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. 

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