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.

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