Monday, July 8, 2013

Fish arrives early as Capitals win season opener

   The Sacramento Capitals were missing one player Sunday night.
   But another unexpectedly joined them.
   The net result, so to speak, was a 22-17 overtime victory over the Texas Wild in Citrus Heights, Calif., in  a World TeamTennis season opener.
   Taylor Townsend was unable to arrive in time after reaching the Wimbledon junior girls singles final on Saturday. Meanwhile, marquee player Mardy Fish showed up three days early.
   Fish has battled an irregular heartbeat for the past 15 months, falling from a career-high No. 7 in the world in 2011 to No. 43. In his first official match since April, the 31-year-old veteran won 5-4 in men's doubles with his coach on the ATP World Tour, 41-year-old Mark Knowles, but lost 5-1 in men's singles.
   Townsend, a 17-year-old left-hander, in 2012 became the first American to hold the year-end world No. 1 girls ranking. She is scheduled to make her WTT debut in tonight's home match against the Philadelphia Freedoms (0-1) at 7:35.
   Replacing Townsend was Nicole Gibbs, who turned pro last month after winning her second straight NCAA singles title as a Stanford junior. She also won the 2012 NCAA doubles crown with Mallory Burdette.
   Gibbs triumphed 5-3 in women's singles and teamed with Megan Moulton-Levy, making her WTT debut at 28, for a 5-3 victory in women's doubles. Moulton-Levy, only 5 feet (1.52 meters), also earned a 5-2 victory in mixed doubles with Knowles.   
   It was the first match in Texas' history. The franchise moved from Kansas City, where it had played for 20 years, during the offseason.
In Citrus Heights, Calif.
   Men's doubles -- Mardy Fish and Mark Knowles (Capitals) def. Alex Bogomolov Jr. and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, 5-4.
   Women's singles -- Nicole Gibbs (Capitals) def. Eugenie Bouchard, 5-3.
   Mixed doubles -- Knowles and Megan Moulton-Levy (Capitals) def. Qureshi and Darija Jurak, 5-2.
   Women's doubles -- Gibbs and Moulton-Levy (Capitals) def. Eugenie Bouchard and Jurak, 5-3.
   Men's singles -- Alex Bogomolov (Wild) def. Fish, 5-1.
   Overtime -- Fish (Capitals) def. Bogomolov, 1-0.

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