Saturday, July 28, 2012

With help, Capitals clinch WTT playoff berth

   Thank you, Kansas City and Springfield.
   The Explorers and the Lasers lost Friday, allowing the Sacramento Capitals to clinch a berth in the World TeamTennis playoffs with a 6-7 record.
   Sacramento did its part by defeating Mark Philippoussis and the visiting Philadelphia Freedoms 23-21 in overtime to snap a three-match losing streak. Kansas City and Springfield each fell to 4-9.
   With one match remaining in the regular season for all teams, the field for the Sept. 14-16 playoffs in Charleston, S.C., is set. The Capitals will face Orange County (7-6) on Sept. 14 in the Western Conference final, and the Washington Kastles (13-0) will take on the New York Sportimes (8-5) on Sept. 15 in the Eastern Conference final.
   Washington has won 29 consecutive matches dating to July 22, 2010. It's the second-longest winning streak in sports history behind the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, who won 33 straight.
   Sacramento will host Boston tonight at 7:35 p.m. at Sunrise Mall. 
   Kevin Anderson beat the 35-year-old Philippoussis, a two-time Grand Slam runner-up in singles, 5-4 to give Sacramento a 14-13 lead at intermission. The Capitals' CoCo Vandeweghe made it 19-16 with a 5-3 victory over Karolina Pliskova in a matchup of 20-year-olds who stand 6-foot-1.
   Jordan Kerr and Philippoussis downed Anderson and Mark Knowles 5-3 in the final set, narrowing the gap to 22-21 and sending the match to overtime.
   To ensure that outcomes can't be decided early, WTT rules state that matches go to overtime if the team leading after four sets does not win the final set. Play continues until the leading team wins one more game or the trailing team ties the score, forcing a Supertiebreaker.
   Anderson and Knowles beat Kerr and Philippoussis in the first game of overtime, giving Sacramento the victory.
   The Capitals played without Vania King, who had ended her third season with the team after two matches. King, the 2009 WTT Female MVP for Springfield, is ranked fifth in the world in women's doubles.
   Other results -- Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, former NCAA doubles champions from Stanford, topped Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci and Andre Sa 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 6-3 in the first round of the Olympics at Wimbledon. The 34-year-old Bryan twins seek the only significant honor to elude them, an Olympic gold medal. They won a bronze medal in 2008 at Beijing.
   --No. 2 seed and two-time champion Sam Querrey reached the final of the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles with a 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory over unseeded Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind. Querrey, a San Francisco native who grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks, will meet qualifier Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania for the title. Querrey went 5-1 in singles during his stint with the Capitals this season. See below for this week's rankings of professional players with Northern California ties.
   --Wild card Mallory Burdette of Stanford fell in the singles quarterfinals and doubles semifinals (with University of Florida star Lauren Embree) of the $50,000 Fifth Third Bank Tennis Championships in Lexington, Ky., this week. Burdette stunned top-seeded Olivia Rogowska of Australia in the first round of singles. 
   --Qualifier Ryan Thacher, who completed his eligibility at Stanford in May, advanced to the quarterfinals of the $10,000 USTA Men's Futures Tournament in Godfrey, Ill., this week before losing.
Capitals 23, Philadelphia 21 (OT)
In Citrus Heights, Calif.
   Mixed doubles -- Mark Knowles-CoCo Vandeweghe (Capitals) def. Jordan Kerr-Kristyna Pliskova (Freedoms) 5-4.
   Women's doubles -- Karolina Pliskova-Kristyna Pliskova (Freedoms) def. Asia Muhammad-Coco Vandeweghe (Capitals) 5-4.
   Men's singles -- Kevin Anderson (Capitals) def. Mark Philippoussis (Freedoms) 5-4.
   Women's singles -- CoCo Vandeweghe (Capitals) def. Karolina Pliskova (Freedoms) 5-3.
   Men's doubles -- Jordan Kerr-Mark Philippoussis (Freedoms) def. Kevin Anderson-Mark Knowles (Capitals) 5-3.
   Overtime -- Kevin Anderson-Mark Knowles (Capitals) def. Jordan Kerr-Mark Philippoussis (Freedoms) 1-0.
(All times PDT)
   Today -- Olympics, first-round singles, Bravo, 4 a.m.-noon (live). Baku (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (delay). Los Angeles (men), singles semifinal, Tennis Channel, 1-3 p.m. (live); doubles semifinal, 3-4:30 p.m. (live), singles semifinal, 7-9 p.m. (live). Kitzbuhel (men), final, Tennis Channel, 4:30-6:30 p.m. (delay). 
   Sunday -- Olympics, first-round singles, Bravo, 4 a.m.-noon (live). Los Angeles (men), singles final, Tennis Channel, 1-3 p.m. (live), doubles final, 7-8:30 p.m. (delay). Baku (women), final, Tennis Channel, 1-3 p.m. (delay).
   Monday -- Olympics, second-round singles, Bravo, 4 a.m.-noon (live).
   Tuesday -- Olympics, second-round singles and doubles quarterfinals, Bravo, 4 a.m.-noon (live).
   Today -- World TeamTennis, Boston Lobsters at Sacramento Capitals (with Kevin Anderson and CoCo Vandeweghe), Sunrise Marketplace Outdoor Pavilion, Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, 7:35 p.m.,
   Today-Aug. 5 -- OLYMPIC TENNIS TOURNAMENT, Wimbledon,
   Aug. 4-12 -- $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger, Seascape Sports Club, 1505 Seascape Blvd., Aptos, Calif., 95003,, (831) 688-1993.
   Aug. 27-Sept. 9 -- U.S. OPEN, Flushing Meadows, N.Y.,
   Sept. 9-16 -- $25,000 USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger, Sun Oaks Tennis & Fitness, 3452 Argyle Road, Redding, Calif., 96002,, (530) 227-3498.
   Sept. 29-Oct. 7 -- $100,000 Sacramento Challenger, Natomas Racquet Club, 2450 Natomas Park Drive, Sacramento, Calif., 95833,, (916) 649-0909.
   Oct. 6-14 -- $100,000 Tiburon Challenger, Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West St., Tiburon, Calif., 94920, www.tiburon, (415) 789-7900.
   Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
   Kevin Anderson, Sacramento Capitals (2012) of World TeamTennis -- No. 33 in singles (no change), No. 143 in doubles (+13).
   Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 3 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 3 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, Capitals (2012) -- No. 13 in singles (no change), No. 733 in doubles (-11).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- No. 98 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Bradley Klahn, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 613 in singles (+44), No. 862 in doubles (no change). 
   Mark Knowles, Capitals (2001-07, 2009-12), three-time World TeamTennis Male MVP (2001, 2005 and 2007) -- No. 71 in doubles (-2), unranked in singles.
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 34 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012) -- No. 57 in singles (-2), No. 63 in doubles (-2).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012) -- No. 118 in singles (-1), No. 849 in doubles (-1).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 138 in singles (-2), No. 186 in doubles (-7).
   Jimmy Wang, Folsom resident -- No. 216 in singles (-6), No. 390 in doubles (+2).
   Pedro Zerbini, All-Pacific-10 Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- No. 623 in singles (+16), No. 734 in doubles (+269).
   Jana Juricova, NCAA singles (2011) and doubles (2009) champion from Cal -- No. 938 in singles (+11), unranked in doubles.
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- Career-high No. 19 in doubles (no change), No. 703 in singles (+7).
   Asia Muhammad, Capitals (2012) -- No. 183 in doubles (+2), No. 480 in singles (+3).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- No. 139 in doubles (-2), career-high No. 217 in singles (+5).
   Yasmin Schnack, Elk Grove resident, Capitals (2011-12) -- No. 146 in doubles (no change), No. 452 in singles (+2).
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy resident -- No. 490 in singles (+5), No. 1,141 in doubles (-1).
   CoCo Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 70 in singles (-1), No. 498 in doubles (+10).

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