Saturday, July 21, 2012

Capitals stun Explorers; King to return

   Suddenly, things are looking up for the Sacramento Capitals.
   After coming back from the brink of defeat on the road Friday night, the World TeamTennis franchise will play four of its five remaining regular-season matches at home and receive a much-needed boost from not only CoCo Vandeweghe but Vania King.
   Mark Knowles and 6-foot-6 Sam Querrey saved a match point Friday as visiting Sacramento rallied to shock the Kansas City Explorers 22-21 (7-4 Supertiebreaker).
   "We were hanging on by our fingernails all night," said Capitals coach Wayne Bryan, whose team was coming off tough losses at Washington and Springfield. "We were behind, behind, behind. We staged one of the most remarkable comebacks in my 11 years with the team."
   The Capitals actually led 13-12 at intermission, but 19-year-old Chanel Simmonds won 5-2 in women's singles to give Kansas City a 17-15 lead. Sacramento's Yasmin Schnack substituted for Asia Muhammad at 1-1.
   The Capitals have lost their last four sets in women's singles by a combined score of 20-5. Women's doubles has been only marginally better.
   But Knowles and Querrey pulled out a 5-4 (5-4 tiebreaker) victory over Nick Monroe and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi in men's doubles to narrow the Explorers' lead to 21-20 after regulation.
   Because Kansas City, the leading team after four sets, failed to win the last set, the match went into overtime. Knowles and Querrey won the next game and prevailed in the Supertiebreaker.
   Sacramento (5-4) leads second-place Orange County (3-5) by 1 1/2 matches and third-place Kansas City and Springfield (both 2-6) by 2 1/2 in the four-team Western Conference. The top two teams in each conference after the 14-match regular season will advance to the WTT playoffs, Sept. 14-16 in Charleston, S.C.
   Vandeweghe will rejoin the Capitals for their last five matches, beginning Sunday against Springfield at Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, Calif., after playing for them full-time three years ago at 17. She reached the final of last week's Bank of the West Classic as a lucky loser and held a set point against Serena Williams in the title match before falling 7-5, 6-3.
   Bryan also announced that King, ranked fifth in the world in doubles, will return to the team for a home-and-home series Tuesday and Wednesday against Orange County. King played for Sacramento in 2010 and 2011 after being named the WTT Female MVP for Springfield in 2009. This year, she fell just short in her bid to make the U.S. Olympic team.
   See below for full results of Friday's match.
   WTA tour in Carlsbad, Calif. -- Second-seeded King of Boynton Beach, Fla., and Nadia Petrova of Russia dispatched Slovakians Dominika Cibulkova and Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 6-2 to reach the semifinals of the Mercury Insurance Open.
   Third-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones, a former NCAA doubles champion from Cal, and Abigail Spears, playing near her home in San Diego, advanced with a 6-3, 4-6, 10-3 tiebreak victory over Americans Lindsay Lee-Waters and Megan Moulton-Levy.
   Kops-Jones and Spears will face top-seeded Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond, while King and Petrova will meet unseeded Kai-Chen Chang of Taiwan and Noppawan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand.
   ATP World Tour in Atlanta -- Matthew Ebden of Australia and Ryan Harrison of Austin, Texas, topped South Africans Kevin Anderson and Rik de Voest 6-7 (2), 6-4, 10-4 tiebreak in the quarterfinals of the BB&T Atlanta Open.
   Anderson, 6-foot-8, will join the Capitals for their last four regular-season matches. De Voest won the singles title in the inaugural Sacramento Challenger in 2005.
Capitals 22, Kansas City 21 (7-4 Supertiebreaker) 
In Kansas City, Mo.
   Men's singles -- Sam Querrey (Capitals) def. Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Explorers) 5-4.
   Women's doubles -- Tetiana Luzhanska-Chanel Simmonds (Explorers) def. Asia Muhammad-Yasmin Schnack (Capitals) 5-3.
   Mixed doubles -- Mark Knowles-Yasmin Schnack (Capitals) def. Tetiana Luzhanska-Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Explorers) 5-3.
   Women's singles -- Chanel Simmonds (Explorers) def. Yasmin Schnack (Capitals) 5-2.
   Men's doubles -- Mark Knowles-Sam Querrey (Capitals) def. Nick Monroe-Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Explorers) 5-4.
   Overtime -- Mark Knowles-Sam Querrey (Capitals) def. Nick Monroe-Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Explorers) 1-0.
   Supertiebreaker -- Mark Knowles-Sam Querrey (Capitals) def. Nick Monroe-Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Explorers) 1-0 (7-4).
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Hamburg (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 4:30-9 a.m. (live), noon-2 p.m. (repeat), 8-10 p.m. (repeat); Atlanta (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-noon (live), ESPN2, 4-6 p.m. (live); Carlsbad (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 2-4 p.m. (live), ESPN2, 8-10 p.m. (live); Bastad (women), Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (delay). 
   Sunday -- Hamburg (men), final, Tennis Channel, 5-7 a.m. (live), 7-9 a.m. (repeat); Atlanta (men), final, ESPN2, noon-2 p.m. (live), Tennis Channel, 5-7 p.m. (repeat); Carlsbad (women), final, ESPN2, 2-4 p.m. (live); Gstaad (men), final, Tennis Channel, 3-5 p.m. (delay); Bastad (women), final, Tennis Channel, 7-9 p.m. (delay). 
   Sunday -- World TeamTennis, Springfield at Capitals (with Sam Querrey, CoCo Vandeweghe), Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m.,
   Tuesday -- Orange County (with Lindsay Davenport) at Capitals (with Kevin Anderson, Vania King and Vandeweghe), Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m.,
   Wednesday -- Capitals (with King and Vandeweghe) at Orange County, 7 p.m.
   Friday -- Philadelphia (with Mark Philippoussis) at Capitals (with Anderson, Vandeweghe), Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m.,
   July 28 -- Boston at Capitals (with Anderson, Vandeweghe), Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m.,
   July 28-Aug. 5 -- OLYMPIC TENNIS TOURNAMENT, Wimbledon,

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