Tuesday, September 20, 2011

King advances in Seoul singles; new rankings; etc.

   The Hansol Korea Open, in which Vania King of the Sacramento Capitals advanced Tuesday, has a short but poignant history.
   Singles champions of the eight-year-old tournament in Seoul, South Korea, include Alisa Kleybanova of Russia (last year), Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan (2009) and Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic (2005). 
   Kleybanova is being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer, in Perugia, Italy. She hopes to return to the WTA tour eventually.
   "I am a strong person," Kleybanova wrote to her fellow players on July 15, her 22nd birthday. "I've shown it before. Obviously this is different than anything I've ever experienced, but after this is over I'm sure my life will be even better than ever before. This is the toughest time of my life till now, and I hope it always remains the toughest time of my life. I'm sure I'll be able to overcome this -- it's just a matter of patience and time and I believe I have enough!"
   Two years ago in Seoul, Date-Krumm capped one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. Two days short of her 39th birthday, Date-Krumm became the second-oldest player in the Open Era to win a WTA tournament. Billie Jean King was 39 years, 7 months old when she won the title in Birmingham, England, in 1983.
   Date-Krumm was playing in her first full season back on the WTA tour after retiring for 12 years. She has played in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford for the past two years, reaching the second round in 2010 and falling to eighth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in the first round this year.
   Vaidisova, the 2004 World TeamTennis Female MVP and Rookie of the Year for the Capitals at 15, rocketed to No. 7 in the world at 18 but slumped badly and retired last year at 20.   
    Date-Krumm, who will turn 41 on Sept. 28, lost to Vania King 6-2, 6-2 Tuesday in the first round in Seoul. King will face second-seeded Marion Bartoli of France on Wednesday in the second round. Bartoli has reached the Stanford final in three of the past four years, winning the 2009 title.
    King -- coming off a devastating loss in the U.S. Open women's doubles final after winning the 2010 title, both with Yaroslava Shvedova -- is playing singles only in Seoul.
    Esurance Classic -- Bob and Mike Bryan, the No. 1 men's doubles team in the world, head the field in the seventh annual Esurance Tennis Classic, Saturday and Sunday at the Harbor Point Tennis Club in Mill Valley.
   Also participating in the charity event are former top-20 player Sam Querrey, International Tennis Hall of Famers Tracy Austin and Gigi Fernandez, former French Open doubles champion Murphy Jensen and the Stanford men's and women's teams.
   Querrey, a San Francisco native who replaces injured John McEnroe, and Austin will appear Sunday only.
   Play begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Tickets are $35 for adult general admission, $75 for adult reserved seats and $50 for adult weekend passes. Proceeds benefit To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation and Youth Tennis Advantage.
   For more information, call (415) 383-6114 or visit http://www.tennisclassic.org/.
   Women's Challenger --Unseeded Yasmin Schnack of Elk Grove and Ashley Weinhold of Spicewood, Texas, lost to wild cards Grace Min of Lawrenceville, Ga., and Melanie Oudin of Marietta, Ga., 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the first round of doubles at the $75,000 ColemanVision Tennis Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.
   Oudin and Min recently won U.S. Open titles in mixed doubles and junior girls singles, respectively. Schnack, who's not playing singles in Albuquerque, teamed with Maria Sanchez of Modesto to win her second consecutive Redding doubles title Sunday.
   Men's Futures -- Former Sacramento State star Kiryl Harbatsiuk upset third seed and former top-100 player Roko Karanusic of Croatia 6-3, 2-1, retired in the first round of the $10,.000 Costa Mesa Tennis Classic.
   In the first round of doubles, Harbatsiuk and Boris Nicola Bakalov of Bulgaria lost to top-seeded Bumpei Sato of Japan and Artem Sitak of New Zealand 5-7, 7-6 (6), 10-4 tiebreak.
   New rankings -- Following are this week's world rankings of players with Northern California ties (change in parentheses):
   Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- Career-high-tying No. 26 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mark Knowles, Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis (2001-07, 2009-11) -- No. 40 in doubles (-1), unranked in singles.
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 41 in singles (no change), No. 95 in doubles (-2).
   David Martin, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 92 in doubles (+10), No. 701 in singles (+4).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- No. 147 in doubles (-2), 1,244 in singles (-9).
   Conor Niland, 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year and two-time All-American at Cal -- No. 206 in singles (+1), unranked in doubles. 
   Jimmy Wang, Folsom resident -- No. 391 in singles (-2), No. 674 in doubles (+3).
   Dusan Vemic, Capitals (2010-11) -- No. 514 in doubles (-6), No. 1,520 in singles (-5).
   Kiryl Harbatsiuk, three-time Big Sky Conference MVP (2009-11) at Sacramento State -- No. 771 in singles (-6), No. 1,227 in doubles (-3).
   Vania King, Capitals (2010-11) -- No. 9 in doubles (no change), No. 98 in singles (-4).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 45 in doubles (+5), unranked in singles.
   Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis (2011) -- No. 230 in doubles (-7), No. 379 in singles (no change).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- No. 423 in doubles (+2), No. 1,107 in singles (+2).

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