Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sacramento finally lands women's pro tournament

   A women's professional tournament finally is coming to the Sacramento area.
   The $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger is scheduled for May 27-June 3 at the Gold River Racquet Club. Since pro tennis returned to Sacramento in 2005 after 33 years, the area has hosted many men's Challengers and Futures -- comparable to Triple-A and Class-A baseball, respectively -- but none for women.
   The Gold River Challenger, the only $50,000 women's tournament in California, replaces Carson on the calendar. Last year's champions were top-seeded Camila Giorgi, an Italian ranked No. 197 in the world at the time, in singles and fourth-seeded Alexandra Mueller of Abington, Pa., and Asia Muhammed of Las Vegas in doubles. Yasmin Schnack of Elk Grove in the Sacramento area reached the singles quarterfinals and the doubles final (with since-retired Christina Fusano, a Sacramento native).
   Muhammed, who will turn 21 on April 4, and Schnack, 23, will be teammates on the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis in July.
   Schnack plans to play at Gold River and probably will be joined by Maria Sanchez of Modesto, said tournament director Kelly Wilson. Schnack and Sanchez -- former rivals as UCLA and USC All-Americans, respectively -- play doubles together on the Challenger circuit.
   The Capitals played home matches at Gold River for 15 years, leaving for Sunrise Mall in 2002 because of complaints from homeowners about traffic, noise and lights. The team returned to Sunrise Mall last season after four years at the Galleria in Roseville.
   New rankings -- Doubles specialist John Paul Fruttero, a former Cal All-American, cracked the top 100 for the first time at age 30. Fruttero, who lives in San Jose, rose six spots to No. 99 by winning the $50,000 Challenger in Pingguo, China, with Raven Klaasen of South Africa.
   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.
   Mardy Fish, Sacramento Capitals (2012) of World TeamTennis -- No. 8 in singles (no change), No. 105 in doubles (-1).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- Career-high No. 99 in doubles (+6), unranked in singles.
   Kiryl Harbatsiuk, three-time Big Sky Conference MVP (2009-11) at Sacramento State -- No. 768 in singles (-2), No. 1,249 in doubles (+2).
   Mark Knowles, Capitals (2001-07, 2009-12) -- No. 72 in doubles (-11), unranked in singles.
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 35 in doubles (+2), unranked in singles.
   David Martin, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 152 in doubles (+4), No. 762 in singles (-5).
   Conor Niland, 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year and two-time All-American at Cal -- No. 313 in singles (+5), unranked in doubles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native -- No. 102 in singles (-17), No. 28 in doubles (+7).
   Jean-Julien Rojer, Capitals (2012) -- No. 38 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 65 in singles (-4), No. 224 in doubles (-2).
   Jimmy Wang, Folsom resident -- No. 188 in singles (+21), No. 386 in doubles (+29).
Women
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- Career-high No. 28 in doubles (no change), No. 712 in singles (+2).
   Asia Muhammed, Capitals (2012) -- No. 182 in doubles (+4), No. 381 in singles (+6).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- Career-high No. 187 in doubles (+4), career-high No. 383 in singles (+97).
   Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Capitals (2011-12) -- Career-high No. 169 in doubles (no change), career-high No. 372 in singles (+5).
   Coco Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 169 in singles (-10), No. 415 in doubles (+4).

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