Friday, September 26, 2014

Baghdatis' streak ends in Napa Challenger

   It doesn't quite compare to Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak or Cal Ripken's 2,632 consecutive games played.
Marcos Baghdatis, the 2006 Australian Open runner-
up, practices at the Napa Valley Country Club on
Wednesday. Photo by Paul Bauman
   But Marcos Baghdatis' streak of consecutive Challenger victories this year was pretty impressive. It ended Thursday at 16 when the third-seeded Baghdatis retired from his second-round match in the $50,000 Napa Valley Challenger with Australia's John Millman leading 6-2, 3-0 at the Napa Valley Country Club.
   Baghdatis reinjured his right ankle, which forced him to retire from his first-round match in the U.S. Open last month against eventual champion Marin Cilic. Baghdatis withdrew from the Sacramento and Tiburon Challengers in the next two weeks.
   Until Thursday, Baghdatis had been undefeated in 2014 Challengers. The 29-year-old Cypriot won the titles at Nottingham in June and Vancouver and Aptos in consecutive weeks in July and August.
   Baghdatis reached the final of the 2006 Australian Open, losing Roger Federer, and climbed to a career-high No. 8 in the world later that year. He is now No. 108.
   Millman, the 2010 Sacramento Challenger champion who has had his own injury issues, will face countryman Alex Bolt in today's quarterfinals. Bolt, an Australian Open doubles quarterfinalist this year, outlasted 20-year-old Dennis Novikov of San Jose 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
   The other quarterfinal in the top half of the draw will be an all-American encounter. Top-seeded Sam Querrey, a 26-year-old native of nearby San Francisco, will meet 36-year-old Michael Russell, seeded sixth.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey is 7-0 against the 5-foot-8 (1.73-meter) Russell.
   Querrey needed 2 hours, 20 minutes to defeat 18-year-old Elias Ymer of Sweden 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-3. Ymer was up a break at 4-3 in the second set.
   Russell topped American Rhyne Williams, a quarterfinalist in last year's inaugural Napa Valley Challenger, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1. 
$50,000 NAPA VALLEY CHALLENGER
At Napa Valley Country Club in Napa, Calif.
Second-round singles
   Michael Russell (6), United States, def. Rhyne Williams, United States, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1.
   Alex Bolt, Australia, def. Dennis Novikov, San Jose, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
   John Millman, Australia, def. Marcos Baghdatis (3), Cyprus, 6-2, 3-0, retired.
   Sam Querrey (1), United States, def. Elias Ymer, Sweden, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-3.
Doubles quarterfinals
   Bradley Klahn and Tim Smyczek (2), United States, def. Liam Broady, Great Britain, and Jordan Thompson, Australia, 6-2, 7-6 (4).
   Alex Kuznetsov, United States, and Nils Langer, Germany, def. Adam Hubble and John-Patrick Smith, Australia, 6-3, 6-4.
   Peter Polansky and Adil Shamasdin (1), Canada, def. Denis Kudla and Michael Russell, United States, 6-4, 3-6 [10-7].
Today's schedule
Center Court
(Starting at 11 a.m.)
   Julian Lenz, Germany, vs. Jared Donaldson, United States.
   Tim Smyczek (2), United States, vs. Liam Broady, Great Britain.
   Sam Querrey (1), United States, vs. Michael Russell, United States (not before 2 p.m.).
   Peter Polansky and Adil Shamasdin (1), Canada, vs. Alex Kuznetsov, United States, and Nils Langer, Germany.
Court 7
(Starting at noon)
   John Millman, Australia, vs. Alex Bolt, Australia.

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