Saturday, September 10, 2011

King, Shvedova eye U.S. Open repeat

   Vania King of the Sacramento Capitals and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan will play for their second straight U.S. Open women's doubles title.
   The third seeds outlasted fifth-seeded Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova, both of Russia, 7-6 (7), 2-6, 6-3 in two hours, 26-minutes Friday in Flushing Meadows. Kirilenko and Petrova, playing in their first Grand Slam tournament together, had a set point at 7-6 in the tiebreaker.
   "I wouldn't want to be in the finals with anyone other than Slava," King, who served on the set point, was quoted as saying on the WTA Web site. "We have fun and help each other out. That's why we play so well together."
   In men's singles, 28th-seeded John Isner of Tampa, Fla., lost to fourth seed and 2008 U.S. Open runner-up Andy Murray of Great Britain 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2) in the quarterfinals. It was the best showing in a Grand Slam tournament for the 6-foot-9 Isner, who won a $15,000 tournament in the Sacramento suburb of Shingle Springs in his professional debut four years ago.
  Also, Stanford sophomore Nicole Gibbs advanced to the junior girls semifinals in singles and quarterfinals in doubles. Connor Farren, 16, of Hillsborough lost in the second round of junior boys doubles.
   King, a 22-year-old Long Beach product, and Shvedova, who will turn 24 Monday, will face fourth-seeded Liezel Huber, a U.S. citizen from South Africa, and Lisa Raymond of Wayne, Pa., on Sunday at 10 a.m. PDT (ESPN2). Huber and Raymond advanced with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over unseeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.
   In the finalists' only previous meeting, King and Shvedova won 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the quarterfinals at Cincinnati three weeks ago en route to the title.
   King and Shvedova won Wimbledon and the U.S Open last year, their first season together, but have been unable to win a Grand Slam in 2011.
   King lost in the first round of the Australian Open with Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain while Shvedova recovered from a knee injury. King and Shvedova then lost in the French Open semifinals to eventual champions Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic and in the second round at Wimbledon to eventual runners-up Sabine Lisicki of Germany and Samantha Stosur of Australia.
   Huber, 35, and Raymond, 38, began playing together five months ago. They have not won a Grand Slam as a pair, but Huber has won four major women's doubles titles (all with Cara Black) and Raymond five (three with Rennae Stubbs and two with Samantha Stosur).
   Huber's last Grand Slam women's doubles crown came in the 2008 U.S. Open; Raymond last prevailed in the 2006 French Open with Stosur.
   Huber and Raymond finished as the runners-up to Victoria Azarenka and Kirilenko at Stanford in late July and won the Toronto title last month.

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