Monday, January 16, 2012

Karlovic defeats nemesis in Australian Open

   Ivo Karlovic picked a good time to earn his first career victory over Jurgen Melzer.
   Karlovic, who won the Sacramento and Tiburon Challengers last October, knocked off the 31st-seeded Melzer 7-6 (3), 7-5, 6-3 Sunday in the first round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   Karlovic, a 6-foot-10 Croat, had been 0-4 against Melzer, an Austrian who has won two Grand Slam doubles titles (both with Philipp Petzschner of Germany).
   Meanwhile, Bernard Tomic outlasted 22nd-seeded Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-2, 7-5. Tomic, a 19-year-old Australian, reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals last year. Verdasco, a Spanish veteran, won the 2010 SAP Open in San Jose and reached last year's final there.  
   Second-seeded Rafael Nadal dismissed American qualifier Alex Kuznetsov, a two-time Sacramento Challenger semifinalist, 6-4, 6-1, 6-1.
   Other first-round winners included:
   --San Francisco native Sam Querrey.
   --Third-seeded Victoria Azarenka, who won the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2010.
   --Eleventh-seeded Kim Clijsters, the defending champion and a four-time Bank of the West winner (2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006).        
   New rankings -- Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
    Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
    Mike Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
    John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- Career-high No. 113 in doubles (+2), unranked in singles.
    Kiryl Harbatsiuk, three-time Big Sky Conference MVP (2009-11) at Sacramento State -- No. 767 in singles (-1), No. 1,244 in doubles (-1).
   Mark Knowles, Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis (2001-07, 2009-11) -- No. 61 in doubles (-4), unranked in singles.
    Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 28 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
    David Martin, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 135 in doubles (-2), No. 760 in singles (-2).
    Conor Niland, 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year and two-time All-American at Cal -- No. 286 in singles (no change), unranked in doubles.
    Sam Querrey, San Francisco native -- No. 95 in singles (-1), No. 36 in doubles (+1).
    Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 43 in singles (-2), No. 203 in doubles (-20).
    Dusan Vemic, Capitals (2010-11) -- No. 503 in doubles (-1), No. 1,513 in singles (-1).
    Jimmy Wang, Folsom resident -- No. 275 in singles (no change), No. 525 in doubles (-1).
Women
    Vania King, Capitals (2010-11) -- No. 6 in doubles (no change), No. 66 in singles (-1).
    Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 36 in doubles (no change), No. 723 in singles (no change).
    Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- No. 268 in doubles (no change), No. 696 in singles (no change).
    Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis (2011) -- No. 181 in doubles (-1), No. 413 in singles (no change).

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