Friday, August 30, 2013

Blake retires; Kleybanova, Querrey fall in U.S. Open

   James Blake's career ended Thursday.
   So did the first Grand Slam tournament of Alisa Kleybanova's comeback and Sam Querrey's hopes of playing Roger Federer.
   The wild-card team of Blake and fellow American Jack Sock lost to second-seeded Alexander Peya of Austria and Bruno Soares of Brazil 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round of doubles at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   The 33-year-old Blake, who climbed to a career-high No. 4 in the world in singles in 2006, announced Monday that he would retire after the U.S. Open. He lost to qualifier Ivo Karlovic, a 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) Croat, on Wednesday after leading two sets to none.
   Blake lost to Karlovic in the final of the 2011 Sacramento Challenger but topped Mischa Zverev of Germany to win last year's tournament in the California capital.
   Kleybanova fell to former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, the ninth seed and 2008 U.S. Open runner-up, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round.
   Kleybanova was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma (cancer of the immune system) shortly after reaching a career-high No. 20 in February 2011. In the third tournament of her comeback this year, she reached the quarterfinals of the Gold River Challenger in the Sacramento area as a qualifier last month.
   Querrey, seeded 26th, lost to French left-hander Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 6-4 in the second round. Mannarino, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon this summer, will meet Federer in the third round of the U.S. Open.
   Querrey, a 25-year-old San Francisco native, has played part-time for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis for the past two seasons. He has yet to advance past the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament.
   No. 32 seed Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian who trains at the Gorin Tennis Academy in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, advanced to the third round when French wild card Guillaume Rufin retired while trailing 7-6 (4), 1-1.
   Tursunov, 30, next will play another Frenchman, eighth-seeded Richard Gasquet. Tursunov leads the head-to-head series 5-2.
   The finalists of this month's $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger in Aptos, Calif., also played second-round matches Thursday.
   Aptos champion Bradley Klahn, a former Stanford star, lost to fellow left-hander Feliciano Lopez, a Spaniard seeded 23rd, 6-4, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-5.
   Aptos runner-up Daniel Evans, a 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter) qualifier from Great Britain, downed 20-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3. Evans had knocked off No. 11 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan in the first round. Tomic reached the Wimbledon quarterfinalist two years ago.
   Victoria Duval, a 17-year-old qualifier from Bradenton, Fla., fell to Daniela Hantuchova, 30, of Slovakia 6-2, 6-3 in the second round. Duval, who lost in the first round of the Gold River Challenger, was coming off a victory over No. 11 seed and 2011 champion Samantha Stosur.
   In men's doubles, top seeds and ex-Stanford stars Bob and Mike Bryan began their quest for a Grand Slam with a 7-6 (1), 6-2 victory over Argentines Federico Delbonis and Leonardo Mayer. Delbonis beat Federer on clay in the Hamburg semifinals last month. 
   The only team to achieve a calendar-year Grand Slam in men's doubles is Australians Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman 62 years ago. 

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