Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Big weekend, Capitals' opener, etc.

   This weekend could be the biggest in Sacramento tennis history. Consider:
   --Martina Hingis, a likely future Hall of Famer, and the New York Sportimes will face the Capitals in a World TeamTennis match on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights.
   --Serena Williams -- the greatest female player in history, according to Sports Illustrated -- will make what is believed to be her first visit to the Sacramento area on Saturday. Williams and the Washington Kastles will take on the Capitals at 7:30 p.m. at Sunrise Mall.
   --Former Capital Andre Agassi will be inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., on Saturday (Tennis Channel, 9:30 a.m. PDT).
   --Bob and Mike Bryan, arguably the greatest men's doubles team ever and the identical twin sons of Capitals coach Wayne Bryan, will play for the United States on Saturday in the Davis Cup quarterfinals (Tennis Channel, noon PDT). The U.S. will meet Spain, minus the resting Rafael Nadal, beginning Friday (same station and time) in Austin, Texas, where team member Andy Roddick lives.
   Three-fourths of the U.S. team -- the Bryans and Mardy Fish -- will come to Sunrise Mall next week in separate WTT matches.
   --The USTA West Coast Junior Championships are scheduled for Saturday through Tuesday at the Rio del Oro Racquet Club in Sacramento.
   Emmett Egger of Issaquah, Wash., and Christina Makarova of San Diego are seeded first in boys and girls 18 singles, respectively. Matthew Alves of Gold River, Calif., a Sacramento suburb, is seeded third in boys 18 singles. Egger is ranked fifth nationally, Makarova 40th and Alves 43rd.
   Depleted Capitals lose -- Playing on the road without half of their regular roster, the Capitals opened their 26th WTT season with a 26-21 loss to the St. Louis Aces on Wednesday night.
   Vania King (resting after Wimbledon) and Serbia's Dusan Vemic (visa problems), missed the match and will be absent again Thursday night at defending WTT champion Kansas City, said Capitals general manager Matt McEvoy.
   Vemic will play Friday night in the Capitals' home opener, and King might play then, McEvoy added. At the latest, King will play Tuesday, in which case she will have missed five of the Capitals' 14 regular-season matches.
   King won the Wimbledon women's doubles title last year with Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, but they lost in the second round this year.
   Christina Fusano, a Sacramento native and area resident, and Nick Monroe of Chapel Hill, N.C., replaced King and Vemic, respectively, against St. Louis.
   The Aces meanwhile, played without Lindsay Davenport, the reigning WTT Female MVP. The team announced Tuesday that the former Capital is pregnant with her third child and will miss the season under doctor's orders. She was replaced by former USC All-American Maria Sanchez of Modesto, Calif.
   Yasmin Schnack made her WTT debut for the Capitals. The resident of Elk Grove, a Sacramento suburb, won in mixed doubles and women's singles but lost in women's doubles.
   Complete results:
   Men's doubles -- Jean-Julien Rojer/Roman Borvanov (Aces) def. Monroe/Mark Knowles (Capitals) 5-2.
   Men's singles -- Borvanov (Aces) def. Monroe (Capitals) 5-1.
   Mixed doubles -- Knowles/Yasmin Schnack (Capitals) def. Rojer/Liezel Huber (Aces) 5-3.
   Women's singles -- Schnack (Capitals) def. Sanchez (Aces) 5-3.
   Women's doubles -- Huber/Sanchez (Aces) def. Fusano/Schnack (Capitals) 5-3.
   Strong field -- Three of the four semifinalists in women's singles at Wimbledon last week are entered in the Bank of the West Classic, July 25-31 in Stanford, Calif.
   Set to play are defending champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 2010 runner-up Maria Sharapova of Russia and Sabine Lisicki of Germany. The field also includes Williams, who recently returned from an 11-month injury/illness layoff and lost in the fourth round at Wimbledon.
   Unfortunately for Bank of the West organizers, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is not entered.
   Tickets are available at 866-WTA-TIXS (866-982-8497) or http://www.bankofthewestclassic.com/. Single-session tickets for the tournament's opening round start at $26.
  
  

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