Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Roseville's Bachini 'proud' despite Challenger loss

   Breanna Bachini shouldn't even have been on the court.
   But she couldn't resist the chance to play a $50,000 tournament in her hometown.
   Playing with a bone spur and plantar fasciitis in her left foot, the 19-year-old wild card from the Sacramento suburb of Roseville fell to veteran Whitney Jones of St. Louis 6-2, 6-3 Tuesday in the first round of the FSP Gold River Women's Challenger at the Gold River Racquet club.
Breanna Bachini, a 19-year-old wild card from Roseville, fell
to veteran Whitney Jones in the first round of the $50,000
FSP Gold River Women's Challenger. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Bachini, who finished her freshman year at Syracuse two weeks ago, had never played in the main draw of a professional tournament or in one offering more than $10,000.
   Bachini lost her serve twice in each set against the 25-year-old Jones and never earned a break point. Unforced errors, combined with Jones' power and quickness, proved fatal.
   Still, the 5-foot-6 Bachini displayed a surprisingly powerful serve, a punishing forehand and a fiery spirit. Literally from the first point, she exhorted herself with cries of "C'mon" after points she won and thigh slaps after those she lost.
   Afterward, Bachini was hardly discouraged.
   "I played really well considering I didn't have a lot of time to prepare," she said. "I didn't hit for a month before I came home two weeks ago. ... I've been trying to get as physically fit as possible and playing through pain, but this was a huge opportunity.
   "I'm disappointed I didn't get the result I wanted, but I'm proud of myself that I did everything I could after all the struggles I've been through the past year."
   Bachini chose Syracuse because she thought coach Luke Jensen, known in his playing days as "Dual Hand Luke" because of his ambidextrous feats, could help her reach the pros with his impressive playing background and his gung-ho attitude. In 1993, Jensen won the French Open men's doubles title with his brother, Murphy, and attained a career-high doubles ranking of No. 6 in the world.
   Injuries, though, derailed Bachini's freshman season. She pulled a stomach muscle. Overuse, she said, created the spur. And a problem with her orthotics (shoe inserts), which she has worn since she was 14, might have caused the plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of the foot).
   "I have to wear orthotics the rest of my life," Bachini explained. "I have no arches. At Syracuse, they gave me new orthotics and mistakenly made them half an inch higher on my left foot. The doctor here thinks that caused the plantar fasciitis.
   "It also put stress on the pelvic area that I had strained. As you can imagine, coming home and finding out, I wasn't too thrilled. Orthotics are supposed to prevent plantar fasciitis, not cause it."
    Bachini finished her freshman season 4-5 in singles (3-1 at No. 4) and 1-5 in doubles (1-3 at No. 1). But she won four straight singles matches in victories over Cincinnati, No. 55 Boston College, No. 60 Harvard and Temple to help Syracuse crack the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings for the first time in school history at No. 73.
   "Beating Boston College and Harvard helped us get on the map," Bachini said. "It was great to be a part of that."
   The Orange later beat No. 25 Yale, although Bachini lost at No. 3 singles, for the biggest win in program history to reach a school-record No. 39.
   Bachini said she will play no more tournaments this summer in an effort to get healthy for her sophomore season. She does not plan to have surgery.
   "When I go back to Syracuse, I'm going to be pounding it hard," Bachini said. "I don't want to have another year like last one that was all about injuries."          
   In other Gold River Challenger matches:
   --Former Sacramento State star Tatsiana Kapshai advanced to the main draw with a 6-3, 6-2 victory in qualifying over seventh-seeded Simone Kalhorn, an ex-Syracuse standout from Colorado Springs, Colo.
   Kapshai, a Belarus native who has won the last three Big Sky Conference MVP awards, plays second-seeded Ashley Weinhold of Spicewood, Texas, today in the third match on Court 7. The first one begins at 11 a.m.
   --Second-seeded Asia Muhammed of Las Vegas and Yasmin Schnack of Elk Grove in the Sacramento area topped Americans Nadia Echevarria Alam and Elizabeth Ferris 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of doubles.
   Rooting for Muhammed and Schnack at courtside was Wayne Bryan, the coach of the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis. In July, Schnack will return for her second season with the Capitals, and Muhammed will make her WTT debut with the team.
   See below for Tuesday's full results from the Gold River Challenger and Wednesday's schedule.
   French Open in Paris -- You just never know with free-spirited Dmitry Tursunov.
   For one thing, clay is the hard-hitting Russian's worst surface. The longtime Sacramento-area resident lost in the first round of singles at the French Open from 2009 through 2011. Yet between 2007 and 2009, he reached the doubles quarterfinals, semifinals and quarterfinals with countryman Igor Kunitsyn.
   Tursunov, a Moscow native, came into this year's tournament with an eight-match overall losing streak in singles dating to last October. A right-hander with a two-handed backhand, he had strained a tendon in his left wrist last September. He tried to play through the injury until finally sitting out for three months earlier this year.
   So what does the 88th-ranked Tursunov do Tuesday in the first round of the French Open? He dismisses Go Soeda of Japan 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. Granted, the 5-foot-10, 148-pound Soeda wasn't going to blow Tursunov off the court. But Soeda, who won the 2009 Tiburon Challenger, is ranked a career-high No. 58.
   Tursunov has a tough assignment in the second round against a seeded Frenchman. No. 29 Julien Benneteau, who reached the semifinals in his San Jose debut in February, advanced with a 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4 victory over Germany's Mischa Zverev, ironically another Moscow native.
   Tursunov and Benneteau have split their two meetings (both on hardcourt). That figures, as they are remarkably similar.
   Benneteau is 30, Tursunov 29. Both were born in December and turned pro in 2000. Both are 6-foot-1 (Tursunov weighs six pounds more at 180). Like Tursunov, Benneteau is right-handed. Benneteau has earned $4,514,057 in his career, Tursunov $4,132,713. Tursunov reached a career-high No. 20 in the world in 2006. Benneteau hit a peak of No. 26 last month.    
   The big difference between the players is that Tursunov has won seven career singles titles and Benneteau none. 
   Meanwhile, Sam Querrey's troubles in the French Open continued. The 24-year-old San Francisco native fell to 1-6 lifetime at Roland Garros with a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-3 loss to eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia in the first round. Querrey is scheduled to play five matches for the Capitals this season.   
   In the opening round of women's doubles, 10th-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones, an ex-Cal All-American from Fresno, and Abigail Spears of San Diego dispatched Andreja Klepac of Slovenia and Alicja Rosolska of Poland 6-3, 6-4.
   Television coverage of the French Open continues today live from 2 to 7 a.m. PDT on ESPN2 and 7 a.m to 4 p.m. on Tennis Channel, which also will broadcast its daily wrapup show from 4 to 7 p.m.
At Gold River Racquet Club
Singles qualifying
(Winners advance to main draw)
   Tatsiana Kapshai (ex-Sacramento State star), Belarus, def. Simone Kalhorn (7), United States, 6-3, 6-2.
   Tori Kinard (2), United States,def. Sierra Ellison, United States, 6-1, 6-0.  
   Mary Closs, Menlo Park, def. Cindy Nguyen, United States, 6-1, 7-5.
   Elizabeth Profit, United States,def. Wendy Qi-Wen Zhang, Canada, 6-1, 6-4.
Main-draw singles
First round
   Jessica Pegula (5), United States, def. Elizabeth Ferris, United States, 6-4, 6-0.
   Gabriela Paz (8), Venezuela, def. Anne-Liz Jeukeng, United States, 6-3, 6-3.
   Elizabeth Lumpkin, United States, def. Kim-Alice Grajdek, Germany, 6-2, 6-1.
   Jennifer Elie, United States, def. Chieh-Yu Hsu, United States, 6-0, 6-4.
   Whitney Jones, United States, def. Breanna Bachini, Roseville, 6-2, 6-3.
   Maria-Fernanda Alves, Brazil, def. Sachie Ishizu, Japan, 6-0, 6-1.
   Valeria Solovieva (7), Russia, def. Celine Cattaneo, France, 6-3, 6-0.  
Main-draw doubles
First round
   Kaitlyn Christian, United States, and Maria Sanchez, Modesto, def. Svetlana Krivencheva, Bulgaria, and Diana Ospina, United States,6-1, 5-7, 10-7 tiebreak.
   Asia Muhammed, United States, and Yasmin Schnack (2), Elk Grove, def. Nadia Echeverria Alam, United States,and Elizabeth Ferris, United States, 6-4, 6-4.
   Lena Litvak, United States, and Adriana Perez, Venezuela, def. Simone Kalhorn and Lauren Megale, United States, 7-5, 6-2.
Wednesday's schedule
(Beginning at 11 a.m.)
Stadium Court
   Elena Bovina (1), Russia, vs. Elizabeth Profit, United States.  
   Maria Sanchez (4), Modesto, vs. Mary Closs, Menlo Park.
   Asia Muhammed, United States, vs. Diana Ospina, United States.
   Elena Bovina, Russia, and Gabriela Paz (4), Venezuela, vs. Celine Cattaneo, France, and Nicole Robinson, United States.
   (Not before 6:30 p.m.) Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove, vs. Marie-Eve Pelletier (3), Canada.  
   Isabella Kling, Orangevale, and Kelly Wilson, Cameron Park, vs. Yawna Allen and Erin Clark, United States.
Court 7
   Tori Kinard, United States, vs. Samantha Crawford, United States.
   Lena Litvak, United States, vs. Alexandra Stevenson, United States.
   Tatsiana Kapshai (ex-Sacramento State star), Belarus, vs. Ashley Weinhold (2), United States.
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy/Indonesia, vs. Adriana Perez (6), Venezuela.
   Piia Suomalainen, Finland, Gabrielle Andrews, United States.

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