Wednesday, September 21, 2011

King pulls off first win over a top-10 singles player

   Vania King, a doubles star on the WTA tour, recorded the biggest singles victory of her career Wednesday.
   The 22-year-old member of the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis stunned 10th-ranked Marion Bartoli of France 6-3, 7-5 in the second round of the $220,000 Hansol Korea Open in Seoul, South Korea.
   King, ranked ninth in doubles and 98th in singles, had been 0-16 against top-10 players since turning pro in July 2006. In her last match against Bartoli, King had lost 6-1, 6-2 in the first round at Brisbane, Australia, in January.
   King won the first four games of Wednesday's match and overcame a 4-2 deficit in the second set. Bartoli, seeded second, finished with 17 double faults.
   "I'm very excited to win today," King said on the WTA Web site. "Last time I played her, I won just two (sic) games, but I've changed a lot and improved things in the last year. I'm much more confident in my abilities and have been working hard to be more creative. I'm happy this hard work is starting to show on court."
   King and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan won the women's doubles title at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year and reached the final at Flushing Meadows, N.Y., two weeks ago. Shvedova, 5-foot-11, provides the power and King, 5-5, the quickness.
   Bartoli, the 2007 Wimbledon runner-up, will turn 27 on Oct. 2. She has reached the Stanford final in three of the last four years, beating Venus Williams for the 2009 title.
   King, who's not playing doubles in Seoul, will meet unseeded Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic in Friday's quarterfinals. Zakopalova, also 5-5, demolished seventh-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania 6-1, 6-1.
    "I played against Zakopalova about a year and a half ago," said King, who's 3-0 lifetime against the 29-year-old veteran ranked No. 43. "She has improved a lot since then -- today she won her match in less than an hour. I will need to be really focused to beat her."   
   Davis Cup draw -- If there was one unseeded team the United States didn't want to meet in the first round of the Davis Cup next year, it was Switzerland.
   But that's who the Americans, featuring doubles stars and former Stanford All-Americans Bob and Mike Bryan, drew in the ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand. That means, barring injury, the United States will face Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka.
   In singles, Federer has won a record 16 Grand Slam titles, and Wawrinka is ranked 19th after reaching a career-high ninth in 2008. In doubles, they won the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
   Wait, it gets worse for the Americans. Switzerland will host the best-of-five-match series, Feb. 10-12. The rosters and exact location will be announced at a later date.
   The United States lost to Spain, playing without injured Rafael Nadal, in Austin, Texas, in this year's quarterfinals in July. Switzerland qualified for the World Group by coming from behind to beat host Australia 3-2 last weekend.
   The United States has won a record 32 Davis Cup titles, most recently in 2007 over Folsom resident Dmitry Tursunov and Russia in Portland, Ore. That U.S. team consisted of Andy Roddick, James Blake and the Bryans.
   Tursunov won the deciding match Sunday as host Russia rallied to defeat Brazil and remain in the World Group. The Russians will play at Austria in February. 

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