Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ahn lifts Stanford women to NCAA title; rankings, etc.

Kristie Ahn, competing in the $25,000 Redding Challenger last
September, won the decisive match as Stanford edged Texas
A&M 4-3 for its 17th NCAA title. Photo by Paul Bauman
   She sat on the sideline with an ankle injury as Stanford lost the 2011 NCAA final, ending the Cardinal's home winning streak at 184 matches spanning more than 12 years.
   She missed most of last season with various injuries.
   She lost a potential clinching match in this year's NCAA round of 16.
   So Kristie Ahn's victory on Tuesday in Urbana, Ill., clinching No. 12 Stanford's dramatic 4-3 win over No. 3 Texas A&M for the NCAA title, was especially gratifying.
   The 25th-ranked Ahn, a junior from Upper Saddle River, N.J., outlasted No. 68 Cristina Stancu, a junior from Romania, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 at No. 2 singles as Stanford became the lowest seed to win the NCAA title.
   "Honestly, it's such a cliche, but words really can't explain this one," Ahn said on gostanford.com. "From my freshman year, I've wanted this moment, and I've been bugged by injuries, and to clinch makes it that much better.
   "When we played USC in the round of 16, I had a shot. It could've come down to me, and I could've clinched, but (Danielle Lao) played well, and I didn't get that and was pretty upset.
   "Last night, I was thinking, 'How sick would it be if I could clinch tomorrow?' And when I got to 2-2 in the third set, I was smiling. I was having the best time of my life because I was thinking about how absurd it was that it was coming down to me."
   Stanford leads all teams with 17th NCAA women's tennis championships. Next is Florida with six.
   The Cardinal emerged this time by knocking off top-five teams in its last four matches. Stanford toppled No. 5 USC 4-3 in a five-hour thriller in the round of 16, No. 4 Georgia 4-1 in the quarterfinals and No. 1 Florida, the two-time defending champion, 4-3 in another nail-biter in the semifinals.
   Ahn could have given Stanford a 4-2 victory over Pacific-12 Conference rival USC but lost to No. 9 Lao 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 at No. 2 singles. Ellen Tsay, a sophomore from Pleasanton in the San Francisco Bay Area, saved the Cardinal with a three-set victory at No. 5 singles.
   Freshman Krista Hardebeck provided the clincher against Florida at No. 3 singles.
   No. 2 Virginia captured its first men's title, edging No. 1 UCLA 4-3. No. 39 Mitchell Frank won the clincher, saving a match point in his  0-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over No. 22 Adrien Puget at No. 3 singles.
   The Cavaliers had lost in the final the past two years to USC. 
No. 12 Stanford 4, No. 3 Texas A&M 3
   1. No. 18 Stancu/Hristov (TAM) d. No. 8 Ahn/Gibbs 8-3.
   2. No. 28 Tan/Tsay (STAN) d. No. 49 Wen/Sanchez-Quintanar 8-4.
   3. Dillon/Hardebeck (STAN) d. Deheza/Deheza 8-5.
   Order of finish: 1, 2, 3.
   1. No. 13 Nicole Gibbs (STAN) d. No. 4 Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar 0-6, 6-2, 6-0.
   2. No. 25 Kristie Ahn (STAN) d. No. 68 Cristina Stancu 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.
   3. No. 52 Nazari Urbina (TAM) d. No. 14 Krista Hardebeck 6-3, 7-6 (3).
   4. No. 103 Stacey Tan (STAN) d. Ines Deheza 7-5, 6-3.
   5. Anna Mamalat (TAM) d. No. 92 Ellen Tsay 6-1, 7-5.
   6. Stefania Hristov (TAM) d. Natalie Dillon 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
   Order of finish: 4, 1, 5, 3, 6, 2.
   ATP World Tour -- Dmitry Tursunov, a Moscow native based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, suffered his first doubles loss of the year on Tuesday.
   Tursunov and Jonathan Erlich of Israel fell to fourth-seeded Frederik Nielsen of Denmark and Andre Sa of Brazil 6-4, 5-7, 10-8 match tiebreaker in the quarterfinals of the Power Horse Cup in Dusseldorf, Germany.
   Last year, Nielsen and Jonathan Marray of Great Britain became the first wild cards in Wimbledon's 135-year history to win the men's doubles title. Erlich, 36, won the 2008 Australian Open with countryman Andy Ram.
   The Power Horse Cup is only Tursunov's second doubles tournament this year. He and Jarkko Nieminen of Finland won four matches for the BMW Open title in Munich three weeks ago.
   Tursunov has had to play singles qualifying in most tournaments this year, preventing him from competing in doubles. He has climbed from No. 123 to No. 58 in singles and from No. 285 to No. 149 in doubles since Feb. 1 after battling injuries. His career highs are No. 20 in singles in 2006 and No. 36 in doubles in 2008.
   Trying to ensure that he's healthy for the French Open, which starts Sunday, Tursunov withdrew from his first-round singles match in Dusseldorf against eighth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia. Tursunov pulled a hamstring muscle in his final practice for last week's Italian Open.
   Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
   Bob Bryan, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 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, Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis (2012-13) -- No. 41 in singles (-1), No. 338 in doubles (-4).
   Bradley Klahn, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 184 in singles (+1), No. 347 in doubles (-4).
   Scott Lipsky, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- Career-high No. 22 in doubles (+2), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 20 in singles (-1), No. 96 in doubles (+2).
   Ryan Sweeting, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 268 in singles (no change), No. 852 in doubles (-18).
   Dmitry Tursunov, Folsom resident from Russia -- No. 58 in singles (-1), No. 149 in doubles (-1).
   Mallory Burdette, NCAA singles runner-up in 2012 and NCAA doubles champion in 2011 and 2012 from Stanford -- Career-high No. 82 in singles (+3), No. 358 in doubles (+9). 
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 14 in doubles (no change), No. 1,133 in singles (+2).
   Megan Moulton-Levy, Capitals (2013) -- No. 64 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Maria Sanchez, Modesto product -- No. 115 in singles (+11), No. 119 in doubles (+6).
   Taylor Townsend, Capitals (2013) -- Career-high No. 344 in singles (+5), No. 536 in doubles (+1). 
(All times PDT)
   Dusseldorf (men), early rounds, Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (delay), 8 p.m.-midnight (repeat).
   Brussels (women), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 5-9 a.m. (live), 9-11 a.m. (delay), 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (repeat), 8 p.m.-midnight (repeat).
   Dusseldorf (men), quarterfinalss, Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (delay).
   Brussels (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 5-9 a.m. (live), 9-11 a.m. (repeat).
   Nice (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (delay).

   Dusseldorf (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (delay).
   Brussels (women), final, Tennis Channel, 6:30-8:30 a.m. (live), 6:30-8:30 p.m. (repeat).
   Strasbourg (women), final, Tennis Channel, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (delay).
   Nice (men), final, Tennis Channel, 2:30-4:30 p.m. (delay).
   Dusseldorf (men), final, Tennis Channel, 4:30-6:30 p.m. (delay).
   FRENCH OPEN, first round, ESPN2, 2-7 a.m. (live); Tennis Channel, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. (live); NBC, 9 a.m.-noon (live).
   FRENCH OPEN, first round, ESPN2, 2-7 a.m. (live); Tennis Channel, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. (live); NBC, 9 a.m.-noon (live).
   FRENCH OPEN, first round, ESPN2, 2-7 a.m. (live), Tennis Channel, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. (live).
   Wednesday-Monday -- NCAA Men's and Women's Individual Championships, Urbana, Ill., www.ncaa.com, www.fightingillini.com.
   Sunday-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.
   June 29-July 6 -- $50,000 Gold River Women's Challenger, Gold River Racquet Club, Gold River, Calif., www.usta.com. 2012 champions: Maria Sanchez, Asia Muhammad-Yasmin Schnack.
   July 6-8 -- West Coast Junior Championships, Rio del Oro Racquet Club, 119 Scripps Dr., Sacramento 95825, www.norcal.usta.com.
   July 7 -- Sacramento Capitals open season vs. Texas Wild in World TeamTennis, Capitals Stadium at Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights, Calif., 7:35 p.m., www.saccaps.com.   
   July 22-28 -- Bank of the West Classic, Stanford, www.bankofthewestclassic.com. 2012 champions: Serena Williams, Marina Erakovic-Heather Watson. 
   July 25 -- World TeamTennis conference championships at highest seeds, www.wtt.com.
   July 28 -- World TeamTennis Finals at Eastern Conference champion, www.wtt.com.
   Aug. 5-11 -- $100,00 Comerica Bank Challenger, Seascape Sports Club, Aptos, Calif., www.seascapesportsclub.com/challenger. 2012 champions: Steve Johnson, Rik de Voest-John Peers.

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