Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Teen prospects Keys, Townsend star in NorCal

   Madison Keys and Taylor Townsend, perhaps the top two prospects in American women's tennis, starred 133 miles (214 kilometers) apart in Northern California on Monday night.
   Keys, 18, debuted in the $795,707 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford and dismissed eighth-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-2 in the first round.
   Townsend, 17, teamed with American veteran Megan Moulton-Levy to win 5-0 in women's doubles and lead the host Sacramento Capitals to a 21-16 victory over the Orange County Breakers in a World TeamTennis match. However, Sacramento (5-7) was eliminated from playoff contention with two regular-season matches remaining.
   Keys, prototypically tall (5-foot-10, 1.78 meters) and slim (145 pounds, 66 kilograms), is the youngest player in the top 50 in the world at No. 44. She recorded her first victory over a top-five player when she beat No. 5 Li Na, the 2011 French Open champion, on clay in the first round at Madrid in May. Keys turned pro on her 14th birthday in 2009.
   Townsend, a stocky 5-foot-6 (1.68-meter) left-hander, is ranked No. 340 after turning pro in January. In her WTA main-draw debut at 16 in March, she knocked off No. 57 Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic at Indian Wells. 
   Both Keys and Townsend train in Boca Raton, Fla.
   After Keys' victory in the first night match, former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs downed 67th-ranked Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-4, 6-1. Gibbs turned pro last month after winning her second straight NCAA singles title as a junior.
   Gibbs' former teammate at Stanford, Mallory Burdette, lost to 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, 33, of Italy 7-5, 6-3 in the opening round.
   Burdette turned pro last September, also forgoing her senior year. She won NCAA doubles crowns in 2011 (with Hilary Barte) and 2012 (with Gibbs) and reached the 2012 NCAA singles final, losing to Gibbs.
   Romania's Sorana Cirstea, the fifth seed and a Bank of the West semifinalist last year, and Belarus' Olga Govortsova, who played for the Capitals last week, advanced to the second round. Govortsova will face second-seeded Samantha Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champion, tonight at 7.
   Former Capitals CoCo Vandeweghe and Michelle Larcher de Brito moved into the main draw with straight-set wins in the final round of qualifying.
   Vandeweghe, 21, of Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area, reached last year's Bank of the West final as a lucky loser. She held a set point against Serena Williams in the title match before losing 7-5, 6-3.
   It's just too bad that CoCo won't be playing Kiki. Vandweghe, by the way, has an uncle named Kiki who starred in the NBA during his 13-year career (1980-93).
   Larcher de Brito, 20, of Portugal stunned second-ranked Maria Sharapova in the second round as a qualifier at Wimbledon last month and helped the Capitals win the 2007 WTT title at 14 years old. 
At Stanford
Final-round qualifying
   Vera Dushevina (5), Russia, def. Olga Puchkova (1), Russia, 6-4, 6-4.
   Michelle Larcher de Brito (2), Portugal, def. Natalie Grandin, South Africa, 6-3, 6-2.
   Alla Kudryavtseva (4), Russia, def. Sacha Jones (6), Australia, 6-2, 7-5.
   CoCo Vandeweghe, United States, def. Sharon Fichman (3), Canada, 6-4, 6-3.
First-round singles
   Olga Govortsova, Belarus, def. Julia Goerges, Germany, 7-6 (2), 6-2.
   Francesca Schiavone, Italy, def. Mallory Burdette, United States, 7-5, 6-3.
   Sorana Cirstea (5), Romania, def. Ayumi Morita, Japan, 6-2, 6-2.
   Stefanie Voegele, Switzerland, def. Ajla Tomljanovic, Croatia, 6-4, 6-0.
   Madison Keys, United States, def. Magdalena Rybarikova (8), Slovakia, 6-2, 6-2.
   Nicole Gibbs, United States, def. Kiki Bertens, Netherlands, 6-4, 6-1.
Today's schedule
(Starting at 11 a.m.)
   Michelle Larcher de Brito, Portugal, vs. Varvara Lepchenko (6), United States.
   CoCo Vandeweghe, United States, vs. Monica Niculescu, Romania.
   Yanina Wickmayer, Belgium, vs. Daniela Hantuchova, Slovakia.
   Nicole Gibbs and CoCo Vandeweghe, United States, vs. Asia Muhammad and Allie Will, United States.
 (Not before 7 p.m.)
   Olga Govortsova, Belarus, vs. Samantha Stosur (2), Australia.
   Urszula Radwanska (7), Poland, vs. Christina McHale, United States.
Court 6
(Starting at 11 a.m.)
   Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia, vs. Tamira Paszek, Austria.
   Vera Dushevina, Russia, vs. Marina Erakovic, New Zealand.
(Not before 1 p.m.)
   Nuria Llagostera Vives, Spain, and Francesca Schiavone, Italy, vs. Jacqueline Cako and Natalie Pluskota, United States.
   Varvara Lepchenko, United States, and Ajla Tomljanovic, Croatia, vs. Natalie Grandin, South Africa, and Alicja Rosolska, Poland.
   Gabriela Dabrowski and Sharon Fichman, Canada, vs. Hao-Ching Chan, Taiwan, and Vera Dushevina (4), Russia.
In Citrus Heights, Calif.
   Mixed doubles -- Mark Knowles and Taylor Townsend (Capitals) def. Treat Huey and Liga Dekmeijere, 5-4.
   Women's singles -- Dekmeijere (Orange County) def. Townsend, 5-2.
   Men's doubles -- Huey and Steve Johnson (Orange County) def. Knowles and Sam Querrey, 5-4.
   Women's doubles -- Megan Moulton-Levy and Townsend (Capitals) def. Maria Elena Camerin and Dekmeijere, 5-0.

   Men's singles -- Querrey (Capitals) def. Johnson, 5-2. 

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