Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sock reaches quarterfinals despite sprained ankle

   Jack Sock was struggling in his match on two good ankles.
   On one, though, he played fine.
   Despite rolling his left ankle early in the third set, the 19-year-old wild card from Overland Park, Kan., beat Roman Borvanov of Moldova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 Wednesday in the second round of the $100,000 Rely Aid Natomas Racquet Club Challenger in Sacramento.
   Sock, who later won his first-round doubles match with Nicholas Monroe of Chapel Hill, N.C., advanced to the quarterfinals of a Challenger for the second time. Making his Challenger debut last February while still a public high school student, he lost to Australia's Matthew Ebden in Dallas.
   Sock, an upset winner over eighth-seeded James Ward of Great Britain in the first round, is scheduled to meet either top-seeded James Blake of Tampa, Fla., or 6-foot-7 left-hander Chris Guccione of Australia on Friday. Their match was postponed by rain until Thursday at 11 a.m.
   In the only other singles match completed Wednesday, fourth-seeded Bobby Reynolds of Acworth, Ga., extended his winning streak to seven matches with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 victory over 2010 Sacramento quarterfinalist Frederik Nielsen of Denmark. Reynolds, 29, won the singles and doubles titles in the $50,000 Tulsa, Okla., Challenger three weeks ago.
  Two former All-Americans from Bay Area colleges advanced to the doubles quarterfinals.
   John Paul Fruttero, a two-time All-American at Cal (2001-02), and Raven Klaasen of South Africa upset top-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, both of Colombia, 7-6 (6), 6-3. Fruttero, a right-hander who played with a strained ligament in his right index finger, and Klaasen won the last five points of the tiebreaker, saving three set points.
   David Martin, an NCAA singles semifinalist and doubles finalist for Stanford in 2002, and Jordan Kerr of Australia beat wild cards Junaid Hossain and Brian Martinez of Sacramento 6-4, 6-2. 
   Fruttero has reached the doubles final in Sacramento twice, teaming with Mirko Pehar in the inaugural tournament in 2005 and with native Sacramentan Sam Warburg in 2007. Pehar now coaches Croatian countryman Ivo Karlovic, seeded second in this year's Sacramento Challenger. Warburg retired two years ago. 
   Cabal reached the French Open doubles final this year with Eduardo Schwank of Argentina, and Farah won the 2008 NCAA doubles title with USC teammate Kaes Van't Hof.
   Sock, who turned pro in July and won the U.S. Open mixed doubles title with Melanie Oudin last month, appeared to be on his way to an easy victory when he served at 3-2 in the second set. But Borvanov reeled off the next four games to win the set.
   In the first game of the third set, Sock held serve after trailing 15-40 and later double-faulting twice in a row. After Sock served way long for the second double fault, he swatted a ball in the stands and received a warning.
   With Borvanov serving at 0-15 in the next game, Sock hurt his ankle returning a drop shot but won the point. After getting the ankle taped during a three-minute medical timeout, Sock pounded serves and groundstrokes to shorten the points. It worked. He broke serve for 2-0, and both players held the rest of the way.
    "I went for broke on his serve and tried to get free points on my serve (after the injury)," said Sock, who last year became the first American to win the U.S. Open junior boys title since fellow Nebraska native Andy Roddick in 2000. "I did (the latter) pretty well and was able to hold."
   As often happens, the injury seemed to hurt the opponent more than the victim.
   "I personally thought he rolled the ankle pretty bad," said Borvanov, a 29-year-old graduate of the University of Portland. "I tried too much to run him. I knew I had to be aggressive (regardless of the injury), and I think I got tighter.
   "It was already 0-30 in that game. He started slapping the ball -- that was the toughest thing. The quality of his forehand improved after the injury, and he put pressure on me. Also, his service percentage got better. In the second set, I was getting a lot of returns back, but in the third set, he started serving better."
   Sock said he didn't consider retiring from the match. He had a similar experience last December, when he rolled an ankle while leading Denis Kudla 6-2, 3-2 in the semifinals of the Australian Open wild-card playoff in Norcross, Ga. After taking a medical timeout, Sock completed a 6-2, 7-5 victory.
   "I hoped the same thing would happen today," said Sock, who lost to fellow 18-year-old Ryan Harrison 7-6 (3), 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-4 the next day in the wild-card final. "I was fortunate to get the win."
   ATP World Tour -- In match between two players with Sacramento-area ties, Santiago Giraldo of Colombia defeated Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the second round of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.
   Giraldo won the 2009 Sacramento Challenger, beating Jesse Levine of Boca Raton, Fla., in the final. Tursunov, a Moscow native, lives in Folsom.
    Scott Lipsky, Martin's partner in the 2002 NCAA doubles final, and longtime Sacramento Capital Mark Knowles lost in separate doubles matches in the first round of the China Open in Beijing.
   WTA tour -- Fresno's Raquel Kops-Jones, the 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal with Sacramento native Christina Fusano, and Abigail Spears of San Diego lost to second-seeded Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond, who won the U.S. Open women's doubles title last month, 6-1, 3-6, 10-5 tiebreak in the quarterfinals of the China Open.  
   Fourth-seeded Vania King, a Capital who grew up in Long Beach, and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazkhstan routed Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 6-1, 6-2 in the second round. 
   ITF Women's Circuit -- Wild cards Yasmin Schnack of Elk Grove and Maria Sanchez of Modesto lost in the first round of singles in the $50,000 Women's Pro Tennis Classic in Kansas City, Mo.
   Schnack fell to Ashley Weinhold of Spicewood, Texas, 6-2, 7-5, and Sanchez dropped a 7-6 (1), 1-6, 6-2 decision to qualifier Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.         
    RELY AID NATOMAS CHALLENGER
At Natomas Racquet Club
Second-round singles
   Bobby Reynolds (4), Acworth, Ga., def. Frederik Nielsen, Denmark, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. Jack Sock, Overland Park, Kan., def. Roman Borvanov, Moldova, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
First-round doubles
   Sanchai Ratiwatana and Sonchat Ratiwatana, Thailand, def. Laurynas Grigelis, Lithuania, and Uladzimir Ignatik, Belarus, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 15-13 tiebreak. John Paul Fruttero, San Jose, and Raven Klaasen, South Africa, def. Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah (1), Colombia, 7-6 (6), 6-3. Vasek Pospisil, Canada, and Bobby Reynolds, Acworth, Ga., def. Steve Johnson, Orange, and Sam Querrey, Las Vegas, 5-7, 6-3, 17-15 tiebreak. Jordan Kerr, Australia, and David Martin (4), Huntington Beach, def. Junaid Hossain and Brian Martinez, Sacramento, 6-4, 6-2. Frederik Nielsen, Denmark, and Travis Parrott (3), Portland, Ore., def. Pierre-Ludovic Duclos, Canada, and Adam Hubble, Australia, 6-1, 6-4.
Thursday's schedule
(Beginning at 11 a.m.)
Center Court 
   Blake (1) vs. Guccione, Estrella vs. Karlovic (2), Gremelmayr vs. Querrey (3), Kerr and Martin (4) vs. Rettenmaier and Stadler.
Court 1
   Kuznetsov vs. Van der Merwe (6), Phau vs. Ignatik, Ratiwatana and Ratiwatana vs. Ball and Guccione.
Court 2
   De Bakker vs. Duclos, Pospisil and Reynolds vs. Nielsen and Parrott (3), Fruttero and Klaasen vs. Monroe and Sock.

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