Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tursunov gives Russia dramatic victory

   Dmitry Tursunov came through again for Russia.
   The longtime Sacramento-area resident defeated Ricardo Mello of Brazil 6-1, 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-3 Sunday to give Russia a dramatic 3-2 victory in Kazan, Russia, in the Davis Cup World Group playoffs. Russia will remain in the World Group next year, while Brazil will be relegated to zone competition.
   Mikhail Youzhny had kept Russia alive with a thrilling victory in Sunday's first singles match. Saving two match points, Youzhny edged Thomaz Bellucci 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 14-12 in five-hours.
   Igor Andreev, ranked No. 81, was scheduled to face Mello, ranked No. 120, in the deciding match. But Russia captain Shamil Tarpischev substituted Tursunov, ranked No. 41. Andreev had lost to Bellucci 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in Friday's second singles match.
   Tursunov, who struggled during the summer hardcourt season and lost in straight sets in Saturday's doubles match, said he found out "10 or 20 minutes" before Sunday's contest that he would be playing.
   "To be honest, I didn't look at it as how big the pressure is," Tursunov, 28, told Russia Today Sports. "I knew there are only two possible outcomes. I'm either going to win, or I'm going to lose. Neither of these are going to be career-ending or life-ending. The only thing my result would decide was where we would play our next match. I actually think that's a very rational way of looking at it."
   Tursunov helped Russia win the Davis Cup title five years ago. The Moscow native won clinching fourth matches against France in the quarterfinals and the United States in the semifinals and triumphed in doubles with Marat Safin in the final against Argentina. 
   Redding Challenger -- Third-seeded Julia Boserup of Boca Raton, Fla., defeated fifth-seeded Olga Puchkova of Russia 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 to win the $25,000 Oak River Rehab Challenger at Sun Oaks Tennis and Fitness in Redding.
   Boserup, a 20-year-old native of Santa Monica who turned pro last summer, earned $2,940 for her first career title. Ranked No. 297 in the world, she likely will move into the top 250.
   Meanwhile, Yasmin Schnack of Elk Grove won her second consecutive Redding doubles title.  The top-seeded team of Schnack and Modesto's Maria Sanchez of Modesto -- former rivals at UCLA and USC, respectively -- edged second-seeded Brittany Augustine of Carson and Whitney Jones of St. Louis 7-6 (2), 4-6, 10-7 tiebreak.
   Schnack made her professional debut in Redding last year and won the doubles crown with Sacramento native Christina Fusano, who retired two weeks ago.
   WTA tour -- Top-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones of Fresno and Abigail Spears of San Diego beat unseeded Jamie Hampton of Auburn, Ala., and Anna Tatishvili of Georgia 6-1, 3-6, 10-6 tiebreak to win the doubles title of the $220,000 Bell Challenge in Quebec City.
   Kops-Jones, a former Cal All-American, has won four WTA doubles titles overall and two with Spears. The pair also triumphed in Estoril, Portugal, two years ago.      

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