Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New pro rankings, TV schedule, calendar

PRO RANKINGS
   Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Kevin Anderson, Sacramento Capitals (2012) of World TeamTennis -- No. 29 in singles (+1), No. 90 in doubles (+1).
   Nick Andrews, Cal All-American in 2012, resident of Folsom in the Sacramento area -- Career-high No. 1,053 in doubles (+4), No. 1,494 in singles (+8).  
   Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 32 in singles (+1), unranked in doubles.
   Bradley Klahn, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- Career-high No. 220 in singles (+2), No. 471 in doubles (+4).
   Alex Kuznetsov, Capitals (2012) -- No. 260 in singles (-7), No. 192 in doubles (+1).
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 30 in doubles (-1), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 23 in singles (-2), No. 49 in doubles (-6).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012) -- No. 169 in singles (-17), No. 845 in doubles (+5).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 92 in singles (+27), No. 288 in doubles (+2).
   Pedro Zerbini, All-Pacific-10 Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- Career-high No. 463 in singles (+2), career-high No. 414 in doubles (+3).
Women
   Mallory Burdette, NCAA singles runner-up in 2012 and NCAA doubles champion in 2011 and 2012 from Stanford -- Career-high No. 123 in singles (+2), No. 360 in doubles (+6). 
   Vania King, Capitals (2010-12) -- No. 29 in doubles (-1), No. 113 in singles (+3).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 15 in doubles (-1), No. 1,143 in singles (no change).
   Asia Muhammad, Capitals (2012) -- Career-high No. 142 in doubles (+6), No. 430 in singles (+5).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- Career-high No. 111 in singles (+2), No. 122 in doubles (-6).
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy resident -- No. 461 in singles (+2), No. 1,100 in doubles (+5).
   CoCo Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 94 in singles (+6), No. 346 in doubles (+5).
TV SCHEDULE
(All times PST)
   Today
   Dubai (men), early rounds, Tennis Channel, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. (live).
   Delray Beach (men), early rounds, Tennis Channel, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m. (live).
Wednesday
   Dubai (men), early rounds, Tennis Channel, 2-6 a.m. and 7 a.m.-1 p.m. (live).
   Delray Beach (men), early rounds, Tennis Channel, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m. (live).
Thursday
    Dubai (men), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 3-11 a.m. (live), 3:30-7:30 p.m. (repeat).
    Delray Beach (men), early rounds, Tennis Channel, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (live), 1:30-3:30 p.m. (delay).
   Acapulco (men), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 7:30 p.m.-5 a.m. Friday (delay). 
Friday 
   Dubai (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 5-10 a.m. (live), 3:30-8:30 p.m. (repeat).
   Delray Beach (men), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (live), 1:30-3:30 p.m. (delay).
   Acapulco (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Saturday (delay).
   Saturday 
   Dubai (men), final, Tennis Channel, 7-9:30 a.m. (live), 9:30 a.m.-noon and 2-4:30 p.m. (repeat). 
   Delray Beach (men), singles semifinals, Tennis  Channel, noon-2 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m. (live); doubles semifinals, 10-11:30 p.m. (delay). 
   Acapulco (men), final, Tennis Channel, 7:30-10 p.m. (delay).
   Sunday
   Delray Beach (men), doubles final, Tennis Channel, 10-11:30 a.m. (live); singles final, noon-2 p.m. (live), 7-9 p.m. (repeat).
CALENDAR
   March 6-17 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, www.bnpparibasopen.com. 2012 champions: Roger Federer, Victoria Azarenka, Marc Lopez-Rafael Nadal, Liezel Huber-Lisa Raymond.
   April 23-28 -- Pac-12 Men's and Women's Championships, Ojai Valley Athletic Club/Libbey Park, Ojai, www.pac12.com.
   April 25-28 -- Big West Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Indian Wells Tennis Garden, www.bigwest.org.
   April 26-28 -- Big Sky Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Gold River Racquet Club, Gold River, Calif., www.bigskyconf.com.
   May 10-11 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Team Championships, first and second rounds at campus sites, www.ncaa.com.
   May 16-21 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Team Championships, round of 16 through finals, Urbana, Ill., www.ncaa.com, www.fightingillini.com.
   May 22-27 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Individual Championships, Urbana, Ill., www.ncaa.com, www.fightingillini.com.
   May 26-June 9 -- FRENCH OPEN, www.rolandgarros.com. 2012 champions: Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Max Mirnyi-Daniel Nestor, Sara Errani-Roberta Vinci.
   June 24-July 7 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com. 2012 champions: Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Jonathan Marray-Frederik Nielsen, Serena Williams-Venus Williams.
   July 1-7 -- $50,000 Gold River Women's Challenger, Gold River, www.usta.com. 2012 champions: Maria Sanchez, Asia Muhammad-Yasmin Schnack.
   July 7 -- World TeamTennis season begins, www.wtt.com.   
   July 25 -- World TeamTennis conference championships at highest seeds, www.wtt.com.
   July 28 -- World TeamTennis Finals at Eastern Conference champion, www.wtt.com. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

College scores

Men
   No. 3 UCLA (11-1) def. Saint Mary's (4-5) 6-1 in Los Angeles.
   No. 12 Cal (5-4) def. No. 28 Stanford (3-5) 5-2 in Berkeley.
   Sacramento State (3-5) def. Fresno State (3-8) 4-3 in Fresno.
Women
   No. 4 Florida (6-1) def. No. 13 Stanford (4-2) in Gainesville, Fla.
   San Jose State (7-3) def. Pacific (5-4) 6-1 in Stockton.
   Santa Clara (3-4) def. Cal Poly (2-7) 4-0 in Santa Clara.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tursunov ousted in Marseille semifinals

Dmitry Tursunov serves in the $100,000 Comerica Bank
Challenger in Aptos, Calif., last July. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Dmitry Tursunov's impressive run at the Open 13 in Marseille, France, ended abruptly Saturday.
   The 30-year-old qualifier from Russia fell to top-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-1 in a 54-minute semifinal.
   Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up, won 25 of 27 first-serve points against Tursunov, who has residences in Moscow and the Sacramento area.
   “I wanted to step on the court and be strong, because you never know what could happen with him,” Berdych told reporters. “I was focused from the very first point. … Finally, I'm able to play well here. I came here many times, but I didn't do well. I still have one more to go, so I want to finish in the best possible way.”
   The sixth-ranked Berdych will face third-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in today's final. Tsonga cruised past fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-2.
   Berdych improved to 6-1 against Tursunov, who knocked off ninth-ranked Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia in the second round. Berdych has won the last five matches in the series.
   Tursunov played in his first semifinal on the ATP World Tour since he won the title at s'Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, in June 2011. Plagued by injuries, he has plunged to No. 119 after reaching a career-high No. 20 in 2006.
   Tursunov helped Russia win the Davis Cup title that year. Berdych led his country to the crown last year.
COLLEGE SCORES
Men
   Sacramento State (2-5) def. UC Davis (4-6) 4-3 in Davis.
   Fresno State (3-7) def. Pacific 4-3 in Fresno.
   Saint Mary's (4-4) def. UC Riverside (2-8) 6-1 in Los Angeles.
   USF (5-2) def. Nevada (6-4) 6-1 in Reno.
Women
   No. 2 UCLA (8-1) def. No. 30 Saint Mary's (5-4) 4-0 in Moraga.
   No. 7 Cal (4-3) def. No. 6 USC (8-2) 5-2 in Berkeley.
   No. 13 Stanford (4-1) def. No. 18 Clemson (3-4) in Gainesville, Fla.
   No. 53 Fresno State (5-4) def. UC Davis (3-7) 5-2 in Fresno.
   USF (5-2) def. Cal Poly (2-6) 6-1 in San Francisco.

Friday, February 22, 2013

New pro rankings, TV schedule, calendar

PRO RANKINGS
   Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Kevin Anderson, Sacramento Capitals (2012) of World TeamTennis -- No. 30 in singles (-1), No. 91 in doubles (-14).
   Nick Andrews, Cal All-American in 2012, resident of Folsom in the Sacramento area -- Career-high No. 1,057 in doubles (+5), No. 1,502 in singles (+1).  
   Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 2 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, Capitals (2012) -- No. 33 in singles (-1), unranked in doubles.
   Bradley Klahn, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- Career-high No. 222 in singles (+1), No. 475 in doubles (no change).
   Alex Kuznetsov, Capitals (2012) -- No. 253 in singles (+2), No. 193 in doubles (-4).
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 29 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012) -- No. 21 in singles (-1), No. 43 in doubles (-2).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012) -- No. 152 in singles (+4), No. 850 in doubles (no change).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 119 in singles (-2), No. 290 in doubles (-1).
   Pedro Zerbini, All-Pacific-10 Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- Career-high No. 465 in singles (+3), career-high No. 417 in doubles (+135).
Women
   Mallory Burdette, NCAA singles runner-up in 2012 and NCAA doubles champion in 2011 and 2012 from Stanford -- Career-high No. 125 in singles (+1), No. 366 in doubles (no change). 
   Vania King, Capitals (2010-12) -- No. 28 in doubles (no change), No. 116 in singles (+1).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 14 in doubles (-1), No. 1,143 in singles (-30).
   Asia Muhammad, Capitals (2012) -- Career-high No. 148 in doubles (no change), No. 435 in singles (no change).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- Career-high No. 113 in singles (+1), No. 116 in doubles (-2).
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy resident -- No. 463 in singles (-3), No. 1,105 in doubles (+1).
   CoCo Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 100 in singles (-1), No. 351 in doubles (-1).
TV SCHEDULE
(All times PST)
   Today
   Dubai (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (repeat), 4-8 p.m. (repeat).
   Marseille (men), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 8 p.m.-midnight (delay).
   Saturday 
   Dubai (women), final, Tennis Channel, 7-9 a.m. (live).
   Memphis (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (live) and 1-3:30 p.m. (live).           
   Memphis (women), final, Tennis Channel, 5-7 p.m. (live).
   Marseille (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 7-11 p.m. (delay).
   Sunday
   Memphis (men), final, Tennis Channel, 1-3 p.m. (live), 5:30-8 p.m. (repeat).   
   Bogota (women), final, Tennis Channel, 3:30-5:30 p.m. (delay).
   Marseille (men), final, Tennis Channel, 8-10 p.m. (delay). 
COLLEGE SCORES
 Women
   No. 2 UCLA (7-1) def. No. 7 Cal (3-3) 4-3 in Berkeley.
   No. 53 Fresno State (4-4) def. No. 62 Sacramento State (1-4) 6-1 in Fresno.
CALENDAR
   March 6-17 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, www.bnpparibasopen.com. 2012 champions: Roger Federer, Victoria Azarenka, Marc Lopez-Rafael Nadal, Liezel Huber-Lisa Raymond.
   April 23-28 -- Pac-12 Men's and Women's Championships, Ojai Valley Athletic Club/Libbey Park, Ojai, www.pac12.com.
   April 25-28 -- Big West Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Indian Wells Tennis Garden, www.bigwest.org.
   April 26-28 -- Big Sky Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Gold River Racquet Club, Gold River, Calif., www.bigskyconf.com.
   May 10-11 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Team Championships, first and second rounds at campus sites, www.ncaa.com.
   May 16-21 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Team Championships, round of 16 through finals, Urbana, Ill., www.ncaa.com, www.fightingillini.com.
   May 22-27 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Individual Championships, Urbana, Ill., www.ncaa.com, www.fightingillini.com.
   May 26-June 9 -- FRENCH OPEN, www.rolandgarros.com. 2012 champions: Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Max Mirnyi-Daniel Nestor, Sara Errani-Roberta Vinci.
   June 24-July 7 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com. 2012 champions: Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Jonathan Marray-Frederik Nielsen, Serena Williams-Venus Williams.
   July 1-7 -- $50,000 Gold River Women's Challenger, Gold River, www.usta.com. 2012 champions: Maria Sanchez, Asia Muhammad-Yasmin Schnack.
   July 7 -- World TeamTennis season begins, www.wtt.com.   
   July 25 -- World TeamTennis conference championships at highest seeds, www.wtt.com.
   July 28 -- World TeamTennis Finals at Eastern Conference champion, www.wtt.com. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Raonic makes history in last SAP Open

   Nobody's perfect.
   Except Milos Raonic in the SAP Open.
   The top seed remained undefeated in San Jose, coasting past fourth-seeded Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-3 in 1 hour, 15 minutes Sunday at HP Pavilion for his third straight title in the tournament. Raonic, 22, made his SAP Open debut in 2011.
   A 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Canadian with a punishing serve and forehand, Raonic has never lost a set in 13 SAP Open matches. And it appears he never will. The tournament will move next year to Memphis, which lost its event to Rio de Janeiro, after 125 years in Northern California.
   Raonic -- whose only other ATP World tour title came in Chennai, India, last year -- became the first man to win three consecutive San Francisco Bay Area titles since Tony Trabert from 1953 to 1955.
   “It’s pretty awesome. It’s pretty special,” Raonic told reporters. “It’s more than just the trophies that I have. It’s the little things that come with it. There was always the maple syrup story. The San Jose Sharks jersey. It all means a lot. With this event, that has had so many great champions, it’s pretty special. To sort of one-up it and three-peat is pretty awesome.”
   John McEnroe (1978-79), Pete Sampras (1996-97), Andy Roddick (2004-05) and Andy Murray (2006-07) are among those who have won two in a row. Andre Agassi tied McEnroe's modern record of five Bay Area crowns, but none came consecutively.
   Bill Rapp, then the SAP Open tournament director, presented Raonic with a bottle of maple syrup and a Sharks jersey after the player's first San Jose title.
   Raonic, the youngest player in the top 20 at No. 13, blasted 19 aces, won 29 of his 32 first-serve points and did not face a break point in his first meeting with Haas, 34, of Germany.
   Haas, ranked No. 22, reached No. 2 in the world in 2002. He was seeking his 14th ATP title and playing in his first San Jose final in his eighth appearance.
   In doubles, Xavier Malisse built a nice little streak of his own. The 32-year-old Belgian became the first man in 36 years to win two straight doubles titles in the Bay Area.
   The fourth-seeded team of Malisse and Germany's Moser edged Australian wild cards Lleyton Hewitt and Marinko Matosevic 6-0, 6-7 (5), 10-4 tiebreak in Sunday's final. All but Matosevic are 31 or older. Moser is 36, Hewitt 31 and Matosevic 27.
   Dick Stockton won in 1976 with Roscoe Tanner, a former All-American at nearby Stanford, and in 1977 with Marty Riessen. The tournament was held in Daly City, just south of San Francisco, at the time.
   Malisse and Moser opposed each other in last year's SAP Open doubles final. Malisse played with Mark Knowles, who retired one week before his 41st birthday last year. Moser paired with South African Kevin Anderson, who did not return.
   Malisse has won nine career ATP doubles titles, including the 2004 French Open with countryman Olivier Rochus.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Haas, Raonic reach SAP Open final

   Tommy Haas just keeps on going.
   Haas, a 34-year-old German seeded fourth, upset second-seeded John Isner of Tampa, Fla., 6-3, 6-4 Saturday to reach the final of the SAP Open at HP Pavilion in San Jose.
   "I saw his serve extremely well today, and that obviously helps when you’re playing someone like him," Haas, ranked No. 22 after reaching a career-high No. 2 in 2002, said of the 6-foot-9 (2.08-meter) Isner. "This is the type of surface where if you can hold serve and put some pressure on the opponent, it really works out well."
   Haas will face another big server in Sunday's 3 p.m. (PST) final. Milos Raonic, the top seed and two-time defending champion, advanced with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over third-seeded Sam Querrey, a native of nearby San Francisco.
   Raonic has never lost a set in 12 career matches in the SAP Open. He will play Haas for the first time.
   Isner, the top-ranked American at No. 16, has not been in top form lately. He suffered a knee injury early last month and missed the Australian Open. Isner returned two weeks ago, going 1-1 against Brazil in the first round of the Davis Cup on an indoor hardcourt in Jacksonville, Fla.
   "I just couldn’t find my first serve (against Haas) when I really needed it," Isner said. "He played well; there’s definitely no shame in losing to him."

Friday, February 15, 2013

Raonic downs Istomin in virtual replay

   Not much has changed in one year.
   Top-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada defeated sixth-seeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 7-6 (0), 6-3 Friday night to reach the semifinals of the SAP Open at HP Pavilion in San Jose.
   The 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Raonic, who beat Istomin 7-6 (3), 6-2 in last year's final for his second straight SAP Open title, improved to 11-0 overall and 9-0 in tiebreakers in the tournament.
    Raonic will face third-seeded Sam Querrey, a native of nearby San Francisco who outlasted unseeded Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-3, 4-6, 7-5. Querrey is 2-0 against Raonic, with both matches coming last year.
   In the other semifinal, second-seeded John Isner of Tampa, Fla., will play fourth-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany. Isner topped eighth-seeded Xavier Malisse of Belgium 7-6 (8), 6-2, and the fourth-seeded Haas, 34, dismissed American wild card Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-2.
   Isner is 3-1 against Haas, but they have not met since Isner's first-round victory at Cincinnati in 2009.
SAP OPEN
In San Jose
Singles quarterfinals
   Tommy Haas (4), Germany, def. Steve Johnson, United States, 6-4, 6-2.
   John Isner (2), United States, def. Xavier Malisse (8), Belgium, 7-6 (8), 6-2.
   Milos Raonic (1), Canada, def. Denis Istomin (6), Uzbekistan, 7-6 (0), 6-3.
   Sam Querrey (3), United States, def. Alejandro Falla, Colombia. 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.
Doubles semifinals
   Lleyton Hewitt and Marinko Matosevic, Australia, def. Mikhail Elgin, Russia, and Denis Istomin, Uzbekistan, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (2), 10-5 tiebreak.
Saturday's schedule
(Beginning at 12:15 p.m. PST)
   John Isner (2), United States, vs. Tommy Haas (4), Germany.
(Not before 4 p.m.)
   Milos Raonic (1), Canada, vs. Sam Querrey (3), United States, or Alejandro Falla, Colombia.
   Exhibition: Stephanie Graf, Germany, and Andy Roddick, United States, vs. Lindsay Davenport and Justin Gimelstob, United States.
   Xavier Malisse, Belgium, and Frank Moser (4), Germany, vs. Alejandro Falla and Robert Farah, Colombia.    

Thursday, February 14, 2013

2012 SAP finalists to meet in quarters

   In a rematch of last year’s final, Milos Raonic and Denis Istomin will meet in Friday’s quarterfinals at the SAP Open in San Jose.
   Raonic, the top seed and two-time defending champion from Canada, improved his SAP Open record to 10-0 with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over 34-year-old American Michael Russell in the second round Thursday at HP Pavilion.
   Istomin, the sixth seed from Uzbekistan, outlasted 2007 semifinalist Benjamin Becker of Germany 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2.
   Raonic, 6-foot-5 (1.96 meters), defeated Istomin 7-6 (3), 6-2 for the 2012 title.
   “I’m definitely comfortable here,” Raonic, who drew a first-round bye this year, told reporters. “I made a big emphasis on starting aggressive today, especially being the first match of the tournament and his second match of the tournament. I was able to play well.”
   Meanwhile, it appears Bob and Mike Bryan will never win the doubles title in San Jose, 20 miles down the freeway from their alma mater, Stanford. The world's No. 1 team, which won its record 13th Grand Slam title last month in the Australian Open, fell to Aussie wild cards Lleyton Hewitt and Marinko Matosevic 6-4, 6-7 (4), 10-7 tiebreak in the quarterfinals.
   The Bryans made their 10th appearance in the tournament, which will be replaced on the calendar by Rio de Janeiro beginning in 2014 after 125 years in Northern California. The 34-year-old identical twins reached the final once, losing to fellow Stanford alumni Scott Lipsky and David Martin in 2008.  
   Lipsky, who also won the 2011 SAP Open doubles title with Rajeev Ram, joined the Bryans on the sideline Thursday. The third-seeded team of Lipsky and Mexico's Santiago Gonzalez lost to unseeded Mikhail Elgin of Russia and Istomin 6-4, 6-4.
   No. 3 singles seed Sam Querrey, who had a bye in the first round, narrowly avoided his third straight opening-round loss in the SAP Open. The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) native of nearby San Francisco edged the 31-year-old Hewitt, formerly ranked No. 1 in the world and the 2002 SAP Open champion, 7-6 (6), 1-6, 7-6 (4).
   Hewitt double-faulted twice in the third-set tiebreaker, including on match point. Querrey pounded 20 aces in the match.
   In 2010, Querrey came within a third-set tiebreaker against Andy Roddick of reaching the SAP Open singles final and won the doubles title with Mardy Fish.
   Querrey will play Colombian veteran Alejandro Falla in the quarterfinals. Falla, the SAP Open doubles runner-up with Xavier Malisse in 2011, upset the seventh-seeded Matosevic 6-4, 6-4.  
  Two players in their 30s reached the quarterfinals in the bottom half of the draw. Fourth-seeded Tommy Haas, 34, of Germany will meet American wild card Steve Johnson, and the eighth-seeded Malisse, 32, of Belgium will face second-seeded John Isner of Tampa, Fla.
   Haas reached No. 2 in the world in 2002, advanced to the SAP Open semifinals in 2005 and won the 2009 doubles title in San Jose with Radek Stepanek.
   Johnson, who turned pro last summer after leading USC to four straight NCAA team titles and winning the last two NCAA singles crowns, dispatched fellow American Tim Smyczek 6-3, 6-3 to reach his first ATP World Tour quarterfinal.
   Malisse gained the San Jose singles semis in 2001, won the French Open men’s doubles title in 2004 with countryman Olivier Rochus and took last year’s SAP Open doubles crown with since-retired Mark Knowles. 
SAP OPEN
In San Jose
Second-round singles
   Milos Raonic (1), Canada, def. Michael Russell, United States, 6-2, 7-5.
   Denis Istomin (6), Uzbekistan, def. Benjamin Becker, Germany, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2.
   Sam Querrey (3), United States, def. Lleyton Hewitt, Australia, 7-6 (6), 1-6, 7-6 (4).
   Alejandro Falla, Colombia, def. Marinko Matosevic (7), Australia, 6-4, 6-4.
   Steve Johnson, United States, def. Tim Smyczek, United States, 6-3, 6-3.
   Xavier Malisse (8), Belgium, def. Matthew Ebden, Australia, 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (1).
Doubles quarterfinals
   Mikhail Elgin, Russia, and Denis Istomin, Uzbekistan, def. Santiago Gonzalez, Mexico, and Scott Lipsky (3), United States, 6-4, 6-4.
   Alejandro Falla and Robert Farah, Colombia, def. Rik de Voest, South Africa, and Tommy Haas, Germany, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 10-6 tiebreak.
   Lleyton Hewitt and Marinko Matosevic, Australia, def. Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan (1), United States, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 10-7 tiebreak.
   Xavier Malisse, Belgium, and Frank Moser (4), Germany, def. Matthew Ebden, Australia, and Michael Russell, United States, 6-3, 6-3.
Friday's schedule
Center Court
   (Beginning at 11:30 a.m. PST)
   Tommy Haas (4), Germany, vs. Steve Johnson, United States. 
   (Not before 2 p.m.)
   John Isner (2), United States, vs. Xavier Malisse (8), Belgium.
(Not before 7 p.m.)
   Milos Raonic (2), Canada, vs. Denis Istomin (6), Uzbekistan.
   Sam Querrey (3), United States, vs. Alejandro Falla, Colombia.
   Lleyton Hewitt and Marinko Matosevic, Australia, vs. Mikhail Elgin, Russia, and Denis Istomin, Uzbekistan.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ex-prodigy tries to rebound after nightmarish year

   SAN JOSE -- In 2005, Donald Young debuted on the ATP World Tour in the SAP Open as the Great American Hope. He was 15 years old.
   Eight years later, Young is still looking for his first ATP title and trying to bounce back from a nightmarish 2012. As a qualifier, he lost to fellow American Michael Russell on Wednesday in the first round of the SAP Open for the second straight year, 6-3, 7-5.
   The 5-foot-8 (1.73-meter), 155-pound (70-kilogram) Russell, who will turn 35 in May, saved five set points in the second set. Several came on spectacular shots.
   "Some shots, I don't know how they went in, but I'll take it," he said.
   Young was erratic, showing the gifted hands that fellow left-hander John McEnroe once compared to his own, but also making too many errors in the match and converting only 43 percent of his first serves in the second set.
   "Credit to Mike for playing well," said Young, ranked No. 202. "I didn't take advantage of my opportunities."
Second-seeded John Isner waits to return serve against Vasek
Pospisil in the second round of the SAP Open in San Jose.
Photo by Paul Bauman

   Second-seeded John Isner, the top-ranked American at No. 16 in the world, defeated Vasek Pospisil of Canada 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3 in a second-round match at night. Isner, 6-foot-9 (2.06 meters), drew a bye in the first round.
   Speaking of nightmares, Isner flew economy class from Tampa, Fla., to San Jose. Not surprisingly, he complained of a sore back.
   "I was supposed to fly first class, but the plane from Newark was late, and I had to give up my seat," Isner said. "I took a window seat because the cart is always bumping me on the aisle. It was a 6 a.m. flight, and I must have slept in an awkward position."
   A few weeks before Young's ATP debut, he won the Australian Open junior title to become youngest-ever and first African-American boy to be ranked No. 1 in the world. The prodigy then lost to American veteran Robby Ginepri 6-2, 6-2 in the first round at San Jose.
  Young struggled for years on the ATP circuit and in tennis' minor leagues. What went wrong? You name it:
   --Bad management decisions. Because his family needed the money, Young turned pro at the preposterous age of 14 and accepted wild cards into ATP tournaments. He promptly got pummeled, shattering his confidence.
   "Growing up, I won all the time," Young said. "The pros are not like the juniors, but the more matches you win, the better you feel."
   --Questionable coaching. Young has relied on his parents rather than more accomplished coaches.
   --Bad attitude. Young has gotten frustrated easily during his career.
   --Bad work ethic. This is the curse of being highly talented. It's tempting to say, "I don't need to work hard."
   --Insufficient power. Young is listed at 6 feet (1.83 meters) and 160 pounds (73 kilograms), and finesse doesn't cut it these days.   
   Young nevertheless reached a career-high No. 38 in the world last February, but then came 16 consecutive losses. He finished 5-24 on the ATP tour last year and won one match on the Challenger circuit.
   "I've put 2012 out of my mind," Young said. "I've already won more matches this year than I did last year. I couldn't really tell you what happened. I started losing, and it spiraled downward."
   Young has won seven matches this year, all in qualifying. Wednesday's encounter was his season debut in the main draw of a Grand Slam or ATP tournament. It was also his first match in three weeks after retiring at 0-4 with the flu against Russell in the first round of the Maui Challenger.
   "I'm playing better, but it will take a little while to get over the hump," Young said.
   Russell agreed that Young is rebounding.
   "I definitely think he's playing a lot better," said Russell, who improved to 7-3 against Young and earned a meeting against top seed and two-time defending champion Milos Raonic on Thursday at 7 p.m. "His forehand has a lot more whip on it, and he's serving better. He'll be a lot closer to the top hundred at the end of the year, if not in the top hundred."
   Young once dreamed of winning Grand Slam titles. His goals are much more modest now.
   "My goals are to win 10 matches in February, get back in the top 50 and win my first title," he said.
SAP OPEN
In San Jose
First-round singles
   Alejandro Falla, Colombia, def. Flavio Cipolla, Italy, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (10).
   Matthew Ebden, Australia, def. Rik de Voest, South Africa, 6-2, 7-5.
   Michael Russell, United States, def. Donald Young, United States, 6-3, 7-5.
   Steve Johnson, United States, def. Ivo Karlovic, Croatia, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 7-6 (6).
   Tommy Haas (4), Germany, def. Jesse Levine, Canada, 6-3, 6-1.
Second-round singles
   John Isner (2), United States, def. Vasek Pospisil, Canada, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3.   
First-round doubles
   Lleyton Hewitt and Marinko Matosevic, Australia, def. Philipp Marx, Germany, and Florin Mergea, Romania, 1-6, 7-6 (5), 10-2 tiebreak.
   Denis Istomin, Uzbekistan, and Mikhail Elgin, Russia, def. Nicholas Monroe, United States, and Simon Stadler, Germany, 6-4, 6-4.
   Xavier Malisse, Belgium, and Frank Moser (4), Germany, def. Jamie Murray, Great Britain, and John Peers, Australia, 6-4, 6-4.
Thursday's schedule
Center Court
(Beginning at 9:30 a.m.)
   Benjamin Becker, Germany, vs. Denis Istomin (6), Uzbekistan.
   Alejandro Falla, Colombia, vs. Marinko Matosevic (7), Australia.
   Xavier Malisse (8), Belgium, vs. Matthew Ebden, Australia.
   Tim Smyczek, United States, vs. Steve Johnson, United States.
   Sam Querrey (3), United States, vs. Lleyton Hewitt, Australia.
 (Not before 7 p.m.)
   Milos Raonic (1), Canada, vs. Michael Russell, United States.
   Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan (1), United States, vs. Lleyton Hewitt and Marinko Matosevic, Australia.
   Matthew Ebden, Australia, and Michael Russell, United States, vs. Xavier Malisse, Belgium, and Frank Moser (4), Germany. 
Courtside Club 16
(Beginning at 4 p.m.)
   Santiago Gonzalez, Mexico and Scott Lipsky (3), United States, vs. Mikhail Elgin, Russia, and Denis Istomin, Uzbekistan.
   Alejandro Falla and Robert Farah, Colombia, vs. Rik de Voest, South Africa, and Tommy Haas, Germany.
PRO RANKINGS
   Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Kevin Anderson, Sacramento Capitals (2012) of World TeamTennis -- No. 29 in singles (-1), No. 77 in doubles (-3).
   Nick Andrews, Cal All-American in 2012, resident of Folsom in the Sacramento area -- No. 1,062 in doubles (-1), No. 1,502 in singles (+2).  
   Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 2 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, Capitals (2012) -- No. 32 in singles (-2), unranked in doubles.
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- No. 159 in doubles (-22), unranked in singles.
   Artem Ilyushin, resident of Granite Bay in the Sacramento area -- No. 1,100 in singles (no change), No. 1,510 in doubles (+1).
   Bradley Klahn, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 223 in singles (-1), No. 475 in doubles (+47).
   Alex Kuznetsov, Capitals (2012) -- No. 255 in singles (+12), No. 189 in doubles (+30).
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 30 in doubles (-2), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012) -- No. 20 in singles (no change), No. 41 in doubles (no change).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012) -- No. 156 in singles (+6), No. 850 in doubles (+237).
   Ryan Thacher, 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 549 in doubles (-1), No. 977 in singles (-1).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 117 in singles (no change), No. 289 in doubles (-6).
   Pedro Zerbini, All-Pacific-10 Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- Career-high No. 468 in singles (+3), No. 552 in doubles (no change).
Women
   Mallory Burdette, NCAA singles runner-up in 2012 and NCAA doubles champion in 2011 and 2012 from Stanford -- Career-high No. 126 in singles (+20), No. 366 in doubles (+67). 
   Vania King, Capitals (2010-12) -- No. 28 in doubles (no change), No. 117 in singles (-12).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- Career-high No. 13 in doubles (no change), No. 1,113 in singles (no change).
   Asia Muhammad, Capitals (2012) -- Career-high No. 148 in doubles (+17), No. 435 in singles (+6).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- Career-high No. 114 in singles (+5), No. 114 in doubles (+2).
   Yasmin Schnack, resident of Elk Grove in the Sacramento area, Capitals (2011-12) -- No. 192 in doubles (-19), No. 761 in singles (-95).
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy resident -- No. 460 in singles (+4), No. 1,106 in doubles (+5).
   CoCo Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 99 in singles (+3), No. 350 in doubles (+143).
TV SCHEDULE
(All times PST)
   Thursday --  Rotterdam (men), round of 16, Tennis Channel, 2-8 a.m. (live), 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (live), 2:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (repeat).
   Friday -- Rotterdam (men), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 3:30-7:30 a.m. (live), 7:30-9:30 a.m. (repeat), 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (live). Doha (women), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 2:30-6:30 p.m. (delay), 8:30-10:30 p.m. (repeat). Sao Paolo (men), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (delay). 
   Saturday -- Rotterdam (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 5-7:30 a.m. (live), 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (live). Doha (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 7:30-9:30 a.m. (delay), 3-5 p.m. (delay). San Jose (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 1-3 p.m. (live), 8:30-10:30 p.m. (live). Sao Paolo (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 5-7 p.m. (delay).
   Sunday -- Rotterdam (men), final, Tennis Channel, 5:30-8 a.m. (live), 5-7:30 p.m. (repeat). Doha (women), final, 8-10 a.m. (delay), 7:30-9:30 p.m. (repeat). Sao Paolo (men), final, Tennis Channel, 1-3 p.m. (delay).
CALENDAR
   Through Sunday -- SAP Open, HP Pavilion in San Jose, www.sapopentennis.com. 2012 champions: Milos Raonic, Mark Knowles-Xavier Malisse.
   March 4-17 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, www.bnpparibasopen.com. 2012 champions: Roger Federer, Victoria Azarenka, Marc Lopez-Rafael Nadal, Liezel Huber-Lisa Raymond.
   April 23-28 -- Pac-12 Men's and Women's Championships, Ojai Valley Athletic Club/Libbey Park, Ojai, www.pac12.com.
   April 25-28 -- Big West Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Indian Wells Tennis Garden, www.bigwest.org.
   April 26-28 -- Big Sky Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Gold River Racquet Club, Gold River, Calif., www.bigskyconf.com.
   May 10-11 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Team Championships, first and second rounds at campus sites, www.ncaa.com.
   May 16-21 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Team Championships, round of 16 through finals, Urbana, Ill., www.ncaa.com, www.fightingillini.com.
   May 22-27 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Individual Championships, Urbana, Ill., www.ncaa.com, www.fightingillini.com.

U.S. qualifier shocks ex-SAP champ; WTT marquee draft

Qualifier Tim Smyczek signs autographs after stunning fifth
seed and 2010 champion  Fernando Verdasco in the first round
of the SAP Open on Tuesday night. Photo by Paul Bauman
   SAN JOSE -- Little Tim Smyczek gave the United States a big lift Tuesday night.
   Three Americans -- Ryan Harrison and wild card Jack Sock, both 20, and qualifier Ryan Sweeting -- fell in consecutive singles matches on the only court at HP Pavilion during the day session in the SAP Open.
   Combined with wild card Bradley Klahn's loss on Monday night, that brought the United States' singles record in the tournament to 0-4 with the big guns, second-seeded John Isner (6-foot-9, 2.06 meters) and third-seeded Sam Querrey (6-foot-6, 1.98 meters), and others yet to play.
    But in the last match of the night, the 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter), 145-pound (66-kilogram) Smyczek dismissed fifth-seeded Fernando Verdasco, the SAP Open champion in 2010 and runner-up in 2011, 6-3, 6-3 in the first round.
   "It's one of my best moments on a tennis court," Smyczek (pronounced SMEE-check) -- a 25-year-old qualifier from Milwaukee, of all places -- told the announced crowd of 3,418 afterward. "It's always great coming back to San Jose. I've had a lot of success here."
   A four-time qualifier in San Jose, Smyczek received a wild card in the 2011 SAP Open and reached the quarterfinals. He also has advanced to the second round of the last two Grand Slam tournaments, the Australian Open and the U.S. Open, as a qualifier.  
   Verdasco, a Spaniard ranked No. 24 in the world, is the second-highest-ranked player Smyczek has beaten. He knocked off then-No. 19 Jurgen Melzer of Austria in the first round at Delray Beach (Fla.) -- as a qualifier, of course -- last February before losing to Bernard Tomic of Australia in the second round.
   Smyczek, ranked No. 105, will face the winner of today's match between 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) Ivo Karlovic of Croatia and American wild card Steve Johnson, who won the last two NCAA singles titles before completing his eligibility at USC.
   Win or lose, Smyczek likely will crack the top 100 for the first time when the next rankings are released on Monday.
   "It's a longtime goal," Smyczek said. "It's been a long road, and to almost be there is really exciting."
Bob Bryan, right, waits to return serve as Mike Bryan watches during their
first-round match against fellow Americans  Steve Johnson and Jack Sock.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Before Smyczek and Verdasco took the court, top-seeded Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan edged U.S. wild cards Johnson and Jack Sock 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) in the first round of doubles. Johnson and Sock won the first eight points against the Bryans, who were coming off a rare Davis Cup loss.
   "They came out on fire and caught us a little off guard," Bob Bryan said. " ... They were gunning for us, so  we had our hands full. I thought we started playing pretty well there and fought them off."
   The 34-year-old identical twins have won virtually every honor in men's doubles, including a record 13 Grand Slam titles, an Olympic gold medal and a Davis Cup title. But the Bryans have never won the SAP Open in nine attempts.
   They have reached one final in the tournament, losing to Scott Lipsky and David Martin five years ago in a matchup of four former Stanford players. The campus is 20 miles (33 kilometers) northwest of HP Pavilion, and the Bryans had many supporters in the stands Tuesday night.
   This is the Bryans' last shot at the title. The tournament, the second-oldest professional event in the United States behind the U.S. Open, will be replaced on the calendar by Rio de Janeiro beginning in 2014 after 125 years in Northern California.
   "It would be pretty satisfying to get this one," said Mike Bryan, who wore a Stanford cap at the postmatch news conference. "It's eluded us (almost) 10 times. We've been in the finals once or twice. It would be nice to check this one off, especially being from Stanford and having a lot of our friends come out. Now is the year to do it. It won't eat us alive if we don't do it, but we really want to try to play well here."
   The Bryans led Stanford to NCAA titles both years they attended the school, 1997 and 1998, before turning pro. On Monday, they returned to campus and visited their old coach, Dick Gould, and John Whitlinger, who took over in 2005 after Gould became Stanford's director of tennis.
   "Stanford was definitely two of the most fun years we've ever had playing this game," Bob Bryan said. "Playing for a team, it was a blast. To go back there and look at that stadium where we have so many great memories is awesome.
   "We went to the Stanford gift shop and dropped a few hundred dollars on Stanford gear to take home. It's fun to relive those memories and look up on the wall and see the national title plaques. Dick Gould has some amazing monuments there (commemorating every Grand Slam champion from Stanford), so it's kind of cool to see your name etched in the stone wall."
   WTT marquee draft -- The Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis protected their rights to Querrey and Mardy Fish, two of the top three Americans, in Tuesday's marquee draft.
   Querrey is scheduled to play the last week of the three-week regular season in July, and Fish plans to play two or three home matches on dates to be announced. However, Fish has been sidelined since last September with a heart problem. He underwent a procedure for an irregular heartbeat last April.
   Querrey (No. 20) and Fish (No. 32) are the second- and third-ranked Americans behind John Isner (No. 16). Querrey played six of Sacramento's 14 regular-season matches last year, finishing second in men's singles by winning 58.0 percent of his games, and Fish two.
   Neither competed in the playoffs as the Capitals fell to the Washington Kastles 20-19 in the WTT Finals.
   Bob and Mike Bryan of the new Texas Wild, which relocated to Irving after 20 years in Kansas City, will face their father, longtime Capitals coach Wayne Bryan, again on a date to be announced at Sacramento.
   Top pick Andy Roddick, who retired from the men's circuit last September, is scheduled to play five matches for the Springfield (Mo.) Lasers.
   Venus Williams will return part-time to Washington, and 19-year-old Sloane Stephens, who reached the semifinals of last month's Australian Open, will play a limited schedule for the Philadelphia Freedoms.  
   Teams will complete their lineups in the March 12 roster draft in Indian Wells. The 2013 schedule will be released during the week of March 4.
SAP OPEN
In San Jose
First-round singles
   Vasek Pospisil, Canada, def. Evgeny Donskoy, Russia, 7-5, 6-1.
   Lleyton Hewitt, Australia, def. Blaz Kavcic, Slovenia, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4).
   Benjamin Becker, Germany, def. Ryan Harrison, United States, 6-7 (3), 7-5, 6-3.
   Marinko Matosevic (7), Australia, def. Jack Sock, United States, 7-6 (5), 6-1.
   Denis Istomin (6), Uzbekistan, def. Ryan Sweeting, United States, 6-3, 6-4.
   Tim Smyczek, United States, def. Fernando Verdasco (5), Spain, 6-3, 6-3.
First-round doubles
   Matthew Ebden, Australia, and Michael Russell, United States, def. Benjamin Becker, Germany, and Flavio Cipolla, Italy, 6-3, 7-6 (6).
   Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan (1), United States, def. Steve Johnson and Jack Sock, United States, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5).
Today's schedule
Center Court
(Beginning at 9:30 a.m.)
   Flavio Cipolla, Italy, vs. Alejandro Falla, Colombia.
   Matthew Ebden, Australia, vs. Rik de Voest, South Africa.
   Philipp Marx, Germany, and Florin Mergea, Romania, vs. Lleyton Hewitt and Marinko Matosevic, Australia.
   Michael Russell, United States, vs. Donald Young, United States.
   Ivo Karlovic, Croatia, vs. Steve Johnson, United States.
(Not before 7 p.m.)
   Vasek Pospisil, Canada, vs. John Isner (2), United States.
   Jesse Levine, Canada, vs. Tommy Haas (4), Germany.
Courtside Club 16
(Beginning at 4 p.m.)
   Nicholas Monroe, United States, and Simon Stadler, Germany, vs. Mikhail Elgin, Russia, and Denis Istomin, Uzbekistan.
   Jamie Murray, Great Britain, and John Peers, Australia, vs. Xavier Malisse, Belgium, and Frank Moser (4), Germany.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ex-Stanford star falls to familiar foe in SAP Open

   Bradley Klahn probably has seen enough of Jesse Levine for a while.
   Klahn, playing a few miles down the road from where he starred for four years at Stanford, lost to Levine for the second time in one week Monday night.
   In a matchup of diminutive left-handers, Levine defeated wild card Klahn 7-5, 6-2 in the first round of the SAP Open at HP Pavilion in San Jose. Levine, a 25-year-old Canadian, also had beaten Klahn, 22, of Poway in the San Diego area, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3 in the first round of the Dallas Challenger. 
   Klahn won the 2010 NCAA singles title as a sophomore at Stanford but was plagued by back pain as a junior. He underwent surgery for a herniated disc in October 2011 and returned one year ago for his senior season. Since turning pro last July, he has soared from No. 661 in the world rankings to No. 223.
   Levine, the runner-up to Santiago Giraldo of Colombia in the 2009 Sacramento Challenger, is ranked No. 95. He will face fourth-seeded Tommy Haas, 34, of Germany in the second round of the SAP Open. Haas, who reached No. 2 in the world in 2002 before battling injuries, received a bye in the first round.
SAP OPEN
In San Jose
First-round singles
   Xavier Malisse (8), Belgium, def. Go Soeda, Japan, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
   Jesse Levine, Canada, def. Bradley Klahn, United States,7-5, 6-2.
First-round doubles
   Santiago Gonzalez, Mexico, and Scott Lipsky (3), United States, def. James Cerretani, United States, and Adil Shamasdin, Canada, 6-3, 6-4.
   Alejandro Falla and Robert Farah, Colombia, def. Ryan Harrison and John Isner, United States, 6-2, 6-1.
   Rik de Voest, South Africa, and Tommy Haas, Germany, def. David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco (2), Spain, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 10-6 tiebreak.
Final-round singles qualifying
   Tim Smyczek (1), United States, def. Erik Chvojka, Canada, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
   Ryan Sweeting, United States, def. Alex Bogomolov Jr. (2), Russia, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (4).
   Rik de Voest, South Africa, def. Illya Marchenko (4), Ukraine, 7-6 (5), 6-4.
   Donald Young (7), United States, def. Denis Kudla (3), United States, 6-4, 6-3.
Today's schedule
Center Court
(Beginning at 9:30 a.m.) 
   Vasek Pospisil, Canada, vs. Evgeny Donskoy, Russia.
   Blaz Kavcic, Slovenia, vs. Lleyton Hewitt, Australia.
   Benjamin Becker, Germany, vs. Ryan Harrison, United States.
   Jack Sock, United States, vs. Marinko Matosevic (7), Australia.
   Ryan Sweeting, United States, vs. Denis Istomin (6), Uzbekistan.
   (Not before 7 p.m.)
   Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan (1), United States, vs. Steve Johnson and Jack Sock, United States.
   Fernando Verdasco (5), Spain, vs. Tim Smyczek, United States.
Courtside Club 16
 (Beginning at 6 p.m.)
   Benjamin Becker, Germany, and Flavio Cipolla, Italy, vs. Matthew Ebden, Australia, and Michael Russell, United States.
   Philipp Marx, Germany, and Florin Mergea, Romania, vs. Lleyton Hewitt and Marinko Matosevic, Australia.

Monday, February 11, 2013

SAP Open qualifying, schedule; college scores

SAP OPEN
At HP Pavilion in San Jose
Singles qualifying
Second round
   Tim Smyczek (1), United States, def. Denys Molchanov, Ukraine, 6-3, 2-1, retired.
   Erik Chvojka, Canada, def. Nicolas Meister, United States, 6-3, 6-4.
   Alex Bogomolov Jr. (2), Russia, def. Dennis Lajola, United States, 6-1, 6-2.
   Ryan Sweeting (5), United States, def. Chris Wettengel, United States, 6-0, 6-4.
   Denis Kudla (3), United States, def. Nicholas Monroe, United States, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1.
   Donald Young (7), United States, def. Simon Stadler, Germany, 6-3, 7-5.
   Illya Marchenko (4), Ukraine, def. Jason Jung, United States, 6-3, 6-3.
   Rik de Voest, South Africa, def. Robert Farah (8), Colombia, 6-3, 7-5.
Today's schedule
Center Court
(Beginning at 9:30 a.m.)
   Smyczek (1) vs. Chvojka (final-round singles qualifying).
   Bogomolov (2) vs. Sweeting (5) (final-round singles qualifying).
   Gonzalez-Lipsky (3) vs. Cerretani-Shamasdin (first-round main-draw doubles).
   Marchenko (4) vs. De Voest (final-round singles qualifying).
   Kudla (3) vs. Young (7) (final-round singles qualifying).
   (Not before 7 p.m.)
   Malisse (8) vs. Soeda (first-round main-draw singles).
   Levine vs. Klahn (first-round main-draw singles).
Courtside Club 16
(Not before 6 p.m.)
   Falla-Farah vs. Harrison-Isner (first-round main-draw doubles).
   De Voest-Haas vs. Marrero-Verdasco (2) (first-round main-draw doubles).
COLLEGE SCORES
   Men
   San Francisco (2-2) def. Sacramento State (1-4) 6-1 in San Francisco.
   Pacific (4-2) def. Saint Mary's (2-4) 4-3 in Moraga.
Women
   No. 4 USC (7-1) def. No. 7 Cal (3-2) 4-1 in the consolation round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va.
   No. 40 Saint Mary's (4-3) def. Cal Poly (1-4) 4-0 in Moraga.
   No. 56 Fresno State (4-2) def. Santa Clara (2-2) 4-3 in Santa Clara. 
   UC Davis (2-5) def. Portland (3-3) 4-3 in Portland, Ore.
   Pacific (3-2) def. New Mexico State (1-2) 5-2 in Las Vegas.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Raonic could go undefeated in San Jose ... for life

   Milos Raonic finds himself in a unique situation heading into next week's SAP Open in San Jose.
Milos Raonic seeks his third straight SAP Open title
in San Jose. Photo by Paul Bauman



   If the 22-year-old Canadian wins the title as the top seed, he will have gone undefeated in the tournament -- probably forever. Raonic, 6-foot-5 (1.96 meters), is bidding for his third consecutive SAP Open crown in as many appearances at HP Pavilion. He was unseeded in 2011 and seeded third in 2012.
   With a first-round bye, Raonic needs to win four matches to hoist the trophy again. That would give him a 13-0 record in the tournament, which will be replaced on the calendar by Rio de Janeiro beginning next year after 125 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has never even lost a set in the SAP Open, winning all eight tiebreakers he has played.
   Raonic could become the first player to win three straight titles in the Bay Area tournament since International Tennis Hall of Famer Tony Trabert from 1953 to 1955. Among those who have won two in a row are John McEnroe (1978-79), Pete Sampras (1996-97), Andy Roddick (2004-05) and Andy Murray (2006-07). Andre Agassi equaled McEnroe's modern record of five championships, but none came consecutively.
   "It would be something special," Raonic, the youngest player in the top 20 at No. 13, said during a recent conference call. "I don't think people can say really too often that they've gone sort of undefeated at one event. It would be something pretty awesome to be able to do that.
   "It's a long ways to that, but I feel ready, and I just have to keep focusing on it and make the most of those opportunities."
    You don't have to be Brad Gilbert to figure out why Raonic has excelled in the SAP Open, the only North American ATP tournament held in a sports arena.
   He feels comfortable there. It's near Canada, but without the pressure and distractions of playing there, and in another English-speaking country. And although Raonic might be the only Canadian man who's not a hockey fanatic, HP Pavilion is the home of the San Jose Sharks in the National Hockey League.
   Also, there's no wind or sun to impede Raonic's pulverizing serve. He finished second last year with 1,002 aces, three behind 6-foot-10 (2.06-meter) John Isner, who's seeded second in the SAP Open.
   Meanwhile, the field in the tournament, at the lowest tier on the ATP World Tour, has been less than stellar. In the past two years, the only top-10 player to enter was No. 9 Fernando Verdasco of Spain in 2011. Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have never played in the SAP Open, and Murray hasn't returned since 2007.
   Raonic added that the timing of the San Jose and Memphis tournaments benefits him. He has finished as the runner-up in Memphis, another indoor tournament held the week after the SAP Open, for the past two years in his only appearances there.
   "The conditions are good for me," he said. "But I think I've really pushed myself, and I work really hard during the offseason. That gives me a lot of confidence. Those tournaments come up right after I get some matches in (during the Australian Open and its warmup tournaments), as well. So it's just sort of the timing of it and the work I put in. It starts clicking at those events. That's paid off for me the most."
    It's difficult to see anyone besides possibly third-seeded Sam Querrey, a native of nearby San Francisco, halting Raonic's winning streak in the SAP Open. Isner isn't match tough after missing the Australian Open with a knee injury and going 1-1 against visiting Brazil in the Davis Cup last weekend.
   Fourth-seeded Tommy Haas, a German-born U.S. citizen, is 34. The fifth-seeded Verdasco is 29 and hasn't won a title in almost three years. Sixth-seeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan lost 7-6 (3), 6-2 to Raonic in last year's SAP Open final. Seventh-seeded Marinko Matosevic of Australia has never won an ATP title, and eighth-seeded Xavier Malisse of Belgium is 32.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey, however, is 2-0 lifetime against Raonic. They could meet in the semifinals. Both players led their countries to victory on home soil in the first round of the Davis Cup last weekend, winning both of their singles matches.
   Querrey has had mixed results in the SAP Open. He came within a tiebreaker against Andy Roddick of reaching the 2010 final and won the doubles title that year with Mardy Fish. However, Querrey has lost in the first round of singles the past two years.    
   The impending demise of the SAP Open, which uses only one court at HP Pavilion, is "unfortunate," Raonic said. "I think it's a very unique tournament. It's definitely different from the setup of most other events. It's a setup I like. It's an indoor event, which we have a lot of on the tour, but to play in the kind of stadium they set it up in, for me it's been a lot of good memories there."
SAP OPEN
Singles qualifying
First round
   Tim Smyczek (1), U.S., def. William Boe-Wiegaard, U.S., 6-2, 6-4. Denys Molchanov, Ukraine, def. Robin Kern, Germany, 7-5, 6-3. Erik Chvojka, Canada, def. Chase Buchanan, U.S., 7-5, 6-2. Nicolas Meister, U.S., def. Jimmy Wang (6), Taiwan, 6-4, 6-4. Alex Bogomolov Jr. (2), Russia, def. Pierre-Hugues Herbert, France, 6-4, 6-4. Dennis Lajola, U.S., def. Takanyi Garanganga, Zimbabwe, 6-4, 4-3, ret. Chris Wettengel, U.S., def. Gregory Ouellette, U.S., 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4). Ryan Sweeting (5), U.S., def. Marek Michalicka, Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-0.
   Denis Kudla (3), U.S., def. Denis Zivkovic, U.S., 6-1, 6-4. Nicholas Monroe, U.S., def. Daniel Kosakowski, U.S., 3-6, 6-0, 6-1. Simon Stadler, Germany, def. Izak Van der Merwe, South Africa, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Donald Young (7), U.S., def. Denny Fafek, U.S., 6-4, 6-4. Illya Marchenko, Ukraine, def. Boris Nicola Bakalov, Bulgaria, 6-4, 6-0. Jason Jung, U.S., def. Prakash Amritraj, India, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2. Rik de Voest, South Africa, def. Luka Gregorc, Slovenia, 6-3, 6-3. Robert Farah (8), Colombia, def. Kevin Kim, U.S., 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
Today's schedule
(Beginning at 10 a.m.)
Courtside Club 16
   Bogomolov Jr. (2) vs. Lajola, Smyczek (1) vs. Molchanov, Kudla (3) vs. Monroe, Marchenko (4) vs. Jung, De Voest vs. Farah (8).
Courtside Club 18
   Wettengel vs. Sweeting (5), Chvojka vs. Meister, Stadler vs. Young (7).     
COLLEGE SCORES
Men
   No. 2 USC (9-0) def. No. 19 Stanford (3-4) 6-1 in Los Angeles.
   No. 3 UCLA (7-0) def. No. 13 Cal (3-2) 6-1 in Los Angeles.
   No. 50 BYU (7-2) def. No. 33 Santa Clara (5-3) 4-3 in Provo, Utah.
Women
   No. 6 Georgia (3-0) def. No. 7 Cal (4-1) 4-1 in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va.
   No. 69 Oregon (7-0) def. UC Davis (1-5) 5-2 in Eugene, Ore.
   San Jose State (5-2) def. Santa Clara (2-3) 4-3 in Santa Clara.
   Fresno State (3-2) def. San Francisco (3-2) 6-1 in San Francisco.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

SAP draw, pro rankings, TV, college scores, calendar

   Last year's SAP Open finalists could meet in the quarterfinals next week at HP Pavilion in San Jose.
   Two-time defending champion Milos Raonic of Canada is seeded first with a world ranking of No. 13. Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan is seeded sixth at No. 46. Raonic defeated Istomin 7-6 (3), 6-2 for the 2012 title.
   The draw for this year's SAP Open, the last after 125 years, was held Friday. The tournament will be replaced on the calendar by Rio de Janeiro beginning next year.
   The top four seeds -- Raonic, Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey, and Germany's Tommy Haas -- received first-round byes. See below for the night schedule during the week.
   Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine and Feliciano Lopez of Spain withdrew with injuries. Dolgopolov, ranked 23rd, injured an ankle in his country's 3-2 victory over the Slovak Republic in the Davis Cup last weekend, and Lopez, ranked 47th, cited a wrist problem.
   Following are links to the SAP Open singles main and qualifying draws and schedule for today. The doubles draw has not been held.
   www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2013/424/mds.pdf
   www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2013/424/qs.pdf
   www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2013/424/op.pdf
   For more information, visit www.sapopentennis.org.

Monday, Feb. 11, at 7 PM
Benjamin Becker vs. Ryan Harrison
(1st round singles)
followed by
Jesse Levine vs. Bradley Klahn
(1st round singles)

Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 7 PM
Bryan Brothers
(1st round doubles)
followed by
Fernando Verdasco vs. Qualifier
(1st round singles)

Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7 PM

John Isner (2nd round singles)
followed by
Tommy Haas (2nd round singles)

Thursday, Feb. 14, at 7 PM
Presented by: SAP
Milos Raonic (2nd round singles)
followed by
Sam Querrey (2nd round singles)

Friday, Feb. 15, at 7 PM
Presented by: Corona

Saturday, Feb. 16, at 7 PM
Presented by: Citrix
Mixed Doubles Exhibition featuring Stefanie Graf, Lindsay Davenport & Andy Roddick
followed by
A singles semi-final match

 *Players subject to change

PRO RANKINGS
   Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Kevin Anderson, Sacramento Capitals (2012) of World TeamTennis -- Career-high No. 28 in singles (+1), career-high No. 74 in doubles (+5).
   Nick Andrews, Cal All-American in 2012, resident of Folsom in the Sacramento area -- Career-high No. 1,061 in doubles (+8), No. 1,504 in singles (+7).  
   Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- No. 2 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, Capitals (2012) -- No. 30 in singles (+1), No. 721 in doubles (+4).
   John Paul Fruttero, Cal All-American in 2001 and 2002 -- No. 137 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Artem Ilyushin, resident of Granite Bay in the Sacramento area -- No. 1,100 in singles (no change), No. 1,511 in doubles (+1).
   Bradley Klahn, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- Career-high No. 222 in singles (+2), No. 522 in doubles (+1).
   Alex Kuznetsov, Capitals (2012) -- No. 265 in singles (no change), No. 224 in doubles (no change).
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 28 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012) -- No. 20 in singles (no change), No. 41 in doubles (+1).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012) -- No. 162 in singles (+1), No. 1,087 in doubles (+5).
   Ryan Thacher, 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 548 in doubles (-2), career-high No. 976 in singles (+5).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident -- No. 117 in singles (+6), No. 283 in doubles (+2).
   Pedro Zerbini, All-Pacific-10 Conference first team at Cal (2009-11) -- No. 471 in singles (-3), No. 552 in doubles (-3).
Women
   Mallory Burdette, NCAA singles runner-up in 2012 and NCAA doubles champion in 2011 and 2012 from Stanford -- No. 146 in singles (-1), No. 433 in doubles (no change). 
   Vania King, Capitals (2010-12) -- No. 28 in doubles (no change), No. 105 in singles (-1).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- Career-high No. 13 in doubles (no change), No. 1,113 in singles (-4).
   Asia Muhammad, Capitals (2012) -- No. 165 in doubles (-1), No. 441 in singles (-4).
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto resident -- No. 116 in doubles (-2), No. 119 in singles (-2).
   Yasmin Schnack, resident of Elk Grove in the Sacramento area, Capitals (2011-12) -- No. 173 in doubles (+1), No. 686 in singles (no change).
   Romana Tedjakusuma, Tracy resident -- No. 464 in singles (no change), No. 1,111 in doubles (-4).
   CoCo Vandeweghe, Capitals (2009, 2012) -- No. 102 in singles (-3), No. 493 in doubles (+2).
TV SCHEDULE
(All times PST)
   Today -- Fed Cup, first round, United States at Italy, Tennis Channel, 6-10 a.m. (live). Montpellier (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (delay). Vina del Mar (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. (live). Zagreb (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 6-10 p.m. (delay).
   Sunday -- Fed Cup, first round, United States at Italy, Tennis Channel, 4:30-10:30 a.m. (live), 8-10 p.m. (repeat). Montpellier (men), final, Tennis Channel, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (delay). Vina del Mar (men), final, Tennis Channel, 2-4 p.m. (live), 6-8 p.m. (repeat). Zagreb (men), final, Tennis Channel, 4-6 p.m. (delay).
COLLEGE SCORES
Men
   No. 3 UCLA (6-0) def. No. 19 Stanford (3-3) 7-0 in Los Angeles.
   No. 2 USC (8-0) def. No. 13 Cal (3-1) 7-0 in Los Angeles.
Women
   No. 7 Cal (4-0) def. No. 16 Michigan (3-2) 4-0 in the first round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va.
   No. 35 Washington State (4-2) def. No. 58 Sacramento State (0-3) 7-0 in Pullman, Wash.
CALENDAR
   Today-Sunday -- Fed Cup, first round, United States at Italy, www.fedcup.com.
   Monday-Feb. 17 -- SAP Open, HP Pavilion in San Jose, www.sapopentennis.com. 2012 champions: Milos Raonic, Mark Knowles-Xavier Malisse.
   March 4-17 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, www.bnpparibasopen.com. 2012 champions: Roger Federer, Victoria Azarenka, Marc Lopez-Rafael Nadal, Liezel Huber-Lisa Raymond.
   April 23-28 -- Pac-12 Men's and Women's Championships, Ojai Valley Athletic Club/Libbey Park, Ojai, www.pac12.com.
   April 25-28 -- Big West Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Indian Wells Tennis Garden, www.bigwest.org.
   April 26-28 -- Big Sky Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Gold River Racquet Club, Gold River, Calif., www.bigskyconf.com.
   May 10-11 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Team Championships, first and second rounds at campus sites, www.ncaa.com.
   May 16-21 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Team Championships, round of 16 through finals, Urbana, Ill., www.ncaa.com, www.fightingillini.com.
   May 22-27 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Individual Championships, Urbana, Ill., www.ncaa.com, www.fightingillini.com.
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