Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pepperdine star rides wave in Sac pro tourney

Sebastian Fanselow, who plans to return for his
senior year at Pepperdine, has beaten the No. 3
and No. 5 seeds at Park Terrace.  Photo by
Paul Bauman
   Sebastian Fanselow is in no hurry to leave Pepperdine.
   Can you blame him?
   The university is located in Malibu, an affluent suburb of Los Angeles. The view of the Pacific Ocean is spectacular. The weather is sunny and warm year-round. What's not to like?
   "I loved it from the first time I saw it," said Fanselow, from Essen, Germany. "I thought it was pretty surreal to go to college there. It was the last place I visited. It seemed so unique."
   Even if Fanselow wins the $15,000 Tennis Town Pro Tennis at Park Terrace tournament in Sacramento, he said he will return for his senior year at Pepperdine. 
   "Definitely. I'd love to play for the team one more year," said Fanselow, who this week was named an All-American in singles for the second straight year.
   The 6-foot-4 Fanselow knocked off his second straight seed Friday, dismissing No. 3 Michael McClune of Irvine 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals at the Park Terrace Swim & Tennis Club. Fanselow, who ousted No. 5 Fritz Wolmarans of South Africa on Thursday, is the only semifinalist who has not lost a set.
   Former Cal star Pedro Zerbini lost to friend, doubles partner and former rival Nicolas Meister 7-6 (3), 6-2 in a matchup of unseeded players. Zerbini and Meister, competing in his first pro tournament after an All-America career at UCLA, will play in Sunday's doubles final.
   Zerbini lost all five points on his serve in the tiebreaker, double-faulting twice. On Thursday, he had needed three hours in 85-degree heat to beat eighth-seeded Daniel King-Turner of New Zealand 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 while Meister breezed 6-2, 6-0 against fourth-seeded Kento Takeuchi of Japan.
   "I was a bit tired, but that wasn't the reason I lost (Friday)," Zerbini said. "He played pretty solid. It was a close first set, I lost focus in the second set, and I let it get away. Credit to him for taking advantage of that and being solid."
   Fanselow had never advanced past the second round of a Futures tournament and had to win five matches in last week's wild card event to reach the main draw. He compiled a 21-match winning streak during the college season and led the Waves to the NCAA semifinals last month before losing in the first round of NCAA singles.
   "I had some time to rest after the long team season," he said. "A few days after the NCAAs gave me some time to refocus and regain some energy."
No. 3 seed Michael McClune lost his temper and the match.
Photo by Paul Bauman
 The 6-foot-2 McClune has a big serve and forehand, but Fanselow returned well and was steadier from the backcourt.
   "I tried to put as many returns in the court as possible and make him hit as many shots as possible," he said after their first career meeting. "It paid off. I think he made more unforced errors than usual."
   McClune, 22, turned pro out of high school in 2007 as a highly touted prospect. But he has struggled since a hip injury sidelined him for six months in 2010, plunging from a career-high No. 267 to No. 452.
   Against Fanselow, McClune lost his temper early in the second set. He bashed a ball into the surrounding neighborhood, resulting in a warning, and swatted a ball against the fence.   
   Fanselow, meanwhile, maintained his composure. He's majoring in psychology, which he said helps him "rethink everything on the court and stay calm."      
   Fanselow will face Jeff Dadamo, who received a wild card without having to play for it, in today's second semifinal. Dadamo, last year's NCAA doubles champion with fellow Texas A&M senior Austin Krajicek, beat unseeded Jason Jung, a former Michigan standout from Torrance, 6-4, 6-2.
   Fanselow and the 6-foot-1 Dadamo, who saved two match points to beat No. 1 seed Tennys Sandgren in the first round, split two matches in college. They have never met in a pro tournament.
   "He's tough to play because he's a lefty," Fanselow said. "He has a very good serve, and he uses his forehand well."
   In today's first semifinal at 1 p.m., Meister will face seventh-seeded Devin Britton of Brandon, Miss. Britton -- who became the youngest player to win the NCAA singles title at 18 years, 2 months as a Mississippi freshman in 2009 -- eliminated Philip Bester of Canada 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
   Bester lost in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year. He returned to the circuit in March after missing seven months with a stress fracture in his right (playing) hand.
   Britton is 1-0 lifetime against the 5-foot-10 Meister, winning 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (5) on a hardcourt last summer in the first round of a Futures tournament in Edwardsville, Ill.
   "He's just a really consistent player," said the 6-foot-4 Britton. "He really fights hard. There's never an easy out. He doesn't do a whole lot to hurt players."
   See below for Friday's complete results.
   Aegon Trophy in Nottingham, Great Britain -- Qualifier CoCo Vandeweghe of the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis stunned second-seeded Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the Aegon Trophy, a grass-court tuneup tournament for Wimbledon.
   Great Britain's Anne Keothavong, seeded eighth, will play her third 20-year-old in four matches when she faces Vandeweghe. Keothavong, 28, beat twins Karolina and Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the first round and quarterfinals, respectively, and 18-year-old Laura Robson of Great Britain.
   Meanwhile, there's nothing like grass courts to cure Dmitry Tursunov's ills. The fourth seed and longtime Sacramento-area resident dispatched James Ward 6-3, 6-3 in the second round of the Aegon Trophy.
   Tursunov, who strained a tendon in his left wrist last September and missed three months earlier this year because of it, reached his first quarterfinal since losing in that round in his hometown of Moscow last October. Tursunov, 29, is right-handed but has a two-handed backhand.
   Entering the French Open, in which Tursunov reached the second round, he had career winning percentages of .648 on grass, .567 indoors, .527 on hardcourts and .372 on clay.
   Second-seeded Scott Lipsky, a former Stanford All-American from Huntington Beach in the Los Angeles area, and Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., lost in the doubles quarterfinals. So did John Paul Fruttero, an ex-Cal All-American from San Jose, and Raven Klaasen of South Africa.
   Women's Challenger in El Paso, Texas -- Seventh-seeded Valeria Solovieva of Russia stopped fourth-seeded Maria Sanchez's winning streak at seven matches.
   Solovieva, 19, outlasted Sanchez, a 22-year-old Modesto resident, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 Hunt USTA Pro Women's Classic.
   Solovieva avenged a 6-0, 6-1 loss to Sanchez in the semifinals of last week's $50,000 Gold River Challenger. Sanchez went on to win her first pro singles title.
   Colleges -- Ten players from Cal or Stanford were named 2012 All-Americans.
   Honored from the Bears were Jana Juricova and Zsofi Susanyi in singles and doubles, and Nick Andrews (from Folsom in the Sacramento area), Christoffer Konigsfeldt, Annie Goransson and Anett Schutting in doubles.
   Cardinal players selected were Bradley Klahn, Nicole Gibbs and Mallory Burdette in singles and doubles, and Ryan Thacher in doubles. Gibbs, a sophomore from Santa Monica, won the NCAA singles title and paired with Burdette for the doubles crown.
   Mississippi State's Artem Ilyushin, a resident of Granite Bay in the Sacramento area, earned All-America recognition in singles. 
In Sacramento
At Park Terrace Swim & Tennis Club
Singles quarterfinals
   Sebastian Fanselow, Germany, def. Michael McClune (3), Irvine, 6-2, 6-3.
   Devin Britton (7), Brandon, Miss., def. Philip Bester, Canada, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
   Jeff Dadamo, Tampa, Fla., def. Jason Jung, Torrance, 6-4, 6-2.
   Nicolas Meister, Trabuco Canyon (Los Angeles area), def. Pedro Zerbini (former Cal star), Brazil, 7-6 (3), 6-2.
Doubles semifinals
   Vahid Mirzadeh, Wellington, Fla., and Phillip Simmonds (4), Reston, Va., def. Devin Britton, Brandon, Miss., and Jordan Cox (2), Bradenton, Fla., 6-4, 6-3.
   Nicolas Meister, Trabuco Canyon (Los Angeles area) and Pedro Zerbini (former Cal star), Brazil, def. Denny Fafek, Mountain View, and Xavier Smith (former Sacramento State star), Visalia, 6-4, 6-3. 
Today's schedule
Court 7
(Beginning at 1 p.m.)
   Nicolas Meister, Trabuco Canyon (Los Angeles area), vs. Devin Britton (7), Brandon, Miss.
(Not before 2 p.m.)
   Jeff Dadamo, Tampa, Fla., vs. Sebastian Fanselow, Germany.
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Women's final, Maria Sharapova vs. Sara Errani, NBC, 6-9 a.m. (live).
   Sunday -- Men's final, Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal, NBC, 6-11 a.m. (live); Tennis Channel, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (repeat), 5-9 p.m. (repeat). Women's final, Tennis Channel, 3-5 p.m. (repeat).
   Today -- $15,000 Tennis Town Pro Tennis at Park Terrace, semifinals, 1 p.m., Park Terrace Swim & Tennis Club, 5500 Parkfield Court, Sacramento,
   Today-Sunday, June 16-18 -- NorCal 18 Junior Sectional Championships, Sacramento State,
   Sunday -- $15,000 Tennis Town Pro Tennis at Park Terrace, finals, time TBA, Park Terrace Swim & Tennis Club, 5500 Parkfield Court, Sacramento,

   Today-June 17 -- $15,000 Chico Futures, Chico Racquet Club & Resort, 1629 Manzanita Ave., Chico,
   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.,

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