Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lipsky continues skid after strong first half of year

   Scott Lipsky had an outstanding first half of the year.
   The second half has been another story.
   The doubles specialist and former Stanford All-American suffered his fourth consecutive first-round loss Wednesday, falling with Rajeev Ram to Oliver Marach of Austria and David Marrero of Spain 7-6 (7), 6-1 in the $905,000 Erste Bank Open in Vienna.
   Playing primarily with Ram, Lipsky won three ATP World Tour titles (San Jose, Delray Beach and Barcelona) and three Challenger crowns (Singapore, Dallas and Athens) and reached another ATP final (Johannesburg) from January through April.
   In the Barcelona final on clay, Lipsky and first-time partner Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico saved four match points and beat Bob and Mike Bryan, arguably the greatest doubles team in history, 5-7, 6-2, 12-10 tiebreak.
   Lipsky, the doubles champion of the inaugural Sacramento Challenger in 2005 with ex-Stanford teammate David Martin, also reached the French Open quarterfinals with Ram and won the mixed doubles title there with Casey Dellacqua of Australia for his first Grand Slam crown.
   Since then, however, Lipsky's best results have been two semifinals on the ATP World Tour. The 30-year-old Huntington Beach resident is ranked 27th in doubles, down from his career high of No. 25 on Oct. 3.
   WTA Championships -- As Vania King of the Sacramento Capitals noted in her blog from the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul, the doubles draw will be held Thursday. King is playing with Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova, who's also blogging at wtatennis.com.
   The four-team doubles field also features Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia, Americans Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond, and defending champions Gisela Dulko of Argentina and Flavia Pennetta of Italy.
   Ilyushin falls in doubles -- Artem Ilyushin, a senior at Mississippi State from Granite Bay, and Gilad Ben Zvi of Israel lost to Andrei Daescu of Romania and Milan Pokrajac of Canada 7-6 (6), 6-3 in the doubles quarterfinals of the $10,000 Players' Choice Open in Birmingham, Ala.
   Ilyushin is scheduled to meet wild card Austin Smith of Atlanta on Thursday in the second round of singles.

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