Friday, January 31, 2014

Altamirano serves as Davis Cup practice partner

Collin Altamirano, a Sacramento-area resident, joined
the U.S. Davis Cup team this week as a practice partner.
2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Collin Altamirano's title in the USTA Boys 18 National Championships last August continues to pay dividends.
   First, it gave the Sacramento-area resident an automatic wild card in men's singles at the U.S. Open later that month. Then he trained with Roger Federer in Dubai for the first two weeks of December. And Altamirano, 18, is serving as a practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team in San Diego this week. 
   The best-of-five-match series against Andy Murray and Great Britain begins today on clay at Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres.
   The sixth-ranked Murray will face No. 79 Donald Young, a late replacement for injured John Isner, in the first match at 11 a.m. PST. Then No. 49 Sam Querrey of the United States will meet No. 175 James Ward.
   In Saturday's doubles match, top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan of the U.S. are scheduled to play Colin Fleming and Murray at noon.
   In Sunday's reverse singles, it will be Querrey vs. Murray at 11 a.m., followed by Young vs. Ward.
   All matches will be televised live by the Tennis Channel.
   Isner retired from his first-round match in the Australian Open two weeks ago with an ankle injury while trailing Martin Klizan of Slovakia two sets to none.
   Young, who will make his Davis Cup debut at 24, beat Murray in the second round at Indian Wells in 2011 for the best win of his career. They have met twice since then, both times in 2011, with Murray easily winning all five sets.
   The entire U.S. Davis Cup team, including captain Jim Courier, has Northern California ties. Querrey, 26, was born in San Francisco and has played part-time for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis for the past two seasons.
   Young made his ATP World Tour debut at 15 in the 2005 SAP Open in San Jose and has won four Challenger singles titles in NorCal.
   The Bryans helped Stanford win NCAA titles in both of their years on the Farm, 1997 and 1998.
   Courier, a 43-year-old International Tennis Hall of Famer, is scheduled to play in Sacramento for the first time in the Champions Shootout on Feb. 26 at Sleep Train Arena.
   Murray also is well-known to longtime fans in NorCal. He won the SAP Open at 18 in 2006 and repeated the following year. Murray never returned, and the tournament will be replaced on the calendar by Rio de Janeiro beginning next month after 125 years in NorCal.
COLLEGE RESULT
Men
   No. 12 Cal def. Hawaii 4-0 in Berkeley. No. 1 singles: Ben McLachlan vs. Jonathan Brooklyn, abandoned. Clinching match: At No. 2, Filip Bergevi def. Danilo Casanova 6-3, 6-5 (4). Team records: Cal 4-0, Hawaii 1-2.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rankings movers of the week: Kops-Jones, Klahn

Raquel Kops-Jones jumped to No. 17
in the world in doubles after reaching
her first Grand Slam semifinal.
2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Two former NCAA champions from rival schools in the San Francisco Bay Area made significant strides in the world rankings this week.
   Doubles specialist Raquel Kops-Jones, a Fresno native who starred at Cal, jumped seven places to No. 17 after reaching her first Grand Slam semifinal.
   Former Stanford All-American Bradley Klahn, meanwhile, improved 11 notches to a career-high No. 82 in singles after winning his third Challenger title.
   The unseeded team of Kops-Jones, 31, and Abigail Spears of San Diego fell to third-seeded Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   Makarova and Vesnina, the reigning French Open titlists, then lost to top seeds and defending champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. 
   Kops-Jones reached a career-high No. 11 in doubles last June. She won the 2003 NCAA women's doubles title with Sacramento native Christina Fusano.
   Klahn, seeded third, whipped unseeded Tsung-Hua Yang of Taiwan 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the $50,000 Royal Lahaina Challenger on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
   Klahn, a 23-year-old left-hander from Poway in the San Diego area, also won Challengers last year in Aptos, Calif., and Yeongwol, South Korea.
   At Stanford, Klahn captured the 2010 NCAA singles title as a sophomore, underwent surgery for a herniated disk as a junior and graduated in economics in 2012.
Bradley Klahn improved 11 spots
to a career-high No. 82 after win-
ning his third Challenger singles
title. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
PRO RANKINGS
     Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Bob Bryan, 35 years old, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 35 years old, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, 32 years old, Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis (2012-13) -- No. 370 in singles (-1), No. 123 in doubles (+2).
   Bradley Klahn, 23 years old, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- Career-high No. 82 in singles (+11), career-high No. 142 in doubles (+1).
   Scott Lipsky, 32 years old, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 35 in doubles (-3), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, 26 years old, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 49 in singles (+2), No. 211 in doubles (+3).
   Ryan Sweeting, 26 years old, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 814 in singles (-147), No. 1,113 in doubles (+1).
   Dmitry Tursunov, 31 years old, trains at Gorin Tennis Academy in Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay -- No. 28 in singles (-2), No. 112 in doubles (+16).
Women
   Mallory Burdette, 23 years old, NCAA singles runner-up in 2012 and NCAA doubles champion in 2011 and 2012 from Stanford -- No. 138 in singles (+1), No. 692 in doubles (-2).
   Nicole Gibbs, 20 years old, NCAA singles champion in 2012 and 2013 and NCAA doubles champion in 2012 from Stanford -- No. 186 in singles (no change), No. 439 in doubles (-3).
   Macall Harkins, Redding resident -- No. 285 in doubles (-1), No. 691 in singles (no change).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 31 years old, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 17 in doubles (+7), No. 1,085 in singles (-1).
   Megan Moulton-Levy, 28 years old, Capitals (2013) -- No. 56 in doubles (+2), unranked in singles.
   Maria Sanchez, 24 years old, born and raised in Modesto -- Career-high No. 107 in doubles (no change), No. 187 in singles (-10).
   Taylor Townsend, 17 years old, Capitals (2013) -- No. 194 in doubles (-2), No. 350 in singles (+7). 
COLLEGE RESULT
Men
   No. 40 Stanford def. Hawaii 7-0 at Stanford. No. 1 singles: Maciek Romanowicz def. Jonathan Brooklyn 4-6, 6-4 [10-7]. Clinching match: At No. 2, Daniel Ho def. Danilo Casanova 6-4, 7-5. Note: John Morrissey, Stanford's No. 1 singles player, missed his second straight match. The reason was not disclosed. Team records: Stanford 2-1, Hawaii 1-1.  

TV schedule (Davis Cup), calendar

Andy Murray will lead Great Britain against the United
States in San Diego this weekend in the first round
of the Davis Cup. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
TV SCHEDULE
   (All times Pacific Standard
in the United States) 
Friday
   Davis Cup, first round, Great Britain at United States, two singles matches, Tennis Channel, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (live), 8-11 p.m. (repeat).
   Davis Cup, first round, Australia at France, first singles match, Tennis Channel, 5-8 p.m. (delay).
Saturday
   Davis Cup, first round, Great Britain at United States, doubles match, Tennis Channel, noon-3 p.m. (live).
Sunday  
   Davis Cup, first round, Great Britain at United States, two singles matches, Tennis Channel, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (live), 8-11 p.m. (repeat).
   Davis Cup, first round, Australia at France, singles match, Tennis Channel, 5-8 p.m. (delay).
   CALENDAR
   Friday-Sunday -- Davis Cup, first round, Great Britain vs. United States in San Diego, www.daviscup.com.
   Feb. 8-9 -- Fed Cup, first round, defending champion Italy vs. United States in Cleveland, www.fedcupcom.
   Feb. 11 -- World TeamTennis marquee player draft, www.wtt.com.
   Feb. 26 -- Champions Shootout (Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, James Blake), 7 p.m., Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, Calif., www.powersharesseries.com.
   March 3-16 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, Calif., www.bnpparibasopen.com. 2013 champions: Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Bob Bryan-Mike Bryan, Ekaterina Makarova-Elena Vesnina.
   March 11 -- World TeamTennis roster player draft, www.wtt.com.
   April 4-6 -- Davis Cup quarterfinals (matchups to be determined), www.daviscup.com.
   April 5-13 -- Easter Bowl, Indian Wells, Calif. www.easterbowl.com
   April 19-20 -- Fed Cup semifinals (matchups to be determined), www.fedcup.com.
   April 23-26 -- West Coast Conference Men's and Women's Championships, San Diego, www.wccsports.com.
   April 23-27 -- Pacific-12 Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Ojai, Calif., www.pac-12.com.
   April 23-27 -- Mountain West Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Fresno, Calif., www.themw.com.
   April 24-27 -- Big West Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Indian Wells, Calif., www.bigwest.org.
   April 25-27 -- Big Sky Conference Men's and Women's Championships, Gold River Racquet Club, Gold River, Calif., www.bigskyconf.com.
   May 2-5 -- USTA National Men's, Women's and Mixed 30 Indoor Championships, Spare Time Indoor Tennis Center, Gold River, Calif. http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=140381.
   May 9-11 -- Maze Cup (Northern California juniors vs. Southern California), Berkeley Tennis Center, http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=151685.
   May 15-26 -- NCAA Men's and Women's Championships, Athens, Ga., www.ncaasports.com.   
   MAY 25-JUNE 8 -- FRENCH OPEN, Paris. 2013 champions: Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Bob Bryan-Mike Bryan, Ekaterina Makarova-Elena Vesnina, Lucie Hradecka-Frantisek Cermak. www.rolandgarros.com

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wawrinka highlights czar's Australian Open awards

Roger Federer, near court, warms up before his fourth-round match against
Bernard Tomic at Rod Laver Arena in the 2012 Australian Open.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Reflections on a wild Australian Open:
   Best match -- No. 8 seed Stanislas Wawrinka defeated No. 2 seed and three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 in the quarterfinals.
   Wawrinka ended an eight-year, 14-match losing streak to Djokovic, including a five-set epic in the fourth round of last year's Australian Open. This time, Djokovic uncharacteristically serve-and-volleyed on match point and badly steered a forehand volley wide. Was this new coach Boris Becker's influence? If so, nice job, Boris.
   Biggest upsets -- Both top-ranked players lost in shocking fashion. Wawrinka beat 13-time Grand Slam singles champion Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 for his first major title, and former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic toppled five-time Australian Open singles winner Serena Williams 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the fourth round.
   Neither Wawrinka nor Ivanovic had won a set in 16 combined matches against their opponents (Wawrinka was 0-12 against Nadal). Not coincidentally, both Nadal and Williams were hobbled by back injuries. Still, Wawrinka and Ivanovic played brilliantly.
   Worst rule -- Medical timeouts have to go. Nadal -- hurt or not -- pulled this stunt while trailing Wawrinka one set to none and a break and was justifiably booed by the crowd as he returned to the court from the locker room.
   Yes, when play resumed, Nadal barely moved at times and hit powder-puff serves. Miraculously, though, he looked fine in the third set. Maybe his back loosened up. Maybe painkillers kicked in.
   Regardless, medical timeouts disrupt the flow of the match and are unfair to opponents and fans. Nothing in tennis -- with the possible exception of those worthless, intrusive prematch interviews in the tunnel -- is more annoying than a player being treated while lying on the court or while in the locker room. Either you can play or you can't.
   Breakout performers -- Eugenie Bouchard of Canada reached the semifinals at 19. Chris Evert, ESPN's outstanding analyst and an International Tennis Hall of Famer, called Bouchard "the future of women's tennis." She has power at 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters) and unusual poise.
Margaret Court Arena is shown with Rod Laver Arena in the background
during the 2012 Australian Open. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Grigor Dimitrov, known as "Baby Fed" for his Roger Federer-like game, is beginning to put it all together at 22. The Bulgarian boyfriend of Maria Sharapova advanced to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal. With his talent and ideal height (6-foot-2, 1.88 meters), it could be only a matter of time until he wins a major.
   Federer won his first Grand Slam title one month before his 22nd birthday in his 17th major. Dimitrov has played in 14 majors.
   Also, 20-year-old Garbine Muguruza likely is headed to the women's top 10. The 6-foot (1.82-meter) Spaniard is ranked 35th after reaching the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.
   Biggest flop -- Sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, lost to 88th-ranked Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 in the first round. The 20-year-old Kumkhum, playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament for only the second time, fell in the second round to  Mona Barthel of Germany.
   Most poignant match -- Nadal made Federer, who has won a record 17 Grand Slam singles titles, look almost ordinary in the last two sets of a 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-3 semifinal victory. Nadal is younger, stronger and faster. Federer's last real shot at winning another Slam could come at Wimbledon in July. He'll turn 33 the following month.
   Funniest player -- Refreshingly, the acceptance speech by women's champion Li Na was more like a comedy routine. To her agent: "Make me rich. Thanks a lot." To her husband, Jiang Shan: “You are so lucky to find me.”
   Strangest quote -- Dr. Tim Wood, the tournament's chief medical officer, dismissed concerns about playing in 104-degree (40 Celsius) heat. "We evolved on the high plans of Africa chasing antelope for eight hours under these conditions," he said.
   Where did this guy get his medical degree? Online? Remind me not to consult him the next time I break my ankle jogging in Melbourne. He'll give me two aspirin and send me on my way. 
   Worst dressed -- Bethanie Mattek-Sands -- who else? -- wins this puppy in a landslide. OMG. I don't want to say Mattek-Sands is flamboyant, but she makes Miley Cyrus look like Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
   Honorable mention goes to Tomas Berdych for his shirt with sky blue and white vertical stripes. What, was he moonlighting on the Argentine national soccer team? As a basketball referee?
   Check out both players' outfits and other fashion misses at http://tennis.si.com/2014/01/16/australian-open-fashion-misses-novak-djokovic-victoria-azarenka/.
   Best predictions -- Before the tournament, Geoff MacDonald of the New York Times wrote player capsules of "Six Who Could Challenge the Usual Suspects." Among them were Wawrinka, Li and Bouchard.
   Best line -- Sports Illustrated's incomparable Jon Wertheim wrote online that Wawrinka's performance in the first set of the final "should be framed and put in a museum." See "Fifty parting thoughts from the Australian Open" at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/20140126/australian-open-50-thoughts-stanislas-wawrinka-li-na/.
   Best names -- The aforementioned Garbine Muguruza, and Luksika Kumkhum. 
   Most tiresome commercial -- Melbourne is a wonderful city, but did we have to be reminded of it every five minutes with those mannequins and that jingle that will reverberate in my head for the next 20 years? As Jerry Seinfeld says on his hilarious CD, "We all get it."
   On the other hand, as one viewer commented online: "These (Melbourne) ads beat the hell out of the (ones) from those disgusting financial institutions that led to the global economic breakdown in 2008. Now these banks are right back doing the same crap."
   Amen.
COLLEGE RESULT
Women
   No. 1 Stanford def. No. 69 Princeton 7-0 at Stanford. No. 1 singles: No. 6 Kristie Ahn def. Lindsay Graff 6-1, 6-4. Clinching match: No. 94 Ellen Tsay def. No. 62 Alanna Wolff 6-0, 6-3 at No. 3. Note: Princeton coach Laura Granville returned to her alma mater. She won NCAA singles titles in 2000 and 2001 and reached a career-high No. 28 in the world in 2003. Team records: Stanford 2-0, Princeton 1-1.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Colleges experiment with shorter format

   College teams are experimenting with a shorter format this month and next.
   NCAA Division I men's and women's teams will use the format for all dual matches, unless both coaches agree otherwise, through the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The women's tournament is scheduled for Feb. 7-10 in Charlottesville, Va., and the men's for Feb. 14-17 in Houston.
   "As we continue in our quest to enhance the status and attendance of college tennis, I am excited to try new formats this year," Roland Thornqvist, the coach of the second-ranked Florida women, said in a news release. "I expect them to be both shorter as well as more exciting for the fans.
   "I'm encouraged by the college tennis community's commitment to increase market share in what is a very competitive sports landscape and am convinced format change is paramount."
   Here are the details:
   --The dual meet will consist of three doubles matches played first (worth a total of one point), followed by six singles matches, each individual match worth one point. Four points are required to win the team match.
   --The three doubles matches will each consist of one set to 6, with no-ad scoring and a tiebreaker at 5-5. Once a team has won two doubles matches, the remaining doubles match shall not be completed.
   --Six singles matches will follow the doubles. Each singles match is two out of three sets, with each set using no-ad scoring and a tiebreaker at 5-5 in each set.
   --All singles matches will be played to completion unless both coaches agree to do otherwise.
   --There will be no warmup against opponents before the first point is played in doubles and singles. Players will be expected to warm up with their own team prior to  the scheduled match time.
WEEKEND COLLEGE RESULTS
Men
Sunday
   No. 3 Georgia def. No. 40 Stanford 4-1 in Athens, Ga. No. 1 singles: No. 21 Nathan Pasha (G) def. Daniel Ho 6-0, 6-3. Note: Stanford's No. 1 singles player, John Morrissey, did not play for undisclosed reasons. Team records: Georgia 2-0, Stanford 2-1.
Saturday
   No. 16 Cal def. No. 12 Pepperdine 4-2 in Malibu. No. 1 singles: No. 33 Alex Sarkissian (P) def. Ben McLachlan 6-2, 6-1. Clinching match: Filip Bergevi def. Francis Alcantara 6-4, 6-5 (7-5) at No. 3. Team records: Cal 3-0, Pepperdine 2-1.
   No. 40 Stanford def. No. 36 Washington 4-2 in Athens, Ga. No. 1 singles: Morrissey (S) def. Max Manthou 6-3, 6-5 (7-4). Clinching match: Anthony Tsodikov def. Viktor Farkas 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 at No. 5.
   No. 4 USC def. Santa Clara 4-0 in Los Angeles: No. 1 singles: No. 32 Yannick Hanfmann vs. John Lamble 6-2, 4-3, unfinished. Clinching match: Max de Vroome def. Jesse Ross 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4. Team records: USC 1-0, Santa Clara 1-1.
   Pacific def. UC Davis 6-1 in Stockton. No. 1 singles: No. 105 Sem Verbeek (P) def. Kyle Miller 6-3, 7-6 (tiebreaker score not available). Team records: Pacific 1-1, UC Davis 0-2.
   Saint Mary's def. Holy Names 6-1 in Moraga. No. 1 singles: Brook Workeneh (HN) def. Tuomas Manner 4-6, retired. Clinching match: Samuel Bloore def. Matthew Halligan 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3. Team records: Saint Mary's 3-0, Holy Names 0-1.
Friday
   No. 16 Cal def. No. 33 Alabama 4-2 in Malibu. No. 1 singles: McLachlan (C) def. No. 14 Daniil Proskura 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Clinching match: No. 85 Andre Goransson def. Saxon Buehning 6-4, 4-6, 6-5 (3). Team records: Cal 2-0, Alabama 3-1.
Women
Sunday
   USF def. UC Santa Barbara 7-0 in Santa Barbara. No. 1 singles: Thyra Taune def. Kiersten Meehan 6-1, 6-0. Team records: USF 3-0, UCSB 0-2.
   Mississippi State def. San Jose State 4-2 in College Station, Texas. No. 1 singles: Marie Klocker (SJS) vs. Georgiana Patrasc 6-4, 5-3, unfinished. Team records: Mississippi State 2-1, San Jose State 2-3.
Saturday
   No. 8 Cal def. No. 43 Washington 4-0 in Berkeley. No. 1 singles: No. 26 Anett Schutting def. Elianne Douglas-Miron, abandoned. Clinching match: No. 31 Maegan Manasse def. Natalie Coronel 6-0, 6-2. Team records: Cal 2-0, Washington 3-1.
   No. 6 USC def. No. 37 Saint Mary's 4-0 in Los Angeles. No. 1 singles: No. 13 Sabrina Santamaria vs. No. 7 Jenny Jullien 4-6, 4-2, unfinished. Clinching match: Zoe Katz def. Jade Frampton 6-3, 6-1 at No. 6. Team records: USC 2-0, Saint Mary's 1-1.
   No. 66 Santa Clara def. No. 50 UNLV 4-0 in Santa Clara. No. 1 singles: No. 35 Katie Le def. Lucia Batta 6-3, 6-2. Clinching match: Delphine Rouvillois def. Iren Kotseva 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4. Team records: Santa Clara 1-1, UNLV 0-2.
   DePaul def. No. 68 San Jose State 4-1 in College Station, Texas. No. 1 singles: Patricia Fargas (D) vs. Sabastiani Leon Chao 6-4, 3-2, unfinished. Clinching match: Rebeca Metrea def. Justine Deleval 6-1, 3-6 [10-3]. Team records: DePaul 1-0, San Jose State 2-2.
   USF def. Cal Poly 5-2 in San Luis Obispo. No. 1 singles: Taune (USF) def. Jennifer Cornea 6-2, 6-4. Team records: USF 3-0, Cal Poly 0-1.
   UC Davis def. Pacific 4-3 in Stockton. No. 1 singles: Megan Heneghan (UCD) def. Iveta Masarova 6-1, 6-0. Team records: UC Davis 1-1, Pacific 0-1.
Friday
   No. 1 Stanford def. UC Davis 7-0 at Stanford. No. 1 singles: No. 6 Kristie Ahn def. Heneghan 6-3, 6-0. Clinching match: No. 94 Ellen Tsay def. Melissa Kobayakawa 6-0, 6-1 at No. 4. Notes: Stanford earned its 900th victory in program history. ... UC Davis coach Bill Maze returned to his alma mater. He played doubles with John McEnroe for the Cardinal in 1977-78. Team records: Stanford 1-0, UC Davis 0-1.   
   No. 8 Cal def. No. 66 Santa Clara 4-0 in Berkeley. No. 1 singles: No. 26 Schutting vs. No. 35 Le, abandoned. Clinching match: No. 95 Lynn Chi def. Daniella Silva 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) at No. 3. Team records: Cal 1-0, Santa Clara 0-1.
   No. 37 Saint Mary's def. No. 58 Utah 4-2 in Los Angeles. No. 1 singles: No. 7 Jullien def. No. 107 Tereza Bekerova 6-3, 6-1. Clinching match: Catherine Leduc def. Paige Miles 3-6, 7-5 [10-6] at No. 5. Team records: Saint Mary's 1-0, Utah 0-1.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Bryans traded to San Diego in World TeamTennis

Bob, left, and Mike Bryan were traded from the Texas Wild
to the San Diego Aviators. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Bob and Mike Bryan are returning to Southern California.
   Not to live, but to play World TeamTennis.
   The new San Diego Aviators acquired the world's top men's doubles team from the Texas Wild for undisclosed financial considerations, the league announced this week.
   The 35-year-old Bryan twins were born and raised in Camarillo, 176 miles (283 kilometers) north of San Diego, and led Stanford to NCAA titles in 1997 and 1998 before turning pro. They live in Florida, which, unlike California, has no state income tax.
   Businessman Russell Geyer recently bought the New York Sportimes and moved them to San Diego, where the WTT Friars played in the 1970s and '80s.
   The Bryans, who have won a record 15 Grand Slam men's doubles titles, were stunned by unseeded Eric Butorac of Rochester, Minn., and Raven Klaasen of South Africa on Sunday (California time) in the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne. It was the Bryans' earliest exit from the tournament, which they have won six times, in 11 years.        
   Wayne Bryan, Bob and Mike's father, has coached the Sacramento Capitals in WTT for the past 13 years. Butorac played for Sacramento in 2008.
   The Bryan brothers also are scheduled to play in San Diego when the United States meets Great Britain in the first round of the Davis Cup on Jan. 31-Feb. 2. The Bryans helped the United States win the last of its record 32 Davis Cup championships in 2007.  
   Lipsky loses -- Kristina Mladenovic of France and Daniel Nestor of Canada routed Jie Zheng of China and Scott Lipsky, a former Stanford All-American, 6-3, 6-1 in the mixed doubles semifinals of the Australian Open.
   Lipsky, who lives in Huntington Beach in the Los Angeles area, was bidding for his second Grand Slam mixed doubles crown. He teamed with Casey Dellacqua of Australia for the 2011 French Open title.
   Lipsky arrived at Stanford one year after the Bryans' left, helping the Cardinal win the 2000 NCAA championship.
   Mladenovic and Nestor, who are unseeded, will face sixth-seeded Sania Mirza of India and Horia Tecau of Romania for the Australian Open crown.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sacramento junior trains with Federer in Dubai

Collin Altamirano practiced with Roger Federer
for two weeks last month in Dubai, United Arab
Emirates. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Any junior in the world would be thrilled to receive an invitation to train with Roger Federer.
   Collin Altamirano, though, had doubts.
   "My initial reaction was: Yeah, I want to do it, but is it the best thing for me, because it was the offseason and what got me (to become) good wasn't hitting with Roger Federer because I've never done that," Altamirano, who's based at Arden Hills in Sacramento, recalled this week. "It was hitting with my coach (Joseph Gilbert) and being around my coach, so we had to make the decision, is it going to be worthwhile?
   "As soon as we talked about it, it became an easy answer. We were like, 'Yeah, why wouldn't it be?' ... It's not every day that you get to train with the greatest of all time."     
   So Altamirano traveled alone and spent the first two weeks of December in sunny, cosmopolitan Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where Federer, 32, of Switzerland has a residence.
   Joining Altamirano, who turned 18 in Dubai, at various times were fellow U.S. junior Jared Donaldson, professionals Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine and Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland and other Swiss pros.
   Altamirano beat Donaldson in the final of the USTA Boys 18 National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., last August, becoming the first unseeded player in the tournament's 71-year history to capture the title. Their trip to Dubai was arranged by Jose Higueras, the USTA's director of coaching.  
Roger Federer will meet Rafael Nadal in the Aus-
tralian Open semifinals on Friday at 12:30 a.m.
(California time). 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Altamirano said he and Donaldson hit with Federer, two against one, for an average of two hours a day at "a five-star resort, gorgeous place. They had four or five tennis courts. They resurfaced a brand new court for Roger, and the court was perfect. We hit on that court every day."
   Unfortunately for Altamirano, he did not stay at the resort.
   "We stayed at the equivalent of a Holiday Inn," he conceded.
   Was Altamirano initially nervous practicing with Federer, who has won a record 17 Grand Slam singles titles and spent more weeks at No. 1 than anyone else in the history of the ATP rankings? Heck, yeah.
   "Jared and I were joking around the first time we hit with him: 'Who's going to miss first? Who's going to shank first? It was pretty funny. In like the second hit, Jared shanked a ball three courts down. About two rallies later, I shanked a ball out of the court. We were just cracking up. We knew it was coming."
   Altamirano was most impressed with Federer's "ability to hit the corners consistently. The guy could place it in the corner dead on the run, no problem. It was tough to play against. It was fun, though, that's for sure."
   Altamirano did not play any practice sets against Federer, who will meet Rafael Nadal on Friday (12:30 a.m. California time, ESPN2) in the Australian Open semifinals. That honor was left to the pros.
   Still, Federer "was unbelievably nice to us," Altamirano said. "He treated us like we were doing him a favor. It was great. I couldn't believe how kind and grateful he was for us to be there.
   "It was probably the most shocking thing to me. I would think a guy like that would -- I don't want to say be a jerk -- but have a big head and not care about us. But he was always making sure, did we eat well? Is the hotel fine?"    
   Altamirano said he did not socialize with Federer, who's married with 4-year-old twin daughters and another child on the way, or see his residence.
   Training with Federer and the other pros "showed what I need to work on," Altamirano said. "It emphasized my weaknesses. Now I can go back to the practice court and work on them and get better. Probably the biggest thing I learned is I'm not that far away.
   "I just need to get physically stronger," added the 6-foot-2 (1.88-meter) Altamirano. "Those guys are incredibly fit. You put talent with that, and you have an amazing tennis player.
   "I feel like I have the game, I have the talent, I even think I've almost got the head. I just lack the physical, and if I can get the physical, I think I can compete with the best in the world."
   Altamirano, a home-schooled senior, remains an amateur. He said he has until September to decide whether to turn pro since he wouldn't start college until next January.
   In the meantime, Altamirano is glad he traveled to Dubai.  
   "It was a great experience and a cool life story," he said.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cibulkova wins Stanford rematch, gains Aussie final

   Stanford was no fluke.
   Less than six months after edging Agnieszka Radwanska in the Bank of the West Classic final, 20th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia demolished her fifth-seeded Polish rival 6-1, 6-2 today to reach the final of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   Radwanska, the 2012 Wimbledon runner-up, might have suffered a letdown after ousting two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka the previous day.  
Li Na will face Dominika Cibulkova in the final of
the Australian Open. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Cibulkova improved to 2-5 against Radwanska, including a 6-0, 6-0 loss in the Sydney final last January.
   Only 5-foot-3 (1.61 meters), Cibulkova will face fourth-seeded Li Na of China in the Australian Open final. Li, 31, ended the surprising run of 19-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, the 30th seed, 6-2, 6-4.
   Li seeks her first Australian Open title in her third final. The 2011 French Open champion, she lost to Kim Clijsters in Melbourne that year and to Azarenka last year.
   The 24-year-old Cibulkova, who compensates for her small size by training six or seven hours a day, will appear in her first Grand Slam final. 
   ESPN analyst and International Tennis Hall of Famer Chris Evert called Bouchard, who's coached by former Stanford All-American Nick Saviano, "the future of women's tennis."
   Bouchard won the Wimbledon junior singles and doubles titles in 2012 and the doubles crown there in 2011. She was named the WTA Newcomer of the Year in 2013.
   Bouchard played in the Sacramento area twice last July as a member of the Texas Wild of World TeamTennis. She went 1-4 in her sets as the teams split. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ex-Cal star falls in Australian Open doubles semis

   Raquel Kops-Jones' career-best run in a Grand Slam tournament ended today.
   Eighth-seeded Kops-Jones, a 31-year-old doubles specialist from Fresno and Cal, and Abigail Spears of San Diego lost to third-seeded Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in the semifinals of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Sara Errani, above, and Roberta Vinci of Italy reach-
ed their third consecutive Australian Open women's
doubles final. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Kops-Jones won the 2003 NCAA women's doubles title with Sacramento native Christina Fusano.
   Makarova and Vesnina, last year's French Open champions, will face No. 1 seeds and defending champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy in the final.
   Errani and Vinci outclassed fourth-seeded Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia 6-1, 6-4 to reach the Australian Open final for the third straight year. Errani and Vinci lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva of Russia in 2012 and beat Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua last year.
   In a late mixed doubles quarterfinal, unseeded Zheng Jie of China and Scott Lipsky, a former All-American at Stanford from Huntington Beach in the Los Angeles area, are scheduled to meet fifth-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain and Bruno Soares of Brazil.
   Lipsky won the 2011 French Open mixed doubles title with Dellacqua for his only Grand Slam crown.

College results: San Jose St. women edge Sac State

Women
   No. 68 San Jose State def. Sacramento State 4-3 in San Jose. No. 1 singles: Jennifer Nguyen (SS) def. Sabastiani Leon Chao 6-3, 6-4. Deciding match: Julianne Bacelar def. Daria Savchenko 7-6 (2), 2-6 [11-9]. Team records: San Jose State 2-1, Sac State 0-2.
Men
   No. 16 Cal def. USF 4-0 in Berkeley. No. 1 singles: Ben McLachlan def. Bernardo Saraiva 6-0, 6-1. Team records: Cal 1-0, USF 0-1.

Ex-Cal star gains first Slam doubles semifinal

Eighth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones, above, and Abigail Spears
reached the women's doubles semifinals in the Australian Open.
2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   At age 31, Raquel Kops-Jones of Fresno reached her first Grand Slam women's doubles semifinal on Monday.
   Doubles specialists Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, the eighth seeds, wore down unseeded Shahar Peer of Israel and Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 6-4, 6-0 in the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   Peer and Soler-Espinosa had ousted No. 2 seeds Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan and Peng Shuai of China in the second round.
   Kops-Jones, a former Cal All-American, and Spears, 32, of San Diego will face third-seeded Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia.
   Makarova and Vesnina, last year's French Open champions, edged seventh-seeded Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (4).
   Kops-Jones won the 2003 NCAA women's doubles title with Sacramento native Christina Fusano.
   In Australian Open mixed doubles, former Stanford star Scott Lipsky of Huntington Beach in the Los Angeles area and Zheng Jie of China knocked off top-seeded Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Alexander Peya of Austria 2-6, 7-6 (5) [10-5] to reach the quarterfinals.
   Lipsky, 32, won the 2011 French Open mixed doubles title with Casey Dellacqua of Australia. Zheng, 30, took the 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon women's doubles crowns with countrywoman Yan Zi. 
   In junior girls doubles, unseeded Lizette Cabrera and Zoe Hives of Australia beat seventh-seeded Michaela Gordon, 14, of Los Altos Hills in the San Francisco Bay Area and Katrine Steffensen of Scarsdale, N.Y., 6-1, 6-2.       

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bryans shocked early in Australian Open

Bob, right, and Mike Bryan suffered their earliest loss in the
  Australian Open in 11 years. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   There will be no Grand Slam for the Bryans this year.
   Unseeded Eric Butorac of Rochester, Minn., and Raven Klaasen of South Africa stunned top seeds and defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (9), 6-4 on Sunday (California time) in the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   It was the Bryans' earliest exit from the Australian Open in 11 years and their quickest departure from a Grand Slam tournament since losing in the first round of the 2011 U.S. Open to 6-foot-11 (2.11-meter) Ivo Karlovic of Croatia and 6-5 (1.96-meter) Frank Moser of Germany.
   The Bryans, 1998 NCAA champions from Stanford, have won a record 15 Grand Slam men's doubles titles, including six in the Australian Open.
   "We like coming down here and starting the year hot, and I don't think we played terribly," Mike Bryan told reporters. "It's just the margins are really small."
   The Bryans came within two match victories in the U.S. Open of winning all four Grand Slam crowns last year. They said Sunday's loss illustrates the depth in men's doubles.
   "I feel like the game's being played at a pretty high level by a lot of good teams," Bob Bryan said. "The old days of just enjoying the pro tennis lifestyle without fully committing yourself are completely in the past."
   The 35-year-old identical twins have been playing together almost all their lives. Butorac and Klaasen, however, joined forces only four months ago. It almost never happened.
   "Someone actually suggested, 'I think Raven would be a good partner for you,' " said Butorac, a 32-year-old left-hander who played for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis in 2008. "I went to go watch his match, thinking this could be my guy, and he was awful. And I was like, forget that."
   Butorac and Klaasen will meet 12th-seeded Treat Huey, a Washington, D.C., native who plays for the Philippines, and Dominic Inglot of Great Britain in the quarterfinals.
   "We played so many doubles matches on back courts in front of small crowds," Butorac said. "We finally get to be in a big arena. Let's embrace it."
   Also reaching the doubles quarterfinals -- on the women's side -- were eighth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones from Cal and Fresno and Abigail Spears of San Diego. They topped unseeded Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia of France 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
   Kops-Jones and Spears will face another unseeded team, Shahar Peer of Israel and Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain, in the quarterfinals. Peer and Soler-Espinosa upended No. 2 seeds Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan and Shuai Peng of China in the second round.
   Advancing to the second round were former Stanford star Scott Lipsky in mixed doubles and Michaela Gordon of Los Altos Hills in the Bay Area in junior girls doubles.
   Lipsky is playing with Jie Zheng of China. Gordon, 14, is seeded seventh with Katrine Steffensen, 17, of Scarsdale, N.Y.

Stanford players earn four titles in three tourneys

Stanford's Kristie Ahn swept the singles and doubles titles in
the NCTC Classic in Indian Wells. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Stanford players racked up four titles in three tournaments on Sunday.
   Kristie Ahn swept the singles and doubles titles in the NCTC Classic in Indian Wells.
   The sixth-ranked Ahn, a 5-foot-5 (1.65-meter) senior from Upper Saddle River, N.J., edged No. 9 Chanelle van Nguyen of UCLA 1-6, 7-5 [10-8].
   Ahn also teamed with freshman Carol Zhao to whip Samantha Asch and Luisa Fernandez of Wake Forest 6-0.
   Ahn won the deciding match in Stanford's 4-3 victory over Texas A&M in last year's NCAA final.
   No. 94 Ellen Tsay won the Freeman Memorial Invitational in Las Vegas when No. 1 Robin Anderson of UCLA defaulted with an undisclosed illness.
   John Morrissey and Maciek Romanowicz took the doubles title in the Sherwood Cup in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks, defeating Clarke Spinosa and Filip Vittek of the University of San Diego 8-4.
   No. 1 Clay Thompson of UCLA will play teammate Marcos Giron, ranked 11th, today for the singles title.
   Meanwhile, the Saint Mary's men defeated Fresno State 4-3 in Moraga in the San Francisco Bay Area. Freshman Nathan Lewis won the deciding match, beating Nikolas Papic 6-0, 3-6, 6-2 at No. 5 singles.
   At No. 1 singles, Sam MacNeil of Fresno State topped Joakim Norstrom 6-5, 6-4.   

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stanford's Tsay to face No. 1 Anderson in final

Top-ranked Robin Anderson of UCLA reached the
final of the Freeman Memorial Invitational in Las
Vegas. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Ellen Tsay of Stanford will play top-ranked Robin Anderson of UCLA today in the final of the Freeman Memorial Invitational in Las Vegas.
   The 94th-ranked Tsay, a junior from Pleasanton in the San Francisco Bay Area, defeated No. 24 Jennifer Brady of UCLA 6-1, retired on Saturday, and Anderson topped No. 41 Taylor Davidson of Stanford 7-5, 6-4.
   Anderson, only 5-foot-3 (1.61 meters), reached the singles final of the Redding Challenger last September and won the doubles crown with Lauren Embree.
OTHER COLLEGE RESULTS
Men
   Sacramento State def. BYU-Hawaii 5-2 in Honolulu. No. 1 singles: Roy Brandys (SS) def. Yevhen Zahkarov 7-6 (1), 6-3. Note: Sac State played without Big Sky Conference co-MVP Marek Marksoo and first-team all-conference Sean Kolar. Team records: Sac State 1-2, BYU-Hawaii 0-1.
   No. 73 Santa Clara def. UC Davis 4-3 in Santa Clara. No. 1 singles: John Lamble (SC) def. Kyle Miller 6-1, 6-2. Note: In the deciding match at No. 6 singles, Sam Bertram beat Adam Luba 6-4, 6-4. Team records: Santa Clara 1-0, UC Davis 0-1.
Women
   USF def. Sac State 4-3 in Sacramento. No. 1 singles: No. 116 Thyra Taune (USF) def. Jennifer Nguyen 6-4, 3-6 [10-6]. Note: In the deciding match at No. 2 singles, sophomore Sofia Holmberg beat freshman Deimante Bulatovaite 7-6, 7-6. Team records: USF 2-0, Sac State 0-1.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bryans cruise into third round of Australian Open

   Top seeds and defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan defeated Robin Haase of the Netherlands and Christopher Kas of Germany 6-3, 6-2 on Friday (California time) in the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   The Bryans, 35-year-old identical twins and former NCAA champions from Stanford, will face Eric Butorac, a former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis from Rochester, Minn., and Raven Klaasen of South Africa for a berth in the quarterfinals.
   Jarkko Nieminen of Finland and Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian who trains in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, lost a heartbreaker to ninth-seeded Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski of Poland 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (4).
   In the first round of mixed doubles, second-seeded Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia and Rohan Bopanna of India dispatched Raquel Kops-Jones of Fresno and Treat Huey of the Philippines 6-2, 6-3.
   Kops-Jones, 31, won the 2003 NCAA women's doubles title with Sacramento native Christina Fusano. Huey was born in Washington, D.C., and starred at Virginia.
   In the opening round of junior girls singles, 14-year-old Michaela Gordon of Los Altos Hills in the San Francisco Bay Area lost to 18-year-old Jasmine Paolini of Italy 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Querrey falls to 15th seed in Australian Open

   Sam Querrey flamed out again in a Grand Slam tournament.
   After leading 5-2 in the first set, the 26-year-old San Francisco native lost to 15th-seeded Fabio Fognini 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 early today (California time) in the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
    Fognini will meet second seed and three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic for a berth in the quarterfinals.
    The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey equaled his best result in the Australian Open by reaching the third round, which he has achieved four times in eight attempts. His best result in a Grand Slam tournament is fourth-round appearances in the 2008 and 2010 U.S. Open and at Wimbledon in 2010.
   Querrey, who has played part-time for the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis for the past two seasons, has dropped from a career-high No. 17 in the world in January 2011 to No. 51.
   In men's doubles, top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan successfully opened their bid for their second straight and seventh overall Australian Open title and 16th Grand Slam crown. The former Stanford stars defeated Paul Hanley of Australia and Jonathan Marray of Great Britain 6-4, 7-6 (3).  
   Jarkko Nieminen of Finland and Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, defeated Andre Begemann and Martin Emmrich of Germany 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the first round.
   In women's doubles, eighth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones from Fresno and Cal and Abigail Spears of San Diego beat Garbine Muguruza and Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain 6-4, 7-6 (4) to reach the third round.

San Diego returns to WTT; Mayo wins title

Mark Knowles of the host Sacramento Capitals serves
to Bob Bryan, left, and Mike Bryan of the Texas Wild
during a World TeamTennis match last July.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   The Sacramento Capitals will have an intrastate rival in World TeamTennis this season after all.
   The league announced in November that entrepreneur Lorne Abony purchased the Orange County Breakers, moved them to Austin, Texas, and renamed them the Aces. Austin resident Andy Roddick will play for the team, based at the Cedar Park Center.
   WTT revealed on Thursday that San Diego businessman Russell Geyer bought the New York Sportimes and relocated them to the Southern California city, where they will be known as the Aviators. A home venue will be announced in a few weeks.
   The league will return to San Diego for the first time since the Friars played in the 1970s and 1980s. Austin will debut in the league.
   WTT will hold its annual marquee player draft on Feb. 11 and roster player draft on March 11. The league's 39th season will begin July 6 and end with the WTT Finals on July 27.
   The Capitals have won a record six WTT titles but none since 2007. The Washington Kastles last year joined Sacramento as the only teams to earn three straight crowns. The Capitals won four straight from 1997 through 2000.
   Each WTT team is comprised of at least two men, two women and a coach. Team matches consist of five sets, with one set each of men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles.
   The first team to reach five games wins each set. One point is awarded for each game won, and a nine-point tiebreaker is played if a set reaches 4-4. If necessary, overtime and a supertiebreaker are played to determine the overall winner of the match.
   WTT innovations include instant replay, a coed format, cumulative and no-ad scoring, on-court coaching and timeouts, overtime and supertiebreakers, multicolored courts and player names on the back of shirts.
   For more information, visit www.wtt.com.
   Juniors -- Fourth-seeded Roscoe Bellamy of Pacific Palisades and Keenan Mayo of Roseville topped third-seeded Nicola Kuhn of Germany and Carlos Sanchez Jover of Spain 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday to win the Nike Junior International Teen Tennis boys 14 doubles title.
   Pacific Palisades and Roseville are suburbs of Los Angeles and Sacramento, respectively.
   Mayo fell in the singles quarterfinals.
THURSDAY'S COLLEGE RESULTS
Men
   Hawaii Pacific def. Sacramento State 7-0 in Honolulu. No. 1 singles: Petr Michnev (HP) def. Marek Marksoo 7-6 (5), 6-2. Notes: Michnev, from Ivan Lendl's hometown of Ostrava in the Czech Republic, is ranked No. 2 nationally in Division II. Marksoo, a junior from Estonia, was named the Big Sky Conference co-MVP last season. He lost a singles dual match for just the seventh time in college. Team records: Hawaii Pacific 1-0, Sac State 0-1.
 Women
   No. 65 San Jose State def. Hawaii 5-2 in Honolulu. No. 1 singles: Cindy Nguyen (H) def. Marie Klocker 6-0, 6-1. Note: The Spartans' Gaelle Rey, a freshman from Geneva, Switzerland, won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 singles. Team records: San Jose State (1-1), Hawaii (1-2).

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Querrey surprises seed in Australian Open

SAM QUERREY
File photo by Paul Bauman
   Sam Querrey appears to be breaking out of a long slump.
   The 26-year-old San Francisco native dismissed 23rd-seeded Ernests Gulbis 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 late Tuesday night (California time) in the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey blasted 19 aces, converted 72 percent of his first serves and won 88 percent of the points on his first serve.
   "That was one of my best serving days ever," Querrey, who has played part-time for the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis for the past two seasons, told reporters. "And I felt like I returned very well. He has a huge serve. I felt like I did a good job of making him play on his service games.
    "It's one of my biggest wins in the past 12 months. It was overall a really solid match for me, the best I've felt in a long time. I just feel like I'm playing really well right now. I hope I can keep it up."
   Querrey dropped from No. 22 in the world at the beginning of last year to No. 46 at the end of 2013 and entered the Australian Open at No. 51. 
   Querrey will appear in the third round of the Australian Open, his best result in Melbourne, for the fourth time in eight appearances. He will meet 15th-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy for the first time, with the winner likely facing No. 2 seed and three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic.
   Fognini eliminated Finland's Jarkko Nieminen, a 32-year-old left-hander who reached the quarterfinals of the 2008 Australian  Open, 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
   In the first round of doubles, Querrey and Ryan Harrison of Boca Raton, Fla. lost to Simone Bolelli of Italy and Fognini 6-2, 7-5.
   Also, women's top seeds and defending champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy defeated Mona Barthel of Germany and Megan Moulton-Levy of Washington, D.C., 7-5, 6-2 in the opening round. Moulton-Levy made her WTT debut for the Capitals last season.

Mayo falls in Int'l Teen singles, gains doubles final

   Keenan Mayo of Roseville in the Sacramento area lost in the singles quarterfinals but won in the doubles semifinals today in the Nike Junior International Teen Tennis boys 14s in Bolton, England.
   Fourth-seeded Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada topped the unseeded Mayo 0-6, 6-3, 6-4, but Mayo avenged the loss in doubles. Fourth-seeded Roscoe Bellamy, from Pacific Palisades in the Los Angeles area, and Mayo nipped second-seeded Auger Aliassime and countryman Nicaise Muamba 6-7 (4), 6-4 [10-7].
   Bellamy and Mayo will play third-seeded Nicola Kuhn of Germany and Carlos Sanchez Jover of Spain for the title. Kuhn and Sanchez Jover edged sixth-seeded Andrew Fenty and Axel Nefve, both Americans, 6-1, 1-6 [10-7].
   Mayo won the boys 12 singles title in the 2012 USTA National Winter Championships in Tucson, Ariz., and ended the year ranked No. 1 nationally in the division. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tursunov, seeded 30th, upset in Australian Open

Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan upset Dmitry
Tursunov in the second round of the Aus-
tralian Open. File photo by Paul Bauman
   Dmitry Tursunov's chances looked good entering his match against Denis Istomin in the second round of the Australian Open.
   Only last week, Tursunov had defeated Istomin in straight sets in the quarterfinals of the Sydney International to improve to 3-0 in their head-to-head series.
   And the 30th-seeded Tursunov, who trains in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, had cruised past 35-year-old bulldog Michael Russell 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in the first round in Melbourne.
   Istomin, however, upset Tursunov 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 today to set up a meeting with second seed and three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic.
   Istomin, the runner-up in the 2012 SAP Open in San Jose, had beaten Marcos Baghdatis, who reached the Australian Open final in 2006, in the first round.
   Both Istomin, 27, and Tursunov, 31, were born in Moscow. Tursunov represents Russia, but Istomin plays for Uzbekistan.  
   Meanwhile, Sam Querrey leads No. 23 Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-2, 6-3, 4-3 in the second round.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey, a San Francisco native and Sacramento Capitals veteran in World TeamTennis, is trying to rebound from a year in which he dropped from No. 22 to No. 46 in the world rankings. He is now No. 51 after reaching a career-high No. 17 in January 2011.
   Meanwhile, one doubles seed who starred at a San Francisco Bay Area university won in the first round, but another lost.
   Eighth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones, a former NCAA doubles champion from Fresno and Cal, and Abigail Spears of San Diego trounced Chia-Jung Chuang of Taiwan and Liga Dekmeijere of Latvia 6-1, 6-1.
   Sixteenth-seeded Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Scott Lipsky, a former All-American at Stanford, fell to Oliver Marach of Austria and Florin Mergea of Romania 6-3, 7-6 (6).

Rankings mover of the week: Dmitry Tursunov

Dmitry Tursunov, middle, poses with fellow Moscow natives
Mischa Zverev, left, and Igor Andreev.
File photo by Paul Bauman
   Dmitry Tursunov improved six places to No. 26 in the world after reaching the semifinals of the Sydney International last week.
   The 31-year-old Moscow native, who trains at the Gorin Tennis Academy in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, is approaching his career high of No. 20 in 2006.
   Tursunov underwent two operations on his left ankle in 2009 and one on his left foot in early 2010 and fell as low as No. 516 in July 2010.
   Mark Knowles, formerly ranked No. 1 in doubles, played with Tursunov on the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis in 2004. In 2006, Knowles said of Tursunov in The Sacramento Bee: "He's a top-10 player for sure, maybe top five. The first time I saw him (in 2001), I thought he was a great player. He hits the ball as clean as anyone off both sides, he has a lot of power, and he serves big. He moves well and is a great athlete.
   "The only thing that has held him back is the mental side. He needs to develop points and use his strength better. He has a tendency to overhit, which is normal for a guy with that much power. It's hard to know when to pull the trigger and when to harness your power."
PRO RANKINGS
     Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Bob Bryan, 35 years old, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 35 years old, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, 32 years old, Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis (2012-13) -- No. 369 in singles (+2), No. 125 in doubles (no change).
   Bradley Klahn, 23 years old, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- Career-high No. 93 in singles (+2), career-high No. 143 in doubles (no change).
   Scott Lipsky, 32 years old, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 32 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, 26 years old, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 51 in singles (-5), No. 214 in doubles (+1).
   Ryan Sweeting, 26 years old, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 667 in singles (+1), No. 1,114 in doubles (+1).
   Dmitry Tursunov, 31 years old, trains at Gorin Tennis Academy in Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay -- No. 26 in singles (+6), No. 128 in doubles (no change).
Women
   Mallory Burdette, 22 years old, NCAA singles runner-up in 2012 and NCAA doubles champion in 2011 and 2012 from Stanford -- No. 139 in singles (no change), No. 690 in doubles (+1).
   Nicole Gibbs, 20 years old, NCAA singles champion in 2012 and 2013 and NCAA doubles champion in 2012 from Stanford -- No. 186 in singles (-1), No. 436 in doubles (+2).
   Macall Harkins, Redding resident -- No. 284 in doubles (+5), No. 691 in singles (+1).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 31 years old, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 24 in doubles (no change), No. 1,084 in singles (previously unranked).
   Megan Moulton-Levy, 28 years old, Capitals (2013) -- No. 58 in doubles (-1), unranked in singles.
   Maria Sanchez, 24 years old, Modesto product -- Career-high No. 107 in doubles (+2), No. 177 in singles (no change).
   Taylor Townsend, 17 years old, Capitals (2013) -- No. 192 in doubles (+3), No. 357 in singles (+6).

Stanford men win opener; Mayo reaches quarters

   The Stanford men defeated visiting Pacific 6-1 today to open the college spring season.
   The Tigers' point came at No. 1 singles as No. 105 Sem Verbeek topped John Morrissey 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
   The Cardinal is coming off a season in which it lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 35 appearances.
   The Stanford men have won 15 NCAA team titles in tennis, almost double any other school's total. USC is next with eight, including four in a row from 2009 through 2012.   But Stanford's last NCAA team crown came in 2000, when the Cardinal won its fifth championship in six years.
   Juniors -- Unseeded Keenan Mayo of Roseville in the Sacramento area beat seventh-seeded Daniel Michalski of Poland 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Nike Junior International Teen Tennis boys 14s in Bolton, England.
   Mayo, one of two unseeded players and four Americans in the quarterfinals, will face fourth-seeded Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada. Auger Aliassime dispatched Zhao Lingxi of China 6-3, 6-3.
   Mayo also advanced to the doubles semifinals with Roscoe Bellamy of Pacific Palisades in the Los Angeles area. Seeded fourth, they edged seventh-seeded Lingxi and Tomas Soares of Portugal 6-4, 2-6 [10-5].
   Bellamy and Mayo will meet second-seeded Auger Aliassime and Nicaise Muamba of Canada. Auger Aliassime and Muamba dismissed eighth-seeded Tomasz Dudek of Poland and Michalski 6-1, 6-3.
   Mayo won the boys 12 singles title in the 2012 USTA National Winter Championships in Tucson, Ariz., and ended the year ranked No. 1 nationally in the division. 

Roseville's Mayo wins in international junior tourney

   Unseeded Keenan Mayo of Roseville in the Sacramento area beat 10th-seeded Jake Hersey of Great Britain 6-1, 1-0, retired on Monday in the second round of the Nike Junior International Tennis Tennis boys 14s in Bolton, England.
   Mayo is scheduled to face seventh-seeded Daniel Michalski of Poland today for a berth in the quarterfinals. Michalski outlasted Radu Andrei Taica of Romania 2-6, 6-1, 6-3.
   Mayo also reached the doubles quarterfinals with Roscoe Bellamy of Pacific Palisades in the Los Angeles area. Seeded fourth, they downed unseeded Emile Hudd and Brandon Murphy of Great Britain 7-5, 6-3.
   Mayo won the boys 12 singles title in the 2012 USTA National Winter Championships in Tucson, Ariz., and ended the year ranked No. 1 nationally in the division. 

Tursunov to face familiar foe in Australian Open

Dmitry Tursunov, based in the Sacramento area, earned his
first singles victory in the Australian Open since 2008.
File photo by Paul Bauman
   Dmitry Tursunov and Denis Istomin will need no introduction when they meet on Wednesday (tonight in the United States) in the second round of the Australian Open.
   Tursunov beat his fellow Moscow native 7-6 (5), 6-2 last week in the Sydney quarterfinals to improve his career record against Istomin to 3-0.
   Tursunov, based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay and seeded 30th in Melbourne, advanced to the second round with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 victory over 5-foot-8 (1.73-meter) Michael Russell, 35, of Houston on Monday.
   It was Tursunov's first singles victory in the Australian Open since he reached the second round in 2008. He missed the tournament in 2010 and last year because of injuries. His best result in Melbourne is a third-round appearance in 2007.
   Istomin, who represents Uzbekistan, ousted 2006 Australian Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. Istomin reached the final of the 2012 SAP Open in San Jose, losing to Milos Raonic of Canada.
   The winner of the Tursunov-Istomin match probably will face No. 2 seed and three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in the third round.
   Bradley Klahn, a 23-year-old Stanford graduate making his main-draw debut in the Australian Open, lost to No. 22 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 today in the first round.
   Dimitrov, the 22-year-old boyfriend of Maria Sharapova, is nicknamed "Baby Fed" because his game resembles Roger Federer's.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Querrey tops Colombian in Australian Open

SAM QUERREY
File photo by Paul Bauman

  Sam Querrey said his first-round victory in the Australian Open gave him a lot of confidence.
   He'll need it in his next match.
   Querrey, a San Francisco native and Sacramento Capitals veteran in World TeamTennis, held off Colombia's Santiago Giraldo, who won the 2009 Sacramento Challenger, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (3) today in Melbourne.
   "To win this match, in a tiebreak in the fourth set, gives me a ton of confidence," the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey, who's ranked 51st after reaching a career-high No. 17 in January 2011, told reporters.
   Querrey, who has never advanced past the third round of the Australian Open in seven attempts, will face Latvia's Ernests Gulbis, seeded 23rd and ranked 24th, on Wednesday in the second round.
   Gulbis, who reached the French Open quarterfinals in 2008 at 19 years old, defeated former top-10 player Juan Monaco of Argentina 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-2. It was Gulbis' first singles victory in the Australian Open since 2009 and only his second ever.
   Querrey and Gulbis have split their four career meetings.
   No. 30 seed Dmitry Tursunov, a 31-year-old Moscow native based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, leads 35-year-old Michael Russell of Houston 6-2, 6-2, 2-2 in the first round.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Australian Open TV schedule

(All times PST in United States)
Today
   First round, ESPN2, 4 p.m.-4 a.m. Monday (live).
Monday
   First round, Tennis Channel, 4-6 p.m. (live).
   First round, ESPN2, 6 p.m.-4 a.m. Tuesday (live).
Tuesday
   Second round, Tennis Channel, 4-6 p.m. (live).
   Second round, ESPN2, 6 p.m.-4 a.m. Wednesday (live).
Wednesday
   Second round, Tennis Channel, 4-6 p.m. (live).
   Second round, ESPN2, 6 p.m.-4 a.m. Thursday (live).
Thursday
   Third round, Tennis Channel, 4-8 p.m. (live).
   Third round, ESPN2, 8 p.m.-4 a.m. Friday (live).
Friday
   Third round, Tennis Channel, 4-6 p.m. (live).
   Third round, ESPN2, 6 p.m.-4 a.m. Saturday (live).
Saturday
   Round of 16, Tennis Channel, 4-6 p.m. (live).
   Round of 16, ESPN2, 6-11 p.m. (live).
Sunday, Jan. 19
   Round of 16, ESPN2, midnight-4 a.m. (live), 8 a.m.-noon (repeat).
   Round of 16, Tennis Channel, 4-6 p.m. (live).
   Round of 16, ESPN2, 6-11 p.m. (live).
Monday, Jan. 20
   Round of 16, ESPN2, midnight-3:30 a.m. (live).
   Quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 4-6 p.m. (live).
   Quarterfinals, ESPN2, 6-11 p.m. (live).
Tuesday, Jan. 21
   Quarterfinals, ESPN2, midnight-2:30 a.m. (live), noon-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 4-6 p.m. (live).
   Quarterfinals, ESPN2, 6-11 p.m. (live).
Wednesday, Jan. 22
   Quarterfinals, ESPN2, 12:30-3 a.m. (live), noon-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 4-6:30 p.m. (live).
   Women's semifinals, ESPN2, 6:30-11 p.m. (live).
Thursday, Jan. 23
   Men's semifinal 1, ESPN2, 12:30-3 a.m. (live), 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (repeat). 
   Women's semifinals and men's semifinal 1, Tennis Channel, 3-8 p.m., (repeat).
   Mixed doubles semifinals and women's doubles final, Tennis Channel, 8 p.m.-midnight (live).
Friday, Jan. 24
   Men's semifinal 2, ESPN2, 12:30-3 a.m. (live), 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Women's semifinals and men's semifinal 2, Tennis Channel, 3-11 a.m. (repeat).
   Men's semifinal 2, Tennis Channel, 3-8 p.m. (repeat).
Saturday, Jan. 25
   WOMEN'S FINAL, ESPN2, midnight-2:30 a.m. (live), 6-8 a.m. (repeat).
   Men's doubles final, Tennis Channel, 2:30-4:30 a.m. (live).
   Women's doubles final, Tennis Channel, 4:30-6:30 a.m. (repeat).
   Women's final, Tennis Channel, 3-6 p.m. (repeat).
   Mixed doubles final, Tennis Channel, 9-11 p.m. (live).
Sunday, Jan. 26
   MEN'S FINAL, ESPN2, midnight-3:30 a.m. (live), 6-11 a.m. (repeat).
   Men's final, Tennis Channel, 2-6 p.m. (repeat).

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Players to watch in the Australian Open

   Players to watch in the Australian Open, which starts Monday (Sunday in the United States) in Melbourne (seedings in parentheses):
MEN
RAFAEL NADAL
File photo by Paul Bauman
   Rafael Nadal (1) -- Australian Open champion in 2009 missed last year's tournament with knee injury. Northern California ties: None.
   Novak Djokovic (2) -- Three-time defending champion ended 2013 with 24-match winning streak and four consecutive titles. NorCal ties: None.
   David Ferrer (3) -- Reached first Grand Slam final in last year's French Open at age 31. NorCal ties: None.
   Andy Murray (4) -- Three-time Australian Open runner-up (2010, 2011, 2013) last July became first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 but had minor back surgery in late September. NorCal ties: Won Aptos Challenger in 2005 and SAP Open in San Jose in 2006, both at 18 years old, and SAP Open in 2007.
   Juan Martin del Potro (5) -- Only player other than Big Four to win Grand Slam title (2009 U.S. Open) in past 35 majors. NorCal tie: In only appearance at SAP Open, reached 2011 semifinals.
   Roger Federer (6) -- Four-time Australian Open champion (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010) finished outside the top 5 last year for first time since 2002. NorCal ties: None.
WOMEN
SERENA WILLIAMS
File photo by Paul Bauman

   Serena Williams (1) -- Five-time Australian Open champion (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010) went 78-4 (.951) last year and beat Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka to win Brisbane title last week. NorCal ties: Won Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2011 and 2012, semifinalist there in 2008 and quarterfinalist in 2009.
   Azarenka (2) -- Two-time defending champ beat Williams twice last year. NorCal ties: Won Bank of the West Classic in 2010, lost in first round there in 2007 and second round in 2011.
   Li Na (3) -- French Open winner in 2011 and two-time Australian Open runner-up (2011, 2013) won only one title last year (Shenzen). NorCal tie: In only appearance in Bank of the West Classic, lost in first round in 2009 to top-seeded Williams.
   Sharapova (4) -- Runner-up in 2012 Australian Open played only one tournament after Wimbledon last year because of illness and injuries. NorCal ties: Runner-up in 2010 Bank of the West Classic, two-time quarterfinalist there.
   Petra Kvitova (6) -- Seeks her second Grand Slam title after winning Wimbledon in 2011. NorCal ties: None.
   Caroline Wozniacki (10) --Former world No. 1, who has never won Grand Slam title, has slumped to No. 10. NorCal ties: None.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tursunov might face Djokovic in Australian Open

Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian based in the Sacramento
area, is seeded 30th in the Australian Open.
2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Dmitry Tursunov, a Sacramento-area resident seeded 30th, could meet second seed and three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic in the third round of the Australian Open.
   The draw for the year's first Grand Slam tournament, which begins Monday (Sunday in the United States) in Melbourne, was held Thursday.
   A third-round appearance would equal Tursunov's best Australian Open result, accomplished in 2007. The 31-year-old Moscow native, who's based in Granite Bay, seeks his first match victory in the Australian Open since 2008. He missed the tournament in 2010 and last year with injuries.
   If Tursunov loses to Djokovic in the third round, it will be the third straight time he has fallen to a Serb in Melbourne. Tursunov lost to Viktor Troicki in 2011 and to Janko Tipsarevic in 2012.   
   Tursunov drew Michael Russell, 35, of Houston in the first round this year. Tursunov is 4-3 lifetime against the 5-foot-8 (1.73-meter) Russell, winning four of their past five matches in a series that dates to 2001.
Novak Djokovic seeks his fourth straight Australian
Open title. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   The winner of that matchup will face either Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus or Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan. Tursunov is 2-2 against Baghdatis and 3-0 against Istomin, beating the latter 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Wednesday in the Sydney quarterfinals. Tursunov then lost to top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals.
   Baghdatis reached the final of the 2006 Australian Open, falling to Roger Federer in four sets.
   Tursunov and Djokovic have met only once, with Djokovic winning 6-2, 4-3, retired in the second round of the 2008 Paris Masters.
   Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native and Sacramento Capitals veteran in World TeamTennis, has never advanced past the third round of the Australian Open in seven appearances or past the fourth round in any Grand Slam tournament.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey will take on Colombia's Santiago Giraldo, the 2009 Sacramento Challenger champion. The winner will meet either 23rd-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia or Juan Monaco of Argentina.
   Bradley Klahn's first appearance in the main draw of the Australian Open could be brief. The 23-year-old Stanford graduate from the San Diego suburb of Poway drew 22nd-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the opening round.
   Dimitrov, the 22-year-old boyfriend of Maria Sharapova, is nicknamed "Baby Fed" because of his Federer-like game.
   In Australian Open women's qualifying, former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs and Modesto native Maria Sanchez lost in the second and first round, respectively. 

TV schedule, calendar

TV SCHEDULE
   Today
(All times Pacific Standard in United States)
   Sydney (women), final, Tennis Channel, 4-6 a.m. and 6-8 p.m. (repeat).
   Auckland (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 8 a.m.-noon (delay).
   Sydney (men), semifinals, Tennis Channel, noon-4 p.m. (delay).
   Hobart (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 8 p.m.-midnight (delay). 
Saturday
   Auckland (men), final, Tennis Channel, 4-6 p.m. (delay), 10 p.m.-midnight (repeat).
   Sydney (men), final, Tennis Channel, 6-8 p.m. (delay).
   Hobart (women), final, Tennis Channel, 8-10 p.m. (delay).
Sunday
   AUSTRALIAN OPEN, first round, ESPN2, 4 p.m.-4 a.m. Monday (live).
CALENDAR
   Sunday (Monday in Australia)-Jan. 26 -- AUSTRALIAN OPEN, Melbourne, www.australianopen.com. 2013 champions: Novak Djokovic, Victoria Azarenka, Bob Bryan-Mike Bryan, Sara Errani-Roberta Vinci, Jarmila Gajdosova-Matthew Ebden.
   Tuesday -- College spring season begins. Pacific men at Stanford, 1:30 p.m. 
   Jan. 31-Feb. 2 -- Davis Cup, first round, Great Britain vs. United States in San Diego, www.daviscup.com.
   Feb. 8-9 -- Fed Cup, first round, defending champion Italy vs. United States in Cleveland, www.fedcupcom.
   Feb. 26 -- Champions Shootout (Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, James Blake), 7 p.m., Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, Calif., www.powersharesseries.com.
   March 3-16 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, Calif., www.bnpparibasopen.com. 2013 champions: Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Bob Bryan-Mike Bryan, Ekaterina Makarova-Elena Vesnina.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rankings mover of the week: Maria Sanchez

Maria Sanchez
2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Maria Sanchez jumped 35 places to No. 109 in the world in doubles, one spot below her career high, after winning her first career WTA title. 
   Sanchez, who was born and raised in Modesto, won the doubles crown in the $250,000 ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, with Sharon Fichman of Canada.  
   Sanchez dropped one notch to No. 177 in singles. Her career high in that category also is No. 108.
   Chris Evert mentors Sanchez, a 24-year-old USC graduate, at the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla.
PRO RANKINGS
     Following are this week's world rankings of professional players with Northern California ties (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Bob Bryan, 35 years old, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 35 years old, 1998 NCAA doubles champion from Stanford -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mardy Fish, 32 years old, Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis (2012-13) -- No. 371 in singles (+2), No. 125 in doubles (no change).
   Bradley Klahn, 23 years old, 2010 NCAA singles champion and 2011 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- Career-high No. 95 in singles (+2), career-high No. 143 in doubles (+4).
   Scott Lipsky, 32 years old, 2002 NCAA doubles runner-up from Stanford -- No. 32 in doubles (-1), unranked in singles.
   Sam Querrey, 26 years old, San Francisco native, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 46 in singles (no change), No. 215 in doubles (+1).
   Ryan Sweeting, 26 years old, Capitals (2012-13) -- No. 668 in singles (-1), No. 1,115 in doubles (-3).
   Dmitry Tursunov, 31 years old, trains at Gorin Tennis Academy in Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay -- No. 32 in singles (-3), No. 128 in doubles (+11).
Women
   Mallory Burdette, 22 years old, NCAA singles runner-up in 2012 and NCAA doubles champion in 2011 and 2012 from Stanford -- No. 139 in singles (+1), No. 691 in doubles (-1).
   Nicole Gibbs, 20 years old, NCAA singles champion in 2012 and 2013 and NCAA doubles champion in 2012 from Stanford -- No. 185 in singles (no change), No. 438 in doubles (no change).
   Macall Harkins, Redding resident -- No. 289 in doubles (-2), No. 692 in singles (+2).
   Raquel Kops-Jones, 31 years old, 2003 NCAA doubles champion from Cal -- No. 24 in doubles (-1), unranked in singles.
   Megan Moulton-Levy, 28 years old, Capitals (2013) -- No. 57 in doubles (-1), unranked in singles.
   Maria Sanchez, 24 years old, Modesto product -- No. 109 in doubles (+35), No. 177 in singles (-1).
   Taylor Townsend, 17 years old, Capitals (2013) -- No. 195 in doubles (+2), No. 363 in singles (+2).
Please help defray travel expenses
$
Thanks for your donation!