Monday, March 12, 2012

McHale shocks Kvitova as viruses strike Indian Wells

   Illnesses shook the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.
   Third-seeded Petra Kvitova, still battling a virus that caused her to withdraw from Dubai three weeks ago, lost to No. 32 Christina McHale 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the third round at Indian Wells.
   "I lost a little bit of my fitness, so it was tough moving and having winners," Kvitova, the reigning Wimbledon champion and the 2011 WTA Player of the Year, told reporters. "(McHale) was moving very well, so she played a lot of shots back. (And) my serve was not really good, too. She played very solid, and she didn't make mistakes, so it was tough."
   McHale, 19, of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., rallied to set up a match against 18th-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany.
   "I couldn't get a read on (Kvitova's) serve in the first set, and I wasn't really moving very well, either," said McHale, who won the USTA girls 18 national singles and doubles titles in Berkeley in 2009. "Then I just kind of hung in there early in the second. She played one service game where she gave me a couple of loose errors, and then I got more comfortable as the match went along."
   Meanwhile, a virus spreading through the Coachella Valley claimed at least a half-dozen players, including Vania King, Gael Monfils and Jurgen Melzer.
   Also, third-seeded Roger Federer appeared ill after his 6-4, 6-1 victory over American wild card Denis Kudla in the second round, and No. 9 seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia defaulted her third-round match against Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic with a reportedly unrelated virus. Federer is scheduled to face dangerous Milos Raonic, seeded 27th, on Tuesday.
   King, a Sacramento Capitals veteran in World TeamTennis, defaulted from her third-round singles match against Kerber and the second round of doubles with Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany against Australians Casey Dellacqua and Samantha Stosur. Groenefeld and King were seeded eighth.
   Tweeted King: "Just spent one of the worst nights of my life (gruesome details) fever, vomiting, diarrhea .. all at the same time .. caught a bug from someone."
   Wild card Jamie Hampton, a 22-year-old American, defeated Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia 6-2, 6-7 (1), 6-2 in the third round. Hampton, who won the 2010 Redding Challenger and upset 2010 Indian Wells champion Jelena Jankovic in the second round, is scheduled to play fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.
   In the first round of doubles, wild cards Mark Knowles of the Bahamas and Nicolas Almagro of Spain lost to second-seeded Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada 6-3, 7-6 (3). Knowles, a longtime Capitals standout, and Nestor played together for much of their careers, winning three Grand Slam titles.
   Also, former Stanford All-American Scott Lipsky of Huntington Beach and Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia lost to wild cards Matthew Ebden of Australia and Ryan Harrison of Austin, Texas, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 10-4 tiebreak.
   Harbatsiuk wins title -- Top-seeded Kiryl Harbatsiuk of Sacramento defeated second-seeded Sherif Zaher of Folsom 6-2, 6-4 Saturday to win the men's open singles title of the $2,000 Rio Del Oro Open, NTRP, Senior Tournament in Sacramento.
   Both Harbatsiuk, a native of Minsk, Belarus, and Zaher, originally from Cairo, are multiple former Big Sky Conference MVPs at Sacramento State.
   Unseeded Collin Altamirano of Yuba City and Jordan Boyls of Sacramento won the doubles title, beating top-seeded Harbatsiuk and Anton Stryhas 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) Saturday.

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