Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Former top-15 player heads Gold River field

   Elena Bovina, who reached No. 14 in the world in 2005, and promising Tennys Sandgren head the updated entry lists for their respective professional tournaments during the next two weeks in the Sacramento area.
   Qualifying is set for Sunday and Monday in the FSP Women's USTA $50,000 Challenger at the Gold River Racquet Club in Gold River. Main-draw matches are scheduled for Tuesday through June 3.
   The men's $15,000 Tennis Town Pro Tennis at Park Terrace begins with qualifying on June 2 and ends June 10. The tournament will be held at the Park Terrace Swim & Tennis Club in south Sacramento.  
   The top three early entrants in the FSP Challenger -- No. 139 Julia Cohen, No. 152 Tetiana Luzhanska and No. 156 CoCo Vandeweghe -- withdrew along with other players. Cohen and Vandeweghe, a member of the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis, remain alive in qualifying for the French Open, which begins Sunday.
   Bovina, whose career was derailed by shoulder and foot injuries, is the highest-ranked remaining player at No. 243. Other entrants include Capitals Yasmin Schnack, a Sacramento-area resident, and Asia Muhammed; Maria Sanchez of Modesto; and Alexandra Stevenson, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 1999 and the daughter of basketball legend Julius Erving.
   Meanwhile, 264th-ranked Matt Reid of Australia pulled out of the Park Terrace tournament. That tentatively makes the 20-year-old Sandgren, ranked No. 317, the top seed.
   Also set to play are Chris Guccione, a 6-foot-7 left-hander from Australia who reached No. 67 in the world in 2008; Devin Britton, the 2009 NCAA champion as a Mississippi freshman; and Bjorn Fratangelo, who last year joined John McEnroe as the only Americans to win the French Open boys singles title in the Open Era.
   Bovina, a 29-year-old Russian, is by far the most accomplished player in the FSP Challenger. In fact, the 6-foot-2 right-hander has a Grand Slam title to her credit. In 2004, Bovina and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia defeated Martina Navratilova and Leander Paes for the Australian Open mixed doubles title.
   Bovina also reached the mixed doubles final of the 2002 French Open with Mark Knowles, a longtime doubles star for the Capitals.
   In singles, Bovina reached the quarterfinals of the 2002 U.S. Open and the fourth round of the 2003 Australian Open and 2005 French Open.
   Bovina has won three singles and five doubles titles on the WTA tour, the major leagues of women's tennis, and she played on Russia's victorious Fed Cup team in 2005.
   Sandgren has won four singles crowns on the Futures circuit, equivalent to the low minor leagues in baseball, since reaching the NCAA singles semifinals last year at Stanford as a Tennessee sophomore and turning pro. He was not named after tennis.
   “It was my great-grandfather’s name,” Sandgren, from Gallatin, Tenn., was quoted as saying in last year's Tennessee media guide. “He was also Tennys Sandgren. He did not play tennis. No relation to the sport of tennis. It’s Swedish. And a family name.”
   FSP Challenger tickets, which begin at $5, can be purchased at or at the tournament. Admission to the Park Terrace tourney is free.
   NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga. -- Stanford junior Stacey Tan, last year's runner-up from Lakewood in the Los Angeles area, lost to Rice's Natalie Beazant, a freshman from England, 7-5, 6-2 in a first-round matchup of unseeded players in women's singles.  
   Sixth seed and defending champion Jana Juricova of Cal outclassed Kate Turvy of Northwestern 6-3, 6-1. Also advancing with easy victories were Stanford's Nicole Gibbs, seeded third, and Mallory Burdette, seeded fifth. Burdette will meet Washington's Denise Dy, a senior from San Jose who beat Marianne Jodoin of Fresno State 6-4, 7-6 (3).
   Cal freshman Zsofi Susanyi, seeded 9-16, downed Nebraska's Mary Weatherholt 6-4, 7-5, but two other Bears lost. Tayler Davis, a junior from San Jose, fell to Joelle Kissell of North Carolina State 7-5, 6-1, and Anett Schutting succumbed to Lindsey Hardenbergh of Virginia 6-1, 6-4. Katie Le of the University of Santa Clara fell to Abigail Tere-Apisah of Georgia State 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-0.
   On the men's side, Stanford senior Bradley Klahn returned to the site of his 2010 NCAA singles crown and knocked off fourth-seeded Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia 7-5, 6-3 in the opening round. Klahn, a 6-foot left-hander from the San Diego suburb of Poway, is unseeded at No. 36 in the national rankings after undergoing surgery for a herniated disc in the offseason.
  Stanford senior Ryan Thacher fell to Gonzalo Escobar of Texas Tech 6-3, 7-6 (5).
  Both Cal men lost to Mississippi State players, one from the Sacramento area. No. 9-16 seed Artem Ilyushin, a senior from Granite Bay, routed Ben McLachlan 6-1, 6-3, and George Coupland rallied past senior Nick Andrews of Folsom in the Sacramento area 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4.
   On Tuesday, USC won its fourth consecutive NCAA men's title and Florida its second straight women's crown. The top-ranked Trojans (33-1) scored a 4-2 victory over No. 2 Virginia (29-2) in a rematch of last year's final at Stanford, and the Gators (27-1) coasted to a 4-0 win over No. 1 UCLA (26-3).
   USC and Florida were led Steve Johnson and Allie Will, respectively. Both are ranked No. 1 nationally in  singles.
   Bank of the West Classic -- Jelena Jankovic and Nadia Petrova -- formerly ranked No. 1 and 3 in the world, respectively -- will join defending champion Serena Williams and two-time winner Marion Bartoli in this summer's Bank of the West Classic at Stanford.
   Jankovic played in the tournament from 2002 through 2006 and in 2009, reaching the quarterfinals three times. The 27-year-old Serb, now ranked No. 21, has won 12 singles titles and one doubles crown on the WTA tour. She gained the final of the U.S. Open in 2008.
   Petrova, a 29-year-old Russian, will make her fourth appearance in the Bank of the West Classic. She lost in the first round in 2003 and 2008 and the second round in 2009. Petrova, now ranked No. 29, has won 10 singles and 20 doubles crowns on the WTA circuit, and she has reached the singles quarterfinals or better in all four Grand Slam tournaments.
   Tickets to the Bank of the West Classic, July 9-15 at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium on the Stanford campus, are available at (866) WTA-TIXS or
   Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Michael Chang -- all International Tennis Hall of Famers from the United States -- will play a series of exhibition matches July 11-13.
   Admission to qualifying, July 7-8, is free. 
   Clijsters to retire (again) -- Former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters announced she will retire, for the second time, after this year's U.S. Open. The Belgian, who will turn 29 on June 8, has captured the singles title at Flushing Meadows three times.
   Clijsters has won the Bank of the West Classic four times but hasn't played in the tournament since 2006. She has not entered this year, either. 
   Open de Nice Cote d'Azur in Nice, France -- Qualifier Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native who's scheduled to play five matches for the Capitals, lost to Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan 6-2, 7-5 in the first round of the clay-court tournament. 
   However, wild cards Querrey and John Isner upset second-seeded Rohan Bopanna of India and David Marrero of Spain 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of doubles.
   Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, the 1998 NCAA doubles champions from Stanford, eked out a 4-6, 6-2, 10-7 tiebreak win over Daniele Bracciali of Italy and Jamie Murray of Great Britain to reach the semifinals.
   The Bryans, the 34-year-old twin sons of Capitals coach Wayne Bryan, will face third-seeded Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands Antilles. Qureshi and Rojer defeated  Scott Lipsky, an NCAA doubles runner-up in 2002 from Stanford, and Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., 6-3, 6-2. 
   World Team Cup in Dusseldorf, Germany -- Folsom resident Dmitry Tursunov went 1-1 as Russia lost to Serbia 2-1 in the Power Horse World Team Cup on clay in Dusseldorf, Germany.
   Tursunov lost to Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-2 and teamed with Igor Kunitsyn to beat Miki Jankovic and Nenad Zimonjic 7-5, 7-6 (6).  It was Tursunov's first victory in singles or doubles since he and Zimonjic reached the doubles semifinals at Doha in the first week of the year.
   Tursunov, a 29-year-old Moscow native, is playing his second tournament since missing three months with a strained tendon in his left wrist,
   Russia, 0-2 in the Blue Group, will finish round-robin play against Croatia. The winners of the Blue Group and the Red Group will meet in Saturday's final. 
   French Open -- Mardy Fish, the top-ranked American man at No. 10 in the world, withdrew from the year's second Grand Slam tournament because of fatigue. Fish, who has played only one match since late March, is still scheduled to play on grass at Queen's Club in London and at Wimbledon before joining the Capitals for home matches on July 12 and July 13.
   Taiwan's Jimmy Wang, who trains with Tursunov in Granite Bay, lost to Pedro Sousa of Portugal 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the first round of French Open qualifying.  
   ITF Women's Circuit in Sumter, S.C. -- Romana Tedjakusuma, an Indonesian living in Tracy, dismissed Nika Kukharchuk of Russia 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the $10,000 Palmetto Pro Open in Sumter, S.C. 
   In the opening round of doubles, qualifiers Tedjakusuma and Diana Ospina of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., routed American wild cards Madeleine Kobelt and Komal Safdar 6-2, 6-1.
   Tedjakusuma, 35, is ranked No. 732 in the world. She reached No. 82 at 17 years old in 1994 but left the circuit to attend Nicholls State in Thibodaux, La. 
(All times PDT)
   Sunday -- French Open, early rounds, ESPN2, 2-7 a.m. (live); Tennis Channel,
7 a.m.-noon (live); NBC, 9 a.m.-noon (live); Tennis Channel, 4-7 p.m. (French Open Tonight). 
   Monday-June 1 -- French Open, early rounds, ESPN2, 2-7 a.m. (live); Tennis Channel,
7 a.m.-4 p.m. (live), 4-7 p.m. (French Open Tonight).
   Through Monday -- NCAA Division I Singles and Doubles Championships, men and women, Athens, Ga.,,
   Sunday-June 3 -- $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger, Gold River Racquet Club, 2201 Gold Rush Drive, Gold River,
   June 2-10 -- $15,000 Sacramento Men's Futures, Park Terrace Swim & Tennis Club, 5500 Parkfield Court, Sacramento,
   June 9-10, 16-18 -- NorCal 18 Junior Sectional Championships, Sacramento State,
   June 9-17 -- $15,000 Chico Men's Futures, Chico Racquet Club & Resort, 1629 Manzanita Ave.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford,
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m.,
   July 12 -- World TeamTennis, Capitals' home opener (with Mardy Fish) vs. Kansas City, Sunrise Marketplace Stadium, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m.,
   Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
   Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 3 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 3 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, Sacramento Capitals (2012) of World TeamTennis -- No. 10 in singles (-1), No. 724 in doubles (-268).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- No. 92 in doubles (-9), unranked in singles.
   Mark Knowles, Capitals (2001-07, 2009-12), three-time World TeamTennis Male MVP (2001, 2005 and 2007) -- No. 82 in doubles (-2), unranked in singles.
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 38 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Conor Niland, 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year and two-time All-American at Cal -- No. 341 in singles (+2), unranked in doubles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012) -- No. 71 in singles (+18), No. 61 in doubles (-1).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 87 in singles (-1), No. 242 in doubles (-17).
   Jimmy Wang, Folsom resident -- No. 192 in singles (+3), No. 381 in doubles (+2).
   Pedro Zerbini, All-Pacific-10 Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- No. 685 in singles (-2), No. 1,397 in doubles (-6).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 24 in doubles (-1), No. 725 in singles (-4).
   Asia Muhammed, Capitals (2012) -- No. 196 in doubles (+10), No. 469 in singles (+5).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- Career-high No. 146 in doubles (no change), No. 283 in singles (no change).
   Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Capitals (2011-12) -- No. 148 in doubles (-1), No. 394 in singles (no change).
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy resident -- No. 732 in singles (-5), unranked in doubles.
   CoCo Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 156 in singles (-1), No. 291 in doubles (-7).

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