Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mike Bryan sick; twins' Indian Wells drought continues

   This time, it wasn't their fault.
   Bob and Mike Bryan's doubles title drought at Indian Wells continued Wednesday when Mike became the latest victim of the virus sweeping the Coachella Valley.
   The top seeds and former NCAA doubles champions from Stanford defaulted their quarterfinal doubles match against the sixth-seeded Polish team of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski. At least a dozen players have succumbed to the virus, which causes fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
   The 33-year-old Bryan twins, Los Angeles-area natives and arguably the greatest men's doubles team ever, have played at Indian Wells for the past 14 years but never won the title. They reached the final in 2003 and 2006.
   Another American pair, John Isner and Sam Querrey, defeated Richard Gasquet of France and Paul Hanley of Australia 6-7 (5), 6-1, 10-6 tiebreak in a matchup of unseeded teams. Isner, 6-foot-9, and Querrey, a 6-6 San Francisco native, have won all three of their tournament outings in match tiebreakers. They will face second-seeded Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada in the semifinals.  
    Nestor, 39, has won the Indian Wells doubles title four times (1997, 2002, 2005 and 2006), all with Mark Knowles, but Mirnyi, 34, never has. Nestor was named the World TeamTennis Male Rookie of the Year in 2003 while playing for the Sacramento Capitals, and Knowles will return to the team for the 11th year in July.
   Isner, seeded 11th in singles, defeated qualifier Matthew Ebden of Australia 6-4, 7-5 to reach the Indian Wells quarterfinals for the first time. Isner will meet 13th-seeded Gilles Simon, who beat 19-year-old American Ryan Harrison 7-6 (0), 5-7, 6-1.
   Third-seeded Roger Federer extended his winning streak to 12 matches with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over unseeded Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil. Federer, a three-time Indian Wells champion (2004-06), will face ninth-seeded Juan Martin Del Potro or unseeded Denis Istomin.
   The other men's singles quarterfinals are No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 12 Nicolas Almagro and No. 2 Rafael Nadal vs. unseeded David Nalbandian.
   In women's singles, top-ranked Victoria Azarenka of Belarus improved to 21-0 this year with a 6-0, 6-2 thrashing of fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in the quarterfinals. Azarenka almost shut out Radwanska, serving at 6-0, 5-0, 30-0.
   "If she plays like that, she's not going to lose any match soon," Radwanska told reporters. "She has been on fire the last few months. She's very, very consistent, playing very good tennis from the first to the last ball. She moves well and hits the ball really well. You know, it's just really hard to play against her."
   Azarenka's start is the best since Serena Williams had the same record in 2003. If Azarenka beats 18th-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany on Friday, she will have the best start since Marina Hingis' 37-0 in 1997.
   In the other quarterfinals today, No. 2 seed and 2006 Indian Wells champion Maria Sharapova will take on No. 20 Maria Kirilenko in an all-Russian matchup, and No. 7 seed and 2011 runner-up Marion Bartoli will go against No. 15 and 2008 titlist Ana Ivanovic.
   College rankings -- Cal's Nick Andrews (Folsom) and Christoffer Konigsfeldt improved from No. 5 to No. 2 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association men's doubles rankings.
   Also, the Stanford women (10-0 overall, 4-0 Pacific-12 Conference) moved up from No. 5 to No. 3. The Cal women (9-4, 2-0), who have been without reigning NCAA singles champion Jana Juricova for undisclosed reasons since Feb. 12, moved up one spot to No. 9.  
   Other rankings:
   Women's team -- No. 28 Saint Mary's (7-5, 1-0 West Coast Conference); No. 64 Sacramento State (9-7, 4-0 Big Sky Conference).
   Women's singles -- No. 4 Nicole Gibbs, Stanford; No. 5 Mallory Burdette, Stanford; No. 6 Juricova, Cal; No. 11. Denise Dy (San Jose), Washington; No. 17 Zsofi Susanyi, Cal; No. 38 Katie Le, Santa Clara; No. 44 Stacey Tan, Stanford; No. 52 Ellen Tsay, Stanford; No. 54 Tayler Davis (San Jose), Cal; No. 66. Anett Schutting, Cal; No. 88. Jenny Jullien, Saint Mary's; No. 100 Annie Goransson, Cal; No. 121 Kristie Ahn, Stanford.
   Women's doubles -- No. 2 Burdette-Gibbs, Stanford; No. 27 Goransson-Schutting, Cal; No. 35. Tan-Tsay, Stanford; No. 38 Juricova-Susanyi, Cal.
   Men's team -- No. 9 Stanford (10-4, 0-0 Pac-12); No. 12 Cal (7-7, 0-0 Pac-12); No. 35 Santa Clara (13-1, 0-0 West Coast Conference).
   Men's singles -- No. 14 Artem Ilyushin (Granite Bay), Mississippi State; No. 23 Ryan Thacher, Stanford; No. 39 Ben McLachlan, Cal; No. 43 Carlos Cueto, Cal; No. 72 Andrews (Folsom), Cal; No. 74 Bradley Klahn, Stanford; No. 124. Thai Tu, USF.
   Men's doubles -- No. 9 Klahn-Thacher, Stanford; No. 27 Cueto-McLachlan, Cal; No. 69 John Morrissey-Thacher, Stanford.

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