Monday, November 14, 2011

Tappan, Boyls take Sacramento Clay Court title

   He's the king of clay in Sacramento.
   At least in doubles.
   Mark Tappan of El Dorado Hills on Sunday became the first player in the five-year history of the Sacramento Clay Court League to win two titles.
   Tappan and Jordan Boyls of Sacramento defeated Chris Evers and Dave Hagiwara, both of Folsom, 6-4, 6-4 in Orangevale in the final of the doubles league to split $1,200. Evers and Hagiwara divided $500.
   "We put more balls in play on returns and (converted) more first serves," said the 53-year-old Tappan, who also won the 2008 title with Bobby Reynolds.
   Added Boyls, 33: "When we had to make the return on break point, more times than not, we came away with it."
   Even though the left-handed Evers has the hardest serve of the finalists, he suffered three of the four service breaks in the match.
   "I think we both like the pace," Tappan, who also was broken, said while looking at his partner.
   Boyls agreed about facing Evers' serve.
   "You don't have to do as much with it," he said. "I had a harder time with Dave's serve because I had to move around to hit it."
   Evers, 42, didn't use the slow clay as an excuse.
   "They hit some returns and put pressure on my serve," he said. "My first-serve percentage could have been higher."
   Evers, however, repeatedly came through under pressure. He held from 0-40 for 3-4 in the first set and saved two match points to hold for 4-5 in the second set. Serving for the match, Tappan double-faulted on a third match point before he and Boyls prevailed.    
   In the third-place contest, Bryan Paveglio and Mike Smith outlasted Dan Becker and John Spoerl 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to split $300.
   Sanchez, Schnack fall in doubles final -- The unseeded Northern California team of Maria Sanchez and Yasmin Schnack lost to fourth-seeded Jamie Hampton of Auburn, Ala., and Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia 3-6, 6-3, 10-6 in the doubles final of the $75,000 Goldwater Women's Tennis Classic in Phoenix.
   Sanchez, from Modesto, and Schnack, who resides in the Sacramento suburb of Elk Grove, were seeking their second title of the year. They won at Redding, Calif., in September.
   Sesil Karatantcheva, a Bulgaria native who plays for Kazakhstan, defeated Michelle Larcher De Brito, a former Sacramento Capital from Portugal, 6-1, 7-5 for the singles crown.
   Four years ago at 14, Larcher De Brito helped the Capitals win the World TeamTennis title.
   Karatantcheva, 22, reached the 2005 French Open quarterfinals at 15 and ended that year at a career-high No. 35. The following January, however, she was suspended for two years after testing positive twice for nandrolone.
   With her Phoenix title, Karatantcheva rose 37 spots in the world rankings to No. 138.
   NorCal karma -- Three of the five singles champions on the men's Challenger circuit last week have reached Northern California finals.
   Germany's Tobias Kamke, the titlist at Tiburon last year, prevailed on hardcourt in Loughborough, England. Former Sacramento Challenger runners-up Jesse Levine (2009) and Rajeev Ram (2006) triumphed on hardcourt in Knoxville, Tenn., and on carpet in Ortisei, Italy, respectively.
   In the past two weeks, Ram was won two Challenger titles, and Levine has captured one and reached the final as a qualifier in another.
   Former Knoxville doubles champions include Dmitry Tursunov (2002 with now-retired Martin Verkerk of the Netherlands) and Sam Warburg (2007 with Harel Levy of Israel).
   Tursunov, a Moscow native, lives in the Sacramento suburb of Folsom. Warburg, a former Stanford star from Sacramento, retired in 2009. He lives in San Francisco and works for a venture capital firm in Palo Alto.

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