Sunday, May 6, 2012

Modesto's Sanchez eyes first pro singles title

   Maria Sanchez of Modesto will play for her first professional singles title today.
   Sanchez, 22, continued her outstanding year with a 6-4, 6-0 victory Saturday over 5-foot-2 Lauren Davis, last year's USTA girls 18 champion, in the semifinals of the $50,000 Audi Melbourne Pro Tennis Classic in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.
   Sanchez, the 2011 Women's Player of the Year in the Pacific-10 Conference as a senior at USC, has more than halved her world singles ranking from No. 687 to No. 341 this year. She also has won three doubles crowns in 2012, all with Yasmin Schnack of Elk Grove in the Sacramento area, and six overall.
   Sanchez will face Grace Min, the reigning U.S. Open girls singles champion, in today's final. Min, a resident of Lawrenceville, Ga., who turns 18 today, eliminated Stanford-bound Krista Hardebeck, a 17-year-old qualifier from Santa Ana in the Los Angeles area, 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.
   Min has soared from No. 414 to No. 247 this year. She won a $25,000 Challenger on clay in Innisbrook, Fla., in January as a qualifier.
   Men's Futures in Vero Beach, Fla. -- For the second time in three tournaments, former Cal star Pedro Zerbini reached the final as a qualifier.
   The 23-year-old Brazilian advanced when eighth-seeded Bassam Beidas of Lebanon retired at 2-2 in the first set with a shoulder injury.
   Zerbini, who lost to second-seeded Gregory Ouellette last month in Oklahoma City, will meet No. 2 seed John-Patrick Smith of Australia in the final. Smith beat former Tennessee teammate Tennys Sandgren, seeded fourth, 6-2, 7-5.
   Smith defeated Zerbini 6-3, 6-1 in Tennessee's 4-2 victory over Cal in last year's NCAA Round of 16.     
   ATP World Tour in Belgrade, Serbia -- Second-seeded Scott Lipsky, a former NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford, and Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., lost to unseeded Martin Emmrich of Germany and Andreas Siljestrom of Sweden 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Serbia Open.
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Budapest (women), final, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-noon (delay); Belgrade (men), final, Tennis Channel, noon-2 p.m. (delay); Munich (men), final, Tennis Channel, 2-4 p.m. (delay); Estoril (men), final, Tennis Channel, 6-8 p.m. (delay).  
   Today -- Rio del Oro Junior Championships, Rio del Oro Racquet Club, 119 Scripps Drive, Sacramento. Boys and girls 18 singles finals at 11:30 a.m.
   Friday -- 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 27-June 3 -- $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger, Gold River Racquet Club, 2201 Gold Rush Drive, Gold River.

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