Friday, May 11, 2012

Cohen, Capitals highlight local Challenger field

   American Julia Cohen, ranked a career-high No. 139 in the world, heads the entry list for the $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger.
   The tournament, which moved from Carson, is scheduled for May 28-June 3 at the Gold River Racquet Club in the Sacramento area.
   Cohen has won five singles titles on the ITF Women's Circuit, including two last year. Before turning pro, the 23-year-old Philadelphia resident earned All-America honors at Florida and Miami and reached No. 4 in the world junior rankings in 2007.
   The other seven seeds, barring the addition of top wild cards and the possibility of withdrawals, will be 149th-ranked Tetiana Luzhanska of the Bradenton, Fla., No. 156 CoCo Vandeweghe of Rancho Santa Fe,  No. 173 Sandra Zaniewska of Poland, No. 188 Julia Boserup of Boca Raton, Fla., No. 194 Heidi El Tabakh of Canada, No. 195 Olga Savchuk of Ukraine and No. 206 Grace Min of Norcross, Ga.
   All three female members of the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis -- Vandeweghe, hometown favorite Yasmin Schnack and Asia Muhammed of Henderson, Nev. -- and Maria Sanchez of Modesto also entered the tournament. Sanchez and Schnack have won three doubles titles together this year. 
   Vandeweghe, the 20-year-old niece of former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe, has the most impressive resume of anyone in the field. It helps to be 6-foot-1. Vandeweghe won the 2008 U.S. Open girls singles title, beat then-No. 9 Vera Zvonareva en route to the quarterfinals at San Diego on the WTA tour in 2010 and reached a career-high No. 89 in April 2011.
   Like Vandeweghe, Boserup is a 20-year-old Southern California product (Newport Beach) and tall (5-foot-11). She won $25,000 Challengers in Redding last September and Rancho Santa Fe in February but is 1-9 since the latter title.
   Min, last year's U.S. Open girls singles champion, captured Challenger titles on clay at Innisbrook, Fla., in January and Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., last week (beating Sanchez on Min's 18th birthday Sunday).
   ATP World Tour in Madrid -- Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan and Jean-Julien Rojer, a member of the Capitals from the Netherlands Antilles, extended their doubles winning streak to six matches with a thrilling victory over top seeds and four-time champions Bob and Mike Bryan in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open.
   Qureshi and Rojer, who won last week's Estoril (Portugal) Open, saved five match points in a 4-6, 6-4, 18-16 tiebreak decision over the two-time defending champions and 1998 NCAA doubles titlists from Stanford.
   Qureshi and Rojer will meet seventh-seeded Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, both of India, in today's quarterfinals. Qureshi and Bopanna played together until the end of last year.
    Men's Challenger in Busan, South Korea -- Fourth-seeded John Paul Fruttero, an ex-Cal star living in San Jose, and Uladzimir Ignatik of Belarus outclassed Rik de Voest of South Africa and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the $75,000 Busan Open.
   All four players have had success in singles or doubles in the Sacramento Challenger, with de Voest winning the singles title of the inaugural tournament in 2005.
   Women's Challenger in Raleigh, N.C. -- Top-seeded Alexandra Mueller of Abington, Pa., and Muhammed defeated Cecilia Costa Melgar of Chile and Nicole Martinez of Ecuador in the opening round of the $25,000 Raleigh Women's Challenger. The score was not available.
   Today -- Madrid (men), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 4-8 a.m. (live), 8-10 a.m. (repeat), 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (live), 6-10 p.m. (repeat). Madrid (women), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. (delay), 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday (repeat).
   Saturday -- Madrid (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 2-6 a.m. (live), 12:30-4:30 p.m. (repeat), 9:30-11:30 p.m. (repeat). Madrid (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 6-8:30 a.m. (live), 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (live), 4:30-9:30 p.m. (repeat),. 
   Sunday -- Madrid (women), final, Tennis Channel, 6:30-8:30 a.m. (live), noon-2 p.m. (repeat), 4:30-6:30 p.m. (repeat). Madrid (men), final, Tennis Channel, 9:30 a.m.-noon (live), 2-4:30 p.m. (repeat), 6:30-9 p.m. (repeat).
   Today -- NCAA Division I Women's Team Championships, first round: Saint Mary's vs. Yale at Stanford, 11 a.m.; Stony Brook at Stanford, 2 p.m.; Purdue vs. Pepperdine at Cal, 10 a.m.; Sacramento State at Cal, 1 p.m.
   Saturday -- NCAA Division I Women's Team Championships, second round: Saint Mary's/Yale vs. Stony Brook/Stanford at Stanford, 3 p.m; Purdue/Pepperdine vs. Sacramento State/Cal at Cal, 3 p.m.
   NCAA Division I Men's Team Championships, first round: Santa Clara vs. Texas at Stanford, 9 a.m.; Sac State at Stanford, noon; Texas Tech vs. Cal Poly at Cal, 9 a.m.; Texas-San Antonio at Cal, noon.
   May 13 -- NCAA Division I Men's Team Championships, second round: Santa Clara/Texas vs. Sac State/Stanford, noon; Texas Tech/Cal Poly vs. Cal/Texas-San Antonio at Cal, 1 p.m.
   May 17-22 -- NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Team Championships, Round of 16 through finals, Athens, Ga.
   May 23-28 -- NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Individual Championships, Athens, Ga.
   May 28-June 3 -- $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger, Gold River Racquet Club, 2201 Gold Rush Drive, Gold River.

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