Monday, June 18, 2012

Thirteen-year-old, Sutter earn NorCal 18 titles

Champion Catherine Bellis, right, and runner-up Hadley Berg,
left, pose with their trophies Sunday. Bellis, who also received
a gift basket, is 13 and Berg 16. Photo by Paul Bauman
   For a few minutes, Catherine Bellis was in trouble.
   The sixth-seeded Bellis, 13, bolted to a 6-1, 5-0 lead against eighth-seeded Hadley Berg on Sunday in the girls singles final of the NorCal 18 Sectional Championships at Sacramento State.
   Then Berg, playing with nothing to lose, won a game. And the next. And the next. And she had a point to pull within 5-4. But that was as close as Berg, a 16-year-old Greenbrae resident, got as Atherton's Bellis closed out a 6-1, 6-3 victory.   
   Bellis, who and improved to 3-0 against Berg, admitted afterward that she was concerned at 5-3.
   "I tried to calm myself down, not think about the score and just play," she said.
   Bellis was fresher than Berg for the final. In Saturday's semifinals, Bellis dispatched unseeded Kristina Hovsepyan of Danville 6-2, 6-3 while Berg outlasted second-seeded Iris Lin of South San Francisco 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. The temperature reached 104 degrees Saturday and 99 degrees Sunday.
   Bellis, ranked fifth nationally in the 14s, lost as many as four games in a set only once in five matches en route to the title. That was against top-seeded Kassidy Jump of Granite Bay in the quarterfinals.
   A profile of Bellis will be posted later this week.  
Brandon Sutter, left, and Ivan Kravtchenko display their trophies.
Both are 17. Sutter's gift basket also is shown. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Meanwhile, Brandon Sutter of El Dorado Hills swept the boys titles.
   Seeded first in singles, Sutter wore down seventh-seeded Ivan Kravtchenko of Sunnyvale 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 in a battle of 17-year-olds.
   Sutter had not lost more than five games in any of his five matches before the final, and that came in the first round.  Kravtchenko, on the other hand, suffered full body cramps after his 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 triumph over sixth-seeded Lovedeep Singh of Sacramento on Saturday and began to cramp in his left calf in the third set of the final.
   In doubles, top-seeded Richard Pham of Saratoga and Sutter handled fifth-seeded Singh and Manpreet Tiwana of Cupertino 6-3, 6-3.
   Sutter, who will be a senior at Oak Ridge High School in the fall, has verbally accepted a tennis scholarship at Cal. Kravtchenko, who just graduated from Archbishop Mitty in San Jose, will play tennis at Brown, an Ivy League school in Providence, R.I., in the fall.
   Men's Futures -- Unseeded Phillip Simmonds of Reston, Va., upended third-seeded Michael McClune of Irvine 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to win the $15,000 Chico Futures at the Chico Racquet Club & Resort.
   Simmonds, 26, seemed to have a bright future when he reached the final of the inaugural Sacramento Challenger in 2006 as a qualifier, but he has struggled since then. The Chico title, which followed his doubles crown in the Sacramento Futures two weeks ago, was his fourth in singles but first on a hardcourt since 2006.
   Devin Britton, the Sacramento singles champion, also won his second title in two weeks. The second-seeded American team of Britton and Jordan Cox edged top-seeded Daniel King-Turner of New Zealand and Nima Roshan of Australia 6-7 (6), 7-6 (8), 10-7 tiebreak for the doubles crown.
   ATP World Tour, WTA -- Former Stanford and Cal All-Americans went 0 for 3 in grass-court doubles matches at the top level of men's and women's pro tennis.
   No. 2 seeds and defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan (Stanford) of Wesley Chapel, Fla., lost to top-seeded Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club in London. It was a virtual replay of the previous week's French Open final, which Mirnyi and Nestor won 6-4, 6-4 to retain their title.
   Unseeded Scott Lipsky (Stanford) of Huntington Beach and Treat Conrad Huey of the Philippines fell to top-seeded Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands Antilles 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany.
   Also, fourth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones (Cal) of Fresno and Abigail Spears of San Diego came up short against top-seeded Americans Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinals of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, England.
CALENDAR  
   Today -- Wimbledon qualifying begins.
   Wednesday -- Wimbledon seedings announced.
   Friday -- Wimbledon draw conducted.
   JUNE 25-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
   July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford University, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
   July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.
   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., www.saccaps.com.
   July 12 -- 2012 Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame Brunch and Induction Ceremony (Nick Saviano, Andrea Norman, Steve Cornell and Martha Downing), Stanford University, Pac 12 Plaza/Cardinal Plaza, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., tickets $75 each at http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=230538. 

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