Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hobbling Roddick falls to Istomin in SAP quarterfinals

   He could have withdrawn before the SAP Open like Lleyton Hewitt, Bernard Tomic and James Blake.
   He could have quit Wednesday night like Gael Monfils.
   And he could have pulled out before his quarterfinal on Friday night.
   But second-seeded Andy Roddick, battered like an NFL player, soldiered on and predictably lost to unseeded Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-4 at HP Pavilion.
   As usual, Roddick didn't exactly go down gracefully. The Associated Press reported that he "slammed one racket, broke another, argued with the chair umpire and shouted back at his own box. At one point, he smacked a ball high into the black curtains behind the far baseline grandstand."
   The three-time SAP Open champion, still recovering from a partially torn tendon in his right hamstring suffered during the Australian Open last month, twisted his right ankle during his second-round victory Wednesday night.
   "It would be abnormal if you weren't frustrated," Roddick, who still plans to defend his title next week in Memphis, told reporters after losing to Istomin. "The question is, how do you figure your way through it?"
   Istomin, a 25-year-old Russia native who plays for Uzbekistan, reached the SAP Open semifinals for the second time in three years. Also a quarterfinalist last year, he will meet fifth-seeded Julien Benneteau of France at 7:30 tonight (Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and Tennis Channel) for a berth in the final.
   Benneteau, a 30-year-old veteran playing in the SAP Open for the first time this year, eliminated unseeded Steve Darcis of Belgium 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
   Benneteau is 2-0 against Istomin, winning all five of their sets 6-4. That includes a three-set triumph in the second round of last year's U.S. Open.
   In today's 1 p.m. semifinal (Comcast SportsNet California and Tennis Channel), third seed and defending champion Milos Raonic, 21, of Canada will face unseeded Ryan Harrison, 19, of Bradenton, Fla.
   Raonic, 6-foot-5, edged sixth-seeded Kevin Anderson, a 6-8 South African, 7-5, 7-6 (3). Raonic pounded 16 aces to Anderson's 14 and never faced a break point.
   Harrison downed qualifier Dimitar Kutrovsky 6-1, 6-4 to become the first teenager to reach the SAP Open semifinals since Andy Murray won the 2006 and 2007 titles at 18 and 19, respectively.    
   Harrison beat Raonic 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-4 in the third round at Indian Wells last year in their only previous meeting.
   Sanchez stays hot -- Maria Sanchez of Modesto reached the singles semifinals and doubles final at the $25,000 City of Surprise (Ariz.) Women's Tennis Classic.
   Sanchez, a singles qualifier, beat unseeded Olga Puchkova of Russia 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 to advance to a meeting with eighth-seeded Claire Feuerstein of France.
   In doubles, fourth-seeded Sanchez and Yasmin Schnack of Elk Grove in the Sacramento area dominated top-seeded Wan-Ting Liu and Shuai Zhang of China 6-2, 6-0. Sanchez and Schnack -- former rivals at USC and UCLA, respectively -- will take on third-seeded Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania and Valeria Solovieva of Russia in Sunday's final.
   Stanford men advance -- No. 9 Stanford beat No. 7 Baylor 4-2 in the first round of the National Men's Team Indoor Championship at Charlottesville, Va.
   Bradley Klahn, the 2010 NCAA singles champion who had missed Stanford's first nine matches with an undisclosed injury, defeated Marko Krickovic 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 singles and teamed with Ryan Thacher to beat Roberto Maytin and Mate Zsiga 8-6 at No. 1 doubles. Klahn and Thacher reached the NCAA doubles final at Stanford last May, losing to Jeff Dadamo and Austin Krajicek of Texas A&M.
   No. 13 Cal (4-3) lost 4-0 to No. 4 Georgia (7-0). Stanford (7-3) will face host Virginia today in the quarterfinals.
   Other colleges -- The Sacramento State women defeated visiting Portland State 7-0 in a Big Sky Conference match and host UC Davis 5-2. The Hornets improved to 4-3 (1-0 in the Big Sky), and the Aggies fell to 3-7.
   The UC Davis men (3-4) routed visiting Weber State 6-0.

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