoke that we're having from some of the other fires regardless," Osborn said.
   The tournament, which had been held in Redding for 15 consecutive years, is scheduled to return to Sun Oaks next September, Osborn added. Alumni include Sloane Stephens and Victoria Azarenka.
   This is the second straight year that wildfires have affected a Northern California professional tournament. During the $100,000 NorthBay Healthcare Men's Pro Championship in Fairfield last October, two players were evacuated from their hosts' homes, and Wednesday afternoon matches were canceled because of smoke.
   This year's Fairfield tournament is scheduled for Oct. 6-14 at Solano Community College.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Djokovic, Osaka head U.S. Open honor roll

NOVAK DJOKOVIC
Photo by Paul Bauman
NAOMI OSAKA
Photo by Paul Bauman
  Results of all U.S. Open finals:
   Men's singles -- Novak Djokovic (6), Serbia, def. Juan Martin del Potro (3), Argentina, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
   Women's singles -- Naomi Osaka (20), Japan, def. Serena Williams (17), United States, 6-2, 6-4.
   Men's doubles -- Mike Bryan and Jack Sock (3), United States, def. Lukasz Kubot, Poland, and Marcelo Melo (7), Brazil, 6-3, 6-1.
   Women's doubles -- Ashleigh Barty, Australia, and CoCo Vandeweghe (13), United States, def. Timea Babos, Hungary, and Kristina Mladenovic (2), France, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (6).
   Mixed doubles -- Bethanie Mattek-Sands, United States, and Jamie Murray, Great Britain, def. Alicja Rosolska, Poland, and Nikola Mektic, Croatia, 2-6, 6-3 [11-9].
   Boys singles -- Thiago Seyboth Wild (6), Brazil, def. Lorenzo Musetti, Italy, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2.
   Girls singles -- Wang Xiyu (3), China, def. Clara Burel (11), France, 7-6 (4), 6-2.
   Boys doubles -- Adrian Andreev, Bulgaria, and Anton Matusevich, Great Britain, def. Emilio Nava and Axel Nefve, United States, 6-4, 2-6 [10-8].
   Girls doubles -- Cori Gauff and Caty McNally (1), United States, def. Hailey Baptiste and Dalayna Hewitt, United States, 6-3, 6-2.
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