Sunday, July 21, 2013

Vandeweghe, 2012 runner-up, wins in Stanford qualies

Despite reaching the 2012 final at Stanford, CoCo Van-
deweghe was relegated to qualifying again this year.
2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   How can this be?
   CoCo Vandeweghe reached the final of last year's Bank of the West Classic at Stanford as a lucky loser, yet she's back in qualifying in this year's tournament. And she's not even seeded.
   Vandeweghe, 21, defeated fellow American Raquel Kops-Jones, a doubles specialist, 6-4, 6-1 Saturday in the first round of qualifying. Kops-Jones, 30, starred at Cal across San Francisco Bay in the early 2000s. She won the NCAA doubles title 10 years ago with Sacramento native Christina Fusano.
   Two factors caused Vandeweghe, the 6-foot-1 (1.85-meter) niece of former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe, to plummet from No. 96 in the world to No. 243 and force her to return to qualifying at Stanford.
   First, Vandeweghe lost in the second round on grass at Nottingham last month after reaching the final there as a qualifier last year. The rankings are based on a 52-week revolving system, so a player's results in a given week replace her results from the corresponding week the previous year.
   Second, last year's Bank of the West Classic was moved up to July 9-15 because of the Summer Olympics in London. Therefore, the ranking points Vandeweghe earned for advancing to the Bank of the West final, in which she held a set point in a 7-5, 6-3 loss to Serena Williams, have dropped off the computer. 
   Vandeweghe didn't receive one of the two wild cards, either. Those went to former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs and Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia.  
   The bright side for Vandeweghe, who will face seventh-seeded Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada today in the second round of qualifying, is she doesn't face the pressure of defending her Bank of the West points. They're already gone.
   Also, if Vandeweghe advances to the main draw, she won't have to play Williams, who did not enter this year's tournament. Futhermore, former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova and reigning Wimbledon champ Marion Bartoli withdrew with injuries. That left fourth-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland as the top seed.
   Meanwhile, three members of Stanford's NCAA championship team played in the first round of qualifying. Kristie Ahn advanced, but Krista Hardebeck and Stacey Tan fell.
   The leader of that team, two-time NCAA singles champion Nicole Gibbs, received a wild card into the main draw. Gibbs, who turned pro last month after her junior year, will face 66th-ranked Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in the first round. The winner of that match will play Atlanta resident Jamie Hampton, seeded fourth and ranked 29th.
   Mallory Burdette, who turned pro last September after her junior year at Stanford, has a tough draw. The 2012 NCAA singles runner-up and 2011 and 2012 NCAA doubles champion will meet Italy's Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion, in the first round. But Schiavone has plunged to No. 59 in the world at 33 years old. The survivor of that match will take on Radwanska.
At Stanford
First-round qualifying
   Petra Rampre, Slovenia, def. Krista Hardebeck, United States, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
   Kristie Ahn, United States, def. Abigail Spears, United States, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1.
   Julia Boserup, United States, def. Alicia Rosolska, Poland, 6-0, 6-2.
   Natalie Grandin, South Africa, def. Miki Miyamura, Japan, 7-5, 6-4.
   Sachie Ishizu (8), Japan, def. Stacey Tan, United States, 6-1, 6-3.
   Alexandra Stevenson, United States, def. Asia Muhammad, United States,  6-3, 6-4.
   CoCo Vandeweghe, United States, def. Raquel Kops-Jones, United States,  6-4, 6-1.
   Gabriela Dabrowski, Canada, def. Tori Kinard, United States, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.
   Ivana Lisjak, Croatia, def. Sachia Vickery, United States, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
   Allie Will, United States, def. Jelena Pandzic, Croatia, 7-5, 6-2.
Today's schedule
(Beginning at 10 a.m.)
   Michelle Larcher de Brito (2), Portugal, vs. Julia Boserup, United States.
   Kristie Ahn, United States, vs. Vera Dushevina (5), Russia.
   Sharon Fichman (3), Canada, vs. Alexandra Stevenson, United States.
   CoCo Vandeweghe, United States, vs. Gabriela Dabrowski (7), Canada.
 Court 6
   Olga Puchkova (1), Russia, vs. Petra Rampre, Slovenia.
   Alla Kudryavtseva (4), Russia, vs. Ivana Lisjak, Croatia.
   Natalie Grandin, South Africa, vs. Sachie Ishizu (8), Japan.
   Allie Will, United States, vs. Sacha Jones (6), Australia.  

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