Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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.       

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