Thursday, March 1, 2012

Despite 6-0 mark, Stanford women plunge in rankings

   The Stanford women's tennis team is 6-0 with a victory over defending national champion Florida.
   So how did the Cardinal plummet from No. 1 to No. 11 in the nation Tuesday? Did the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) take over the tennis rankings?
   Not exactly.
   Stanford and Florida chose to play each other Feb. 12, with the host Cardinal avenging a heartbreaking loss to the Gators in last year's NCAA team final at Stanford, instead of compete that weekend in the National Women's Team Indoor Championship in Charlottesville, Va. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association, which sanctioned the tournament, compiles the rankings. 
   UCLA won the indoor title, and guess who's ranked No. 1? Yep, the Bruins. UCLA beat No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Cal and No. 7 Cal last month whereas Stanford's other wins came against teams ranked outside the top 25.
   Florida (5-1), meanwhile, tumbled from No. 2 to No. 15.
   Not to worry, Cardinal and Gators fans. New team rankings will be released weekly through April, so order should be restored soon. Also, Stanford's Mallory Burdette and Nicole Gibbs are ranked No. 1 in doubles, and Florida's Allie Will holds the top spot in singles. Burdette won last year's NCAA doubles title with Hilary Barte, who has completed her eligibility.
   Syracuse, aided by freshman Breanna Bachini of Roseville in the Sacramento area, achieved a school-record No. 39 ranking. Bachini, coming off an abdominal injury, is 3-0 at No. 4 singles, 1-3 at No. 3 singles, 1-3 at No. 1 doubles and 0-1 at No. 3 doubles.
   Following are rankings of other Northern California teams and players:
   Women's team -- 7. Cal (6-3); 20. Saint Mary's (5-3); 51. Santa Clara (6-2); 71. Sacramento State (7-3).
   Women's singles -- 3. Jana Juricova (defending NCAA champion), Cal; 7. Burdette; 8. Gibbs; 14. Denise Dy (San Jose), Washington; 15. Zsofi Susanyi, Cal; 40. Stacey Tan (2011 NCAA runner-up), Stanford; 44. Tayler Davis (San Jose), Cal; 53. Ellen Tsay, Stanford; 93. Annie Goransson, Cal; 97. Jenny Jullien, Saint Mary's; 101. Anett Schutting, Cal; 109. Cecelia Estlander, Cal; 112. Catherine Isip, Saint Mary's.
   Women's doubles -- 27. Goransson-Schutting; 33. Juricova-Susanyi.
   Men's team -- 7. Stanford (9-4); 11. Cal (6-5); 37. Santa Clara (8-3).
   Men's singles -- 23. Ryan Thacher, Stanford; 27. Artem Ilyushin (Granite Bay), Mississippi State; 39. Carlos Cueto, Cal; 40. Ben McLachlan, Cal; 94, Nick Andrews (Folsom), Cal; 99. Bradley Klahn (2010 NCAA champion), Stanford; 106. Kyle Dandan, Santa Clara; 110, Thai Tu, USF.
   Men's doubles -- 5. Andrews-Christoffer Konigsfeldt, Cal; 9. Klahn-Thacher (2011 NCAA runners-up); 51. Cueto-McLachlan.
   Bryans fall to nemeses -- Ivo Karlovic and Frank Moser did it again.
   Karlovic, a 6-foot-10 Croat, and Moser, a 6-5 German, upset top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, former NCAA doubles champions from Stanford, 4-6, 6-4, 10-4 tiebreak in the quarterfinals of the Delray Beach (Fla.) International Tennis Championships.
   The teams met for the first time since last year's U.S. Open, in which Karlovic and Moser handed the defending champion Bryan twins their first loss in the opening round of a Grand Slam tournament in 10 years. The following month, Karlovic won the Sacramento and Tiburon Challenger singles titles in consecutive weeks.
   In another doubles quarterfinal at Delray Beach, fourth-seeded Mark Knowles of the Bahamas and Xavier Malisse of Belgium lost to Michal Mertinak of Slovakia and Andre Sa of Brazil 7-6 (4), 6-4.
   Knowles, a 10-year veteran of the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis, and Malisse were playing together in their first tournament since winning the SAP Open in San Jose two weeks ago. Knowles, 40, and Mertinak played together for much of last year.
   In the second round of singles, fourth-seeded Andy Roddick of Austin, Texas, defeated Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-4, 7-5. Roddick avenged a loss to Istomin in the SAP Open quarterfinals after twisting his right ankle in the second round.
   Fish reeled in -- Sixth-seeded Mardy Fish, who's scheduled to play two matches for the Capitals in July, lost to former top-10 player Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-2, 7-6 (0) Wednesday in the second round of the Dubai (United Arab Emirates) Duty Free Tennis Championships.
   Fish, a 30-year-old Los Angeles resident, has the highest ranking among American men or women at No. 8 in the world.  
   Wang, Fruttero advance -- Taiwan's Jimmy Wang, a former top-100 player who trains in the Sacramento area, has reached the singles quarterfinals and doubles semifinals of the Singapore Challenger. Top-seeded John Paul Fruttero, a former Cal All-American who lives in San Jose, and Raven Klaasen of South Africa also gained the doubles semis. 

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