Sunday, May 5, 2013

Vyrlan, 14, and Muljat, 12, post big upsets

Karina Vyrlan, 14, overwhelmed top-seeded Mariska Chamdani
6-0, 6-0 in the girls 18 quarterfinals. Photo by Paul Bauman
   SACRAMENTO -- Keep an eye on Karina Vyrlan and Jessi Muljat.
   Playing way up, the 14-year-old Vyrlan and the 12-year-old Muljat (pronounced Mull-yat) knocked off No. 1 seeds Saturday in the Rio del Oro Junior Championships at the club by the same name.
   The fifth-seeded Vyrlan, from Sacramento, crushed Mariska Chamdani of Santa Clara 6-0, 6-0 in the girls 18 quarterfinals. The fifth-seeded Muljat, from Gold River in the Sacramento area, outsteadied Darya Possokhova of San Francisco 6-4, 6-2 in the girls' 16 semifinals.
   Chamdani, a high school senior and four-star recruit on, has verbally committed to Brown University, an Ivy League school in Providence, R.I.
   Vyrlan will face unseeded Sara Choy of San Francisco in the 18s semis today at 8 a.m., with the winner advancing to the 11:30 a.m. final.
Jessi Muljat, 12, knocked off No. 1 seed
Darya Possokhova 6-4, 6-2 in the girls 16
semifinals. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Muljat will play unseeded Maria Kozyreva of Granite Bay for the 16s title today at 8 a.m. Kozyreva downed fifth-seeded Stephanie Nguyen of San Jose 7-5, 6-2.
   Not to be outdone, Cameron Klinger, 15, of San Jose demolished Justin Sun of Fremont 6-0, 6-0 in a matchup of unseeded players in the boys 18 semifinals. Sun had ousted top-seeded Manpreet Tiwana of Cupertino 6-3, 0-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
    Klinger will meet unseeded Nikita Matveyko of Kirkland, Wash., for the title today at 9 a.m. Neither player has lost a set en route to the final.
   The long-legged Vyrlan, 5-foot-9, earned her first WTA ranking point in March.
   "That was so cool," she said with a big smile.
   Vyrlan qualified for a $10,000 tournament in Metepec, Mexico, and won her first-round match in the main draw before losing to Slovakia's Lenka Wienerova, 10 years older, 6-1, 6-2 in the second round. Wienerova is ranked No. 415 after reaching a career-high No. 128 in 2009.
Cameron Klinger, 15, trounced Justin Sun 6-0, 6-0
in the boys 18 semifinals. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Gary Muljat, meanwhile, said of his daughter: "The neat thing is she never had to be pushed to play. She always wanted to play, then take lessons, then play tournaments. She has always driven the process. Neither my wife nor I play."
   The 6-foot-2 Klinger, a home-schooled sophomore, hopes to turn pro or play in NCAA Division I after high school.  
   "I want to keep both options open," said Klinger, who swept the USTA boys 14 singles and doubles titles in 2011.
   Klinger favors USC or UCLA over Stanford, about 20 miles up the freeway from home, or Cal.
   "(USC and UCLA) are a lot higher ranked (in tennis) right now," he explained. "I kind of want to get out of Northern California but stay in California."    

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