Friday, August 29, 2014

U.S. Open Day 4 highlights: No. 8 Ivanovic, Bellis fall

Karolina Pliskova, shown in last month's Bank of
the West Classic at Stanford, upset eighth-seeded
Ana Ivanovic in the second round of the U.S. Open.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset of the day -- Karolina Pliskova, a 22-year-old Czech who stands 6-foot-1 (1.86 meters), knocked off eighth-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 7-5, 6-4 in the second round.
   Ivanovic ascended to No. 1 in the world after winning the 2008 French Open for her only Grand Slam title. After dropping out of the top 20, she has rebounded this year. Ivanovic upset Serena Williams to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January and returned to the top 10 for the first time since 2009 on Aug. 4.
   Pliskova, ranked 42nd, advanced to the third round of a major for the first time. She lost to Williams 7-5, 6-2 in the second round of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford last month.
   Northern California connection --  CiCi Bellis, a 15-year-old wild card from Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area, lost to Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 6-3, 0-6, 6-2. Diyas, 20, reached the fourth round of Wimbledon this summer.
   Bellis had stunned 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the first round to become the youngest player to win a match in the U.S. Open since Anna Kournikova, also 15, in 1996.
   Wild card Nicole Gibbs, a two-time NCAA singles champion from Stanford, surprised 23rd-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3.
Ana Ivanovic returned to the top 10 for the first
time since 2009 on Aug. 4. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis, outclassed 28th-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to set up a third-round matchup with top-ranked Novak Djokovic.  
   In the first round of men's doubles, former Stanford stars Scott Lipsky and Bradley Klahn won separately, but Querrey and Steve Johnson lost to fourth-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (5).
   Lipsky and fellow American Rajeev Ram edged 16th-seeded Jamie Murray of Great Britain and John Peers of Australia 4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4). Murray is Andy's older brother. 
   Klahn and Smyzcek outlasted Austin Krajicek of Bradenton, Fla., and John-Patrick Smith of Australia 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.
   Match of the day -- Estonia's Kaia Kanepi, a five-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist, saved two match points in a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8) victory over 24th-seeded Sam Stosur, the 2011 U.S. Open champion. 
   Men's seeded winners -- Djokovic, No. 5 Milos Raonic, No. 8 Andy Murray, No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 10 Kei Nishikori, No. 13 John Isner, No. 16 Tommy Robredo, No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber and No. 23 Leonardo Mayer.
   Men's seeded losers -- Garcia-Lopez and No. 31 Fernando Verdasco.
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 1 Williams, No. 3 Petra Kvitova, No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard, No. 11 Flavia Pennetta, No. 15 Carla Suarez Navarro, No. 16 Victoria Azarenka, No. 17 Ekaterina Makarova, No. 29 Casey Dellacqua and No. 30 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
   Women's seeded losers -- Ivanovic, Pavyluchenkova, Stosur and No. 27 Madison Keys.
   Notable -- Victor Estrella Burgos, a Dominican playing in the U.S. Open for the first time at 34, defated Borna Coric, 17, of Croatia 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Estrella Burgos, only 5-foot-8 (1.73 meters), won a $15,000 Futures tournament in the Sacramento suburb of Loomis in 2008.
   U.S. report -- The men went 2-0 in singles, but the women went 3-6 (including one all-American match). Four U.S. women lost to seeds.
   Through two rounds, four U.S. ladies remain: Williams, No. 19 Venus Williams, Uzbekistan native Varvara Lepchenko and Gibbs. With half of the men's second round to be played, the only Americans left are Isner, Querrey and wild card Tim Smyczek (pronounced SMEE-check).
   Fast facts -- Isner will face Kohlschreiber in the third round of the U.S. Open for the third straight year. Kohlschreiber won in five sets in 2012 and in four sets last year.
   Vania King, who lost to Serena Williams 6-1, 6-0, sang "America the Beautiful" in Arthur Ashe Stadium before a U.S. Open night session in 2006.
   King and Pavlyuchenkova also are former Capitals.
   Quote -- Bellis, after her loss: “This whole experience has been unbelievable, like mind-blowing. It's been crazy. It's been the best couple days of my life.”

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