Friday, December 3, 2021

Croatia downs Djokovic, Serbia in Davis Cup semifinals

Novak Djokovic won in singles but lost in doubles today.
2019 photo by Harjanto Sumali
   The top-ranked doubles pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic lifted Croatia to a 2-1 victory over Serbia, featuring singles No. 1 Novak Djokovic, today in Madrid in the semifinals of the Davis Cup Finals.
   Mektic and Pavic, the reigning Wimbledon champions, defeated Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 6-1 in the deciding match.
   Borna Gojo had beaten Dusan Lajovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to give Croatia a 1-0 lead. Djokovic pulled Serbia even with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open winner. Djokovic saved all eight break points against him, including four while serving for the first set at 5-4, and improved to 18-2 in the head-to-head series. 
   Gojo helped Wake Forest win its first NCAA team title and reached the singles final in 2018. Later that year, Croatia captured its first Davis Cup championship.
   Croatia will face the winner of Saturday's semifinal between the Russian Tennis Federation and Germany (live stream at 4 a.m. PST on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App.) in Madrid on Sunday at 7 a.m. (CBSSN).
   The Russians have two of the top five singles players in the world, No. 2 Daniil Medvedev and No. 5 Andrey Rublev. Germany, meanwhile, is playing without No. 3 Alexander Zverev. The singles gold medalist in the Tokyo Olympics and recent ATP Finals champion boycotted the Davis Cup because of the format change two years ago.
   Juniors — Wild cards Benjamin Kittay of Potomac, Md., and Michael Zheng, a Stanford commit from Montville, N.J., beat unseeded Gianluca Ballotta of Peru and Leanid Boika of Delray Beach, Fla., 6-1, 6-4 in the boys 18-and-under semifinals in the Eddie Herr International Championships on clay in Bradenton, Fla.
   Kittay and Zheng are set to face No. 4 seeds Aleksander Orlikowsky and Olaf Pieczkowski of Poland on Saturday.
   Meanwhile, Rudy Quan of Sacramento, Calif., and Kristina Penickova of Campbell in the San Francisco Bay Area reached singles finals without completing their matches.
   Quan, a wild card, advanced by walkover against No. 2 seed Rei Sakamoto of Japan in the boys 16s. Penickova, seeded No. 3, defeated No. 11 Ana Avramovic of Orlando, Fla., 6-1, 3-0, retired in the girls 12s.
   Quan is scheduled to meet unseeded Lorenzo Carboni of Italy on Saturday. Carboni, who ousted No. 1 seed Juan David of Naples, Fla., in the quarterfinals, eliminated unseeded Andrew Delgado of High Point, N.C., 6-1, 7-6 (1). 
   Penickova is set to play No. 5 seed Anita Tu of Melbourne, Fla., on Saturday. Tu ousted No. 1 seed Lia Belibova of Moldova 6-4, 6-4.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Russians eliminate ex-Cal star, Sweden from Davis Cup

Daniil Medvedev, practicing in Indian Wells in Octo-
ber, clinched the Russian Tennis Federation's 2-0
win over Sweden today. Photo by Paul Bauman
   The Russian Tennis Federation, with two of the top five singles players in the world, clinched a victory over Sweden today before ex-University of California, Berkeley star Andre Goransson could get on the court in the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup Finals.
   Fifth-ranked Andrey Rublev edged Elias Ymer 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (3) in Madrid to give the Russians a 1-0 lead. Second-ranked Daniil Medvedev, who won his first Grand Slam title in the U.S. Open in September, then beat Ymer's younger brother, Mikael, 6-4, 6-4 in the best-of-three-match competition.
   Goransson's doubles match was canceled.
   The Russian Tennis Federation will face Germany, playing without third-ranked Alexander Zverev, on Saturday at 4 a.m. PST (live stream on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App.) in Madrid. The Russians seek their first Davis Cup title since 2006, with Dmitry Tursunov, and the Germans their first since 1993.
   In the other semifinal, Novak Djokovic and 2010 champion Serbia will play 2018 titlist Croatia, featuring the top-ranked doubles pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, on Friday at 7 a.m. (CBSSN) in Madrid.
   Juniors — No. 2 seed Viacheslav Bielinskyi of Ukraine defeated wild card Michael Zheng, a Stanford commit from Montville, N.J., 6-2, 6-4 in the third round of the boys 18-and-under division in the Eddie Herr International Championships on clay in Bradenton, Fla.
   Wild cards Zheng and Benjamin Kittay of Potomac, Md., reached the doubles semifinals.
   Meanwhile, wild card Rudy Quan of Sacramento, Calif., and No. 3 seed Kristina Penickova of Campbell, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area advanced to the singles semifinals in the boys 16s and girls 12s, respectively.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Djokovic lifts Serbia in Davis Cup; Konta retires at 30

Novak Djokovic and Serbia will face Croatia in the semifinals of the Davis Cup Finals
in Madrid. 2017 photo by Mal Taam
   Novak Djokovic won in singles and doubles to give Serbia a 2-1 victory over Kazakhstan today in the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid.
   Djokovic, ranked No. 1, outclassed Alexander Bublik 6-3, 6-4 to pull Serbia even at 1-1, then teamed with Nikola Cacic in a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 victory over Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov. 
   In the opening match, 33-year-old Mikhail Kukushkin edged 22-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (11) in 3 hours, 17 minutes. Kecmanovic, a semifinalist in the 2018 San Francisco Challenger at age 18, served for the match in the third set.
   Bublik and Kukushkin reached the final of the Aptos Challenger in Northern California in different years. The 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Bublik won the title at age 20 in 2017, beating Liam Broady of Great Britain, and Kukushkin lost to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in 2014.
   Serbia, the 2010 champion, will face 2018 titlist Croatia, featuring top-ranked doubles pair Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, on Friday in Madrid.
   In the other semifinal in Madrid, Germany will play the winner of Thursday's tie between the Russian Tennis Federation, with second-ranked Daniil Medvedev and fifth-ranked Andrey Rublev, and Sweden, including Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2014-17) on Saturday.
   WTA — Johanna Konta of Great Britain announced her retirement at 30. Konta won four WTA singles titles, including the 2016 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, and peaked at No. 4 in 2017.
   Juniors — Wild card Michael Zheng, a Stanford commit from Montville, N.J., defeated No. 15 seed Gerard Lee of South Korea 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the second round of the boys 18-and-under division in the Eddie Herr International Championships on clay in Bradenton, Fla.
   Zheng also advanced to the doubles quarterfinals, teaming with Benjamin Kittay of Potomac, Md., to edge No. 7 seeds Bor Artnak and Sebastian Dominko of Slovenia 7-6 (5), 4-6 [11-9].
   In the second round of girls 18 singles, Mao Mushika of Japan eliminated No. 14 seed Alexis Blokhina, a Stanford commit from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 6-0, 1-0, retired.
   Wild card Rudy Quan of Sacramento, Calif., and No. 3 seed Kristina Penickova of Campbell, Calif., reached the singles quarterfinals in the boys 16s and girls 12s, respectively.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Germany tops Great Britain in Davis Cup thriller

   Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz came through again.
   The doubles pair won a dramatic match today to give Germany a 2-1 victory over Great Britain in the Davis Cup quarterfinals in Innsbruck, Austria. The match was played in isolation because of Austria's COVID lockdown.
   Krawietz and Puetz gutted out a 7-6 (10), 7-6 (5) victory over Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski after saving four set points in the first-set tiebreaker and rallying from 0-5 in the second-set tiebreaker. Krawietz and Puetz have won the deciding match in all three of Germany's ties.
   Jan-Lennard Struff set up the deciding match with a 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-2 win over Cameron Norrie, last month's shocking Indian Wells champion.
   Earlier toay, Daniel Evans routed Peter Gojowczyk 6-2, 6-1 to give Great Britain a 1-0 lead. Gojowczyk, ranked No. 86, played in place of Dominik Koepfer, ranked No. 54.
   Germany, playing without Olympic gold medalist and ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev, will face either the Russian Tennis Federation, featuring U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev, or Sweden, with Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2014-17), in Madrid.
   Croatia, the 2018 champion, will play either Serbia, featuring Novak Djokovic, or Kazakhstan.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Croatia defeats Italy in Davis Cup quarterfinals

Italian star Jannik Sinner, serving in Indian Wells last month, won in singles
but lost in doubles today against Croatia. Photo by Paul Bauman 
   Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, the top doubles team in the world, lifted Croatia to a 2-1 victory over Italy today in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.
   Mektic and Pavic, this year's Wimbledon champions, defeated Fabio Fognini and Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-4 in the deciding match in Turin, Italy. 
   Borna Gojo, the 2018 NCAA singles runner-up while at Wake Forest, had beaten Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-2 to give Croatia, the Davis Cup champion that year, a 1-0 lead. 
   Jannik Sinner, ranked No. 10 at age 20, made it 1-1 with a 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open titlist.
   Sinner reached the second round of the 2019 Aptos (Calif.) Challenger at 17 after winning the Lexington (Ky.) Challenger the previous week.
   Italy played without seventh-ranked Matteo Berrettini (abdominal muscle), and Croatia is missing former world No. 12 Borna Coric (shoulder surgery).
   Croatia will face either Serbia, featuring Novak Djokovic, or Kazakhstan. In the other quarterfinals:
   —The Russian Tennis Federation, with U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev, will meet Sweden, including Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2011-14).
   —Germany, minus Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev, will play 2015 champion Great Britain, led by Indian Wells champion Cameron Norrie, who won Tiburon and Stockton back-to-back in 2018 Northern California Challengers.
   Juniors — No. 9 seed Daria Smetannikov of Morganville, N.J., beat unseeded Gayathri Krishnan of Cupertino, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-1 to win the girls 18-and-under title in the USTA National Indoor Championships in Indianapolis.
   In Bradenton, Fla., No. 14 seed Alexis Blokhina, a Stanford commit from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., outlasted Kayla Cross of Canada 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the first round of the 18s in the Eddie Herr International Championships.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Colombia eliminates U.S. from Davis Cup Finals

Jack Sock of the United States retired from the decisive doubles match
against Colombia in the Davis Cup Finals. 2017 photo by Paul Bauman
   Jack Sock retired in the decisive doubles match as Colombia eliminated the United States 2-1 today in Turin, Italy, in the Davis Cup Finals.
   The U.S. finished 0-2 in the Finals, and Colombia went 1-1, also failing to advance. 
   In the doubles rubber, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah led Reilly Opelka and Sock 2-0 in the first set when Sock retired with an undisclosed injury.
   Frances Tiafoe had given the U.S. a 1-0 lead with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7) victory over Nicolas Mejia. Tiafoe, a late addition to the team, saved two match points in the tiebreaker. Daniel Elahi Galan, ranked No. 111, then edged No. 24 John Isner 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5).
   In the quarterfinals, the Russian Tennis Federation will play Sweden, with Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2014-17); 2015 champion Great Britain will face Germany; Italy will meet 2018 titlist Croatia; and Serbia, featuring Novak Djokovic, will play Kazakhstan.
   World TeamTennis — The second-seeded Orange County Breakers beat the top-seeded Springfield (Mo.) Lasers 21-13 in the WTT Finals in Indian Wells, Calif. 
   Orange County (9-4) led 15-5 after three sets. Springfield's Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Marcelo Arevalo, this year's U.S. Open mixed doubles finalists, routed Desirae Krawczyk and Austin Krajicek 5-1 in mixed doubles to cut the Breakers' lead to 16-10. Krawczyk and Tatiana Maria then topped Asia Muhammad and Olmos 5-3 in women's doubles.
   The Lasers were seeking their third WTT crown in four seasons. Orange County's Steve Johnson was named the WTT season MVP. 

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Ex-Cal star, Sweden lose in Davis Cup round-robin play

Sweden's Andre Goransson, above, and Robert Lindstedt starred at Northern
California universities. 2015 photo by Paul Bauman
   Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov defeated Andre Goransson and Robert Lindstedt 6-3, 6-3 in 67 minutes today to give Kazakhstan a 2-1 victory over Sweden in Madrid in the round-robin stage of the Davis Cup Finals.
   Kazakhstan is 1-0 and Sweden 1-1.
   Both Goransson and Lindstedt starred at Northern California universities. Goransson, 27, played at the University of California, Berkeley from 2014 to 2017 and Lindstedt, 44, at Fresno State from 1995 to 1997 before transferring to Pepperdine.
   In Innsbruck, Austria, Germany edged Serbia 2-1 as Novak Djokovic won in singles and narrowly lost in doubles. Djokovic outplayed Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2, 6-4 and teamed with Nikola Cacic in a 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-6 (5) loss to Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz.
   Germany is 1-0 and Serbia 1-1.
   Italy (2-0) reached the quarterfinals with a 2-1 victory over Colombia (0-1) in Turin, Italy.
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