Friday, December 4, 2020

San Jose native Dy named Fresno State women's coach

   Denise Dy was hired as the women's head coach at Fresno State, Bulldogs athletic director Terry Tumey announced Thursday.
   Dy, a 31-year-old native of San Jose, Calif., served as an assistant coach for the last two seasons at Arizona under Ryan Stotland. Before taking the Arizona job, Stotland won two Mountain West Conference championships (2014 and 2018) during his six-year tenure (2013-18) as the women's head coach at Fresno State.
   Dy previously served as an assistant coach at Washington (2016-18) and Iowa (2014-16). 
   As a player, Dy was a three-time All-American at Washington ranked as high as No. 3 nationally in singles and No. 6 in doubles. She competed professionally and on the Philippines' national team.
   Dy replaces Mariana Cobra, who resigned in June after going 7-7 in one abbreviated season at Fresno State.
   Orange Bowl — Vivian Ovrootsky of San Jose received a wild card in the Orange Bowl 18s main draw, which begins Monday in Plantation, Fla. Ovrootsky reached the quarterfinals in the 16s last year. The high school junior has verbally committed to Texas for the fall of 2022.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Winter Nationals canceled; Orange Bowl to begin soon

Roger Federer won the Orange Bowl in 1998. This year's tournament is scheduled
to begin on Sunday (16s) and Monday (18s).
   The USTA has canceled the National Winter Championships, a junior tournament that had been scheduled for Dec. 28 to Jan. 3 in Arizona and Florida, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
   However, the Orange Bowl remains set for Sunday (16s) and Monday (18s) through Dec. 13 on clay in Plantation, Fla.
   The top three seeds in the Orange Bowl boys 18s are, in order, Peter Fajta of Hungary, Dali Blanch of Deerfield Beach, Fla., and Lukas Neumayer of Austria.
   Also entered is Aidan Mayo, who grew up in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville, Calif. Mayo reached last year's boys 18 doubles final with Lorenzo Claverie of Venezuela.
   Heading the field in the girls 18s are Elsa Jacquemot of France, Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra and Kristina Dmitruk of Belarus. Jacquemot, 17, captured the French Open girls singles title in October, and Kasintseva, a 15-year-old left-hander, won this year's Australian Open girls singles crown at 14. 
   Andorra, situated between France and Spain, is 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C., with a population of about 77,000 and one indoor tennis court.
   The Orange Bowl was founded by Eddie Herr in 1947. It was played on clay until 1998, then on hardcourts until 2011. It has been contested on clay again since then.
   Past winners of the Orange Bowl 18s include International Tennis Hall of Famers Chris Evert (1969-70), Bjorn Borg (1972), John McEnroe (1976), Ivan Lendl (1977), Gabriela Sabatini (1984) and Jim Courier (1987).
   Winners of the tournament on hardcourts include Roger Federer (1998), Andy Roddick (1999) and Caroline Wozniacki (2005).

Saturday, November 28, 2020

NorCal's Altamirano loses in Lima doubles final

Collin Altamirano fell in his first Challenger final in singles
or doubles. 2018 photo by Paul Bauman
   Inigo Cervantes and Oriol Roca Batalla of Spain beat Collin Altamirano of Sacramento, Calif., and Vitaliy Sachko of Ukraine 6-3, 6-4 in a matchup of unseeded teams today in the final of the $52,080 Lima (Peru) Challenger on clay.
   Cervantes, 30, and the 5-foot-8 (1.73-meter), 165-pound (75-kilogram) Roca Batalla, 27, shared $3,100. Altamirano, 24, and Sachko, 23, split $1,800. 
   Sachko also lost in the singles semifinals, 6-2, 6-4 to fellow qualifier Thiago Tirante, a 19-year-old Argentine who won last year's Orange Bowl. 
   Altamirano, who fell in the opening round of singles as a lucky loser, was playing in his first tournament since March and first Challenger final ever in singles or doubles. He has won three Futures doubles titles.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Top doubles seeds lose in Lima Challenger

   Unseeded Inigo Cervantes and Oriol Roca Batalla of Spain ousted top-seeded Gonzalo Escobar of Ecuador and Artem Sitak, a Russia native who plays for New Zealand, 7-6 (7), 7-5 today in the semifinals of the $52,080 Lima (Peru) Challenger on clay.
   Sitak teamed with Chris Guccione of Australia to win the $100,000 Aptos, Calif., Challenger in 2015 and with Divij Sharan of India to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2018. Sitak climbed to a career-high No. 32 in doubles later in 2018.
   Cervantes and Roca Batalla, only 5-foot-8 (1.73 meters) and 165 pounds (75 kilograms), are scheduled to meet unseeded Collin Altamirano of Sacramento, Calif., and Vitaliy Sachko of Ukraine on Saturday. 
   Altamirano, 24, will appear in his first Challenger final in singles or doubles. He has won three Futures doubles titles.
   Altamirano, playing in his first tournament since March, and Sachko have lost only 11 games in two matches. They received a walkover in the semifinals. 
   Sachko, 23, also remains alive in singles. He is set to face qualifier Thiago Tirante, a 19-year-old Argentine who won last year's Orange Bowl, in a matchup of qualifiers. Altamirano fell in the first round of singles as a lucky loser. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

NorCal's Altamirano gains first Challenger doubles final

   Collin Altamirano advanced to his first Challenger final in singles or doubles in unexpected fashion today.
   The 24-year-old Sacramento, Calif., resident and Vitaliy Sachko of Ukraine defeated Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera and Alejandro Tabilo of Chile 6-4, 6-1 in a quarterfinal matchup of unseeded teams in the $52,080 Lima (Peru) Challenger on clay. 
   Altamirano and Sachko then received a walkover from unseeded Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia and Agustin Velotti of Argentina. 
   Altamirano and Sachko, who surrendered only six games in the first round, are scheduled to play either top-seeded Gonzalo Escobar of Ecuador and Artem Sitak, a 34-year-old Russia native who plays for New Zealand, or unseeded Inigo Cervantes and Oriol Roca Batalla of Spain on Saturday.
   Sitak teamed with Chris Guccione of Australia to win the $100,000 Aptos, Calif., Challenger in 2015 and with Divij Sharan of India to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2018. Sitak climbed to a career-high No. 32 in doubles later in 2018.
   Altamirano has won three Futures doubles crowns.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

NorCal's Altamirano advances in doubles, avenging loss

   Collin Altamirano gained a measure of revenge today in the $52,080 Lima (Peru) Challenger.
   In the first round of doubles in the clay-court tournament, the 24-year-old Sacramento, Calif., resident and Vitaliy Sachko of Ukraine defeated Jesper De Jong and Jelle Sels of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-3 in a matchup of unseeded teams.
   De Jong, 20, beat lucky loser Altamirano, playing in his first tournament since March, 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday in the opening round of singles.
   Altamirano and Sachko, the last direct acceptances, are scheduled to play unseeded Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera and Alejandro Tabilo of Chile on Thursday in the quarterfinals. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

After losing, NorCal's Altamirano has shot at revenge

Collin Altamirano will face Jesper De Jong in doubles after
losing to him in singles. 2018 photo courtesy of Steve Pratt
   The bad news for Collin Altamirano is he lost.
   The good news is he won't have to wait long for a chance at revenge.
   Jesper De Jong, 20, of the Netherlands defeated Altamirano, a 24-year-old lucky loser from Sacramento, Calif., 6-2, 6-4 today in the first round of the $52,080 Lima (Peru) Challenger on clay. 
   Altamirano fell in the final round of qualifying on Sunday but advanced to the main draw when Jaume Munar of Spain withdrew because of a right-foot injury.
   De Jong reached the semifinals of last week's $52,080 Guayaquil (Ecuador) Challenger on clay as a qualifier.
   Altamirano and Vitaliy Sachko of Ukraine are scheduled to play De Jong and compatriot Jelle Sels in the opening round of doubles on Wednesday.
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