Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Injury updates: Burdette, Tursunov, Millman

Mallory Burdette, a former Stanford star, slugs a backhand in
her victory over fellow American Jill Craybas in the first round
at Indian Wells last year. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Mallory Burdette is done, Dmitry Tursunov is recovering, and John Millman is OK.
   Burdette, a 23-year-old former Stanford star from Jackson, Ga., recently announced her retirement after only one year as a professional because of shoulder problems.
   The 5-foot-10 (1.77-meter) right-hander underwent surgery on her right shoulder last November and completed her bachelor's degree in psychology during her layoff.
   "As my tennis career comes to an end, only now am I able to fully appreciate the beauty of the journey," Burdette wrote on her Facebook page. "I couldn't be more proud of what I've accomplished, and, at the same time, excited to see what the future holds in the next chapter of my life."
   Burdette reached the third round of the 2012 U.S. Open (losing to Maria Sharapova) and at Indian Wells and Charleston in early 2013. She climbed to a career-high No. 68 that June.
   Burdette and her older sisters, Erin and Lindsay, combined to win four NCAA doubles titles while at Stanford. Erin triumphed in 2005 (with Alice Barnes), Lindsay in 2010 (with Hilary Barte), and Mallory in 2011 (with Barte) and 2012 (with Nicole Gibbs).
   Tursunov, a Moscow native who has a residence in the Sacramento suburb of Folsom, has played only one tournament since Wimbledon because of a left ankle problem related to plantar fasciitis. He lost to Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in the first round of the U.S. Open.
   Tursunov, who will turn 32 on Dec. 12, wrote in an e-mail today that he hopes to return to the circuit in January but isn't sure if he'll be ready. Ranked a career-high No. 20 in 2006, the often-injured Tursunov has tumbled to No. 110.
   Millman, a 25-year-old Australian, withdrew from the recent Toyota (Japan) Challenger for precautionary reasons after winning the Traralgon (Australia) and Yokohama (Japan) Challengers in the previous two weeks.
   The 6-foot (1.83-meter) right-hander returned to the circuit in April after undergoing surgery in July 2013 for a torn labrum (cartilage) in his right shoulder.
   On the three-week Northern California Challenger swing this fall, Millman reached the quarterfinals in Napa, semifinals in Sacramento and final in Tiburon.
   In only five months, Millman has skyrocketed from No. 1,193 to No. 159, near his career high of No. 126 in April 2013.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Rankings, calendar

WORLD RANKINGS
   Players with Northern California ties ranked in the top 1,000 in the world (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Collin Altamirano, 18-year-old Sacramentan -- No. 739 in singles (-4), No. 868 in doubles (-1).
   Bob Bryan, 36-year-old former Stanford star -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 36-year-old former Stanford star -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Bradley Klahn, 24-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 148 in singles (no change), No. 152 in doubles (no change).
   Scott Lipsky, 33-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 32 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mackenzie McDonald, 19-year-old Piedmont resident -- No. 631 in singles (+1), No. 588 in doubles (-7).
   Dennis Novikov, 21-year-old San Jose resident -- No. 370 in singles (-3), No. 466 in doubles (-2).
   Sam Querrey, 27-year-old San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis (2012-13) -- No. 35 in singles (no change), No. 64 in doubles (no change).
   Matt Seeberger, 30-year-old Los Altos resident -- No. 458 in doubles (-5).
   Dmitry Tursunov, 31-year-old resident of Folsom in Sacramento area -- No. 110 in singles (-1), No. 180 in doubles (-3).
Women
   Kristie Ahn, 22-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 650 in singles (-2), No. 711 in doubles (+6).
   CiCi Bellis, 15-year-old resident of Atherton in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 262 in singles (-7), No. 827 in doubles (no change).
   Hadley Berg, 18-year-old resident of Greenbrae in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 949 in doubles (-2).
   Alexandra Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 738 in doubles (no change).
   Kat Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 738 in doubles (no change).
   Nicole Gibbs, 21-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 95 in singles (-1), No. 839 in doubles (-2). 
   Michaela Gordon, 15-year-old resident of Saratoga in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 700 in singles (-2).
    Lejla Hodzic, 28-year-old former Stanford standout -- No. 730 in doubles (+1).
    Raquel Kops-Jones, 31-year-old San Jose resident and former Cal star -- No. 12 in doubles (no change), No. 808 in singles (+5).
   Maria Sanchez, 24-year-old Modesto product -- Career-high No. 79 in doubles (+1), No. 242 in singles (-1).
   Karina Vyrlan, 16-year-old Sacramentan -- No. 766 in singles (+7).
   Allie Will, 23-year-old native of San Mateo in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 160 in doubles (+1), No. 540 in singles (+6).
   Carol Zhao, 19-year-old Stanford sophomore -- No. 296 in singles (no change), No. 516 in doubles (+2).
TV SCHEDULE
   No tournaments scheduled. 
CALENDAR
   Dec. 8-14 -- Orange Bowl, boys and girls 18 and 16 singles and doubles, Plantation, Fla. orangebowltennis.org
   Dec. 13-23 -- Junior Orange Bowl, boys and girls 14 and 12 singles, Coral Gables, Fla. jrorangebowl.com
   Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2015 -- USTA National Winter Championships, boys and girls 18 and 16 singles and doubles, Scottsdale, Ariz. phoenixtennis.com
   Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2015 -- USTA National Winter Championships, boys and girls 14 and 12 singles and doubles, Tucson, Ariz. reffkintenniscenter.com
   Jan. 19-Feb. 1, 2015 (Jan. 18-31, 2015, in United States) -- AUSTRALIAN OPEN. 2014 champions: Stan Wawrinka, Li Na, Lukasz Kubot/Robert Lindstedt, Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci, Kristina Mladenovic/Daniel Nestor. ausopen.com
   Feb. 7-8, 2015 -- Fed Cup first round, United States at Argentina. fedcup.com
   March 6-8, 2015 -- Davis Cup first round, United States at Great Britain. daviscup.com
   March 9-22, 2015 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, Calif. 2014 champions: Novak Djokovic, Flavia Pennetta, Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan, Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai. bnpparibasopen.com     

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Aussie Millman bounces back from despair

John Millman follows through on a forehand during his
second-round win over Dimitar Kutrovsky in the recent
Sacramento Challenger. Photos by Paul Bauman
   Eventually, every struggling professional tennis player -- i.e. the vast majority of them -- asks himself or herself a profound question.
   Is it worth it?
   Is it worth traipsing around the world for precious ranking points, sleeping on airport floors and in railway stations because you can't afford to stay at a hotel?
   Is it worth fighting your heart out in blistering heat in some remote outpost only to lose on a bad line call with a handful of people in the stands?
   Is it worth suffering a serious injury and making no money for months or even a year while your friends back home have comfortable jobs and guaranteed income?
   For Australian John Millman, that moment came in the spring of 2013.
   Millman, one of the true nice guys in sports, recently had reached a career-high No. 126 in the world and had received a coveted wild card into the French Open.
   It would have been the second main-draw appearance in a Grand Slam tournament for Millman, then 23. He had lost to Tatsuma Ito of Japan, 7-5 in the fifth set, in the first round of the Australian Open that January.
   But while Millman was serving in practice during a French Open tuneup tournament in Munich, the 6-foot (1.83-meter) right-hander hurt his shoulder.
   After much deliberation, Millman made the gut-wrenching decision to give up the wild card -- and a guaranteed $27,500, representing 12.2 percent of his career prize money at the time. It soon became apparent that he would need surgery for a torn labrum (cartilage).
   On top of that, Millman had broken up with his girlfriend.
   "You're at a crossroads in your life," the 25-year-old Millman mused during last month's $100,000 Sacramento Pro Circuit Challenger at the Natomas Racquet Club, where he reached the semifinals before losing to top seed and eventual champion Sam Querrey. "You ask yourself what you're doing and whether it was a waste of time. Anyone, when they work so hard for something for it to just come crashing down ... that's sport, though. You can get seriously injured, and all of a sudden, that can be it.
   "And in tennis, you're not on a contract with a team and you're not getting paid during that time. You have to do it all yourself, and that's what's sometimes great about tennis, the fact that it's an individual sport. That's why I love singles. It's all on you, and there are no excuses. On the flip side, when you're out injured, it can be even harder because you've got to find a way yourself. That's when I had to rely on my family, close friends and support team."
   It wasn't Millman's first operation on his right shoulder. In 2007, he hurt it while warming up for a first-round qualifying match in a $15,000 Futures tournament at the Natomas Racquet Club. Millman underwent arthroscopic surgery in Australia to remove a small piece of bone causing friction with a tendon and missed eight months.
   "It's a genetic thing," Millman, who rebounded to win the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger in 2010 at the same club, said of his shoulder injuries. "It wasn't that major, and because it happened so early in my career, it was probably easier to come back from. I was just starting out on the tour and didn't have a high ranking.
   "This last one was a lot more severe. It's similar to what baseball pitchers get. I had come from different conditions, altitude in Mexico, to heavy clay in Munich. It was a freak of nature. My shoulder got tight and snapped."   
   Dr. James Fardoulys performed the surgery in Millman's hometown of Brisbane in July 2013. With the help of strength and conditioning coaches Dirk Spits and Alex Hynes, physiotherapist Sean Fyfe and massage therapist Bruno Rizzo, Millman returned to competition in a Futures tournament in China this past April.
   "I can't say how appreciative I am of those guys," said Millman, who also credits support by Tennis Australia and the national academy in Brisbane. "Without them, there's no doubt I wouldn't be here talking to you because it's such a serious thing to come back from. I think we've really got it right. With them, you can't be anything but confident."
   Millman has been tearing up the Challenger circuit lately, winning Traralgon (Australia) and Yokohoma (Japan) in the past two weeks without losing a set. On the three-week Northern California swing in September and October, he improved from the quarterfinals in Napa to the semifinals in Sacramento to the final in Tiburon.
   Since the start of Napa, Millman has gone 20-4. Two of the losses came to Querrey, a 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) ATP World Tour veteran playing down in the Challengers, and one was 7-6 in the third set to promising countryman Benjamin Mitchell.
   Ranked No. 1,193 in June, Millman has soared to No. 159 (10th in Australia).
   "The fact he was knocking on the door of the top 100 and having to restart from scratch is amazing, and how quickly he did it was a great effort by him," Matt Reid, Millman's Australian rival and friend, wrote in an e-mail. "There's also the financial pressure being from Australia and being away from home, so as a friend of John's, I was very happy for him and hope he can continue and cement a spot in the top 100 (and I'm sure he believes he can go a lot higher)."  
   Millman practices his serve less these days to protect his shoulder.
   "He used to go out and do 200, 300 serves after a match," his coach, David Moore, said in Sacramento. "I don't think you can really do that. It could be a reason the shoulder gave way.
   "He wanted to improve his serve. A lot of players want to make sure they've got a weapon, and the serve seems to be the way to go. It's always nice to have a serve that can get you some cheap points. He probably did a little too much, but now he's very smart with the way he trains. He's very efficient. He's looking after that shoulder so he can have a good 2015 and career."
* * *
Millman celebrates after winning a point
during his victory over Bjorn Fratangelo
in the Sacramento quarterfinals.
   Only four months before the Munich debacle, Millman experienced what he considers the high point of his career. It says something about his character that it was a loss. Specifically, even though Millman's livelihood depends on winning, there are more important things to him, such as relationships and challenges.
   Millman fell to Andy Murray, the reigning U.S. Open champion at the time and the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 in 2 hours, 6 minutes in the second round at Brisbane on the ATP World Tour.
   "It's really special when you're playing a night match in front of 5,500 people, you're looking around the stadium, and you can point out the majority of them that you know," said Millman, who had won three qualifying matches to reach the main draw and then beaten Ito. "To test myself against Andy Murray -- and I thought I really took it to him -- in front of all the people who have helped you out to date, that was easily the most special time of my career."
   No one, of course, has helped Millman more than his parents, Ron and Shona. Both are physical education teachers in primary (elementary) school who represented their state of Queensland in sports, Ron in cricket and soccer and Shona in track and field.
   "We firmly believed in children being active and the importance of sport in education and the life lessons it can teach," Shona wrote in a detailed e-mail.
   John, the second-youngest of five children and only boy, grew up on three acres of heavily wooded property on the outskirts of Brisbane on the east coast of Australia. Brisbane, with a metropolitan-area population of 2.3 million, is the nation's third-largest city behind Sydney (4.8 million) and Melbourne (4.4 million), the home of the Australian Open.
   The only level piece of land on the Millmans' property, Shona wrote, was a tennis court. John's three older sisters became strong tennis players whom he was determined to beat.
   "Tennis was not a sport that we had expertise in," Shona continued, "but we found a wonderful coach (Ken Laffey) who shared our philosophy of making sport interesting and fun while developing good skills. From a very early age, John was extremely competitive and a very poor loser. He soon learned what was acceptable."
   Added Shona: "Training was a treat, and John enjoyed it. He has never lost his enjoyment of training."
   More importantly, Millman attended the Anglican Church Grammar School.
   "School and education were the number one priority for our children," Shona wrote. "Our greatest achievement as parents was by working extremely hard and many jobs, we were able to give our children private education (sending them to the top schools in Queensland, which is quite expensive in Australia)."
   Millman's parents also stressed courtesy.
   "Coming from a Christian family, John was taught to show respect to all people," Shona added. " ... To me, the way John treats people is more important than winning a tennis match."
* * *
Millman serves during his loss to top seed and
eventual champion Sam Querrey in the
Sacramento semifinals.
   Millman learned his lessons well.
   On Tennis Australia's web site, he lists the retired Mario Ancic as his favorite player, not because the 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Croat ascended to No. 7 in the world in 2006 but because he earned a law degree during his injury-plagued career. 
   Millman's off-court interests, however, lie more in finance than law. While recovering from his latest shoulder operation, he worked part-time in Brisbane for Discovery Finance Group, which specializes in commercial and residential loans, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
   Millman is also a talented writer. The blogs on his web site, johnmillman.com, provide an introspective, behind-the-scenes look at life as a pro tennis player. It isn't always pretty.
   "People should know what it's like on tour because you don't come out smelling roses the whole time and it's not all what you see on TV playing in front of packed stadiums for great prize money," Millman said. "Some of it's pretty tough, and you've got to push on through and find a way."
   Millman's biggest complaint is that prize money on the developmental Challenger Tour "hasn't changed for four decades," he wrote in his March 2013 blog. "It may have been good money back then but now it’s chook (Australian slang for "chicken") feed when seeing how the expenses for a player (have) increased ten-fold."
   As such, players stay with host families at U.S. tournaments to cut expenses. Those who have put up Millman rave about him.
   "Not only is he an amazing athlete and tennis player, he is an exceptional person as well," Monica Biery, Millman's hostess in Sacramento last month, wrote in an e-mail. "So many of today's athletes behave like entitled punks. John is so refreshingly different. He is genuinely grateful and openly expresses his gratitude for the people who support him. ... "
   Biery has two sons, ages 14 and 12.
   "I am very happy that my boys were able to spend time with John and observe how he respectfully handled both his successes as well as failures on the court," Biery continued. "He is a great role model for them. I want to see my kids grow up with grace, optimism and most importantly gratitude -- all of which John so freely demonstrated daily.
   "His parents have done a beautiful job in raising him and can be very proud of the person they sent out into the world. His talent and attitude will take him far, and I cannot wait to watch him in the Grand Slams."
   Deedee Bilotta hosted Millman in Sacramento two years ago, when he lost to former Stanford star Bradley Klahn in the first round. Bilotta watched the match with her two sons, then 12 and 10.
   "He was gracious as always and came home two hours later," recalled Bilotta, who has stayed in touch with Millman on Facebook and attended his matches at the Natomas Racquet Club last month. "My boys felt bad for him and were a little nervous about what mood he would be in. He walked in the door, and the boys were in the back playing Xbox. He said, 'OK, boys, I need to play some basketball,' and they played for 45 minutes.
   "That spoke volumes to me. It was a good lesson for the boys: You can't always win, you can still have a smile on your face, life goes on."
   In a tribute to their admiration of Millman, his hosts in Napa, Sacramento and Tiburon this year attended the Tiburon final.
   The feeling is mutual.
   "People have often asked me what the best thing about (pro) tennis is," Millman noted. "I've gotten to travel the world and play and entertain people. But easily the best thing is the people that you meet. I'm staying with a great family this week. I've played a bit of club tennis in Germany, and I've got some great friends there and all over the world.
   "For me, it's the relationships and people that I wouldn't have had the opportunity to meet had I stayed in Brisbane and studied. That's priceless. I'll have friends for life through tennis and experiences that not many people could have." 
* * * 
Millman meets with his coach, David Moore, after defeating
Fratangelo in Sacramento.
   Moore has known his pupil since Millman was 14.
   "He's a special guy," observed Moore, who's also Australian. "If you just watch Johnny, you can see the passion for the game. He's just a good character on and off the court. He just seems to have this loyal fan base wherever he goes. People just seem to be drawn to him and want to support him. He makes an impact. ... "
   Millman, added Moore, "is a different character to any other player I've had. He's very respectful and listens well. At the end of the day, I just really enjoy working with him. ...
   "Especially for this Challenger level, what makes him unique is he'll go off and do his rehab and he'll go into the steam room or the gym, (whereas) a lot of players will just sit around after a match and maybe not do their stretching and all the little bits and pieces that can take you to the next level. He does that stuff."
   Millman even works on his game during matches. Frequently after points, he taps his head while looking at Moore. With other players, that's usually a reaction to having made a mental error. But with Millman, it means he executed a shot that he and Moore have worked on in practice. It might be a service winner, punishing first groundstroke, strong return of serve or putaway volley.
   "They're little box ticks," Moore explained. "He's always trying to improve on areas. It's a bit of a confidence builder, if anything. If he can box-tick that one thing, he can do it again and again. That's the idea behind it."
   Moore didn't hesitate when asked to name Millman's greatest strength.
   "Mental toughness, without a doubt," Moore declared. "I think any player would say John is one of the tougher players to play on the tour. You know you're in for a battle. It's a bit like a Lleyton Hewitt in the sense that he's never going to give away cheap points. His concentration is very good throughout the course of a match. I've never seen him give up through the juniors and into his pro career. That's a pretty good trait to have as a tennis player.
   "It makes it easy to coach, as well, when you don't have to tell them to try hard today. You know it's going to come; the battle is going to be there."
   Millman's mental toughness was on full display in the 2010 Sacramento Challenger. In a semifinal matchup of unseeded players, he saved five match points in a 2-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (1) victory over Alex Bogomolov Jr. that lasted 3 hours, 3 minutes.
   "He loves those situations," Moore asserted. "It doesn't matter if we're playing tennis or basketball or tennis-soccer. He loves the clutch situations. He lives for those moments."
   There was no such drama in the subsequent final as Millman dominated fifth-seeded Robert Kendrick, a native of nearby Fresno, 6-3, 6-2. Millman seemingly didn't miss a shot.
   "That's always been his strength, I guess," Moore observed. "Over the last year or so, we've really been working on stepping up inside the court and flattening out his balls, trying to get a few cheap points as much as relying on grinding and being tough. He's got that covered."
   Reid, 24, is 1-3 against Millman but within a third-set tiebreaker of being 2-2. In the players' last meeting, Millman dominated Reid 6-1, 6-2 in the first round at Napa in late September.
   "What makes John so tough to play is that he is so fit and very competitive," Reid wrote. "I would pick one individual shot, but he likes to wear down his opponent. As he is so fit, he can do it a lot longer than you can, and by halfway through the set, the court (on his side) feels smaller, and you start trying to go closer to the lines, and eventually you overplay and miss. But he has also developed a more aggressive and attacking game."
   It's no wonder that Millman's nicknames are "the Milkman" and "the Mailman" because he always delivers. 
* * *
Millman chats with James McGee of Ireland during last month's
Tiburon Challenger. Millman reached the final before falling
to Querrey.
   So, is it worth it?
   Millman chuckled at the question before turning serious. 
   "If I listed the pros and cons, I definitely think the pros would outweigh the cons," Millman said after dismissing American Bjorn Fratangelo 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the recent Sacramento Challenger. "That's easy to say when you've come off a win. If you come off a loss, you might feel differently.
   "It's an emotional game, tennis, and it can be a lonely game. I guess I won't be able to answer that question until my career is done and dusted."
   In the meantime, Millman takes comfort in a conversation he had with a friend while recovering from his major surgery.
   "I was complaining -- probably like (in) some of the blogs I've written -- to him and just being an idiot," Millman said. "He just got his degree and a full-time job in finance. He said, 'John, if I had the talent that you have, I would have done that in a heartbeat.'
   "At the end of the day, I do have to realize that regardless of how tough it is -- and sometimes you can be roughing it pretty bad or down in a bit of a ditch -- some people would give their eye-teeth to have the opportunities that I've had.
   "I like to keep remembering that."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rankings, TV schedule, calendar

WORLD RANKINGS
   Players with Northern California ties ranked in the top 1,000 in the world (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Collin Altamirano, 18-year-old Sacramentan -- No. 735 in singles (-3), No. 867 in doubles (-2).
   Bob Bryan, 36-year-old former Stanford star -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 36-year-old former Stanford star -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Bradley Klahn, 24-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 148 in singles (-12), No. 152 in doubles (+2).
   Scott Lipsky, 33-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 32 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mackenzie McDonald, 19-year-old Piedmont resident -- No. 632 in singles (no change), No. 581 in doubles (-1).
   Dennis Novikov, 21-year-old San Jose resident -- No. 367 in singles (-1), No. 464 in doubles (-3).
   Sam Querrey, 27-year-old San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis (2012-13) -- No. 35 in singles (-1), No. 64 in doubles (no change).
   Matt Seeberger, 30-year-old Los Altos resident -- Career-high No. 453 in doubles (+49).
   Dmitry Tursunov, 31-year-old resident of Folsom in Sacramento area -- No. 109 in singles (no change), No. 177 in doubles (-2).
Women
   Kristie Ahn, 22-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 648 in singles (+1), No. 717 in doubles (-3).
   CiCi Bellis, 15-year-old resident of Atherton in San Francisco Bay Area -- Career-high No. 255 in singles (+2), No. 827 in doubles (-4).
   Hadley Berg, 18-year-old resident of Greenbrae in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 947 in doubles (+1).
   Mallory Burdette, 23-year-old former Stanford star -- Injured, unranked in singles and doubles.
   Alexandra Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 738 in doubles (-3).
   Kat Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 738 in doubles (-3).
   Nicole Gibbs, 21-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 94 in singles (-1), No. 837 in doubles (-2). 
   Michaela Gordon, 15-year-old resident of Saratoga in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 698 in singles (-1).
    Lejla Hodzic, 28-year-old former Stanford standout -- No. 731 in doubles (-4).
    Raquel Kops-Jones, 31-year-old San Jose resident and former Cal star -- No. 12 in doubles (no change), No. 813 in singles (-3).
   Maria Sanchez, 24-year-old Modesto product -- No. 80 in doubles (no change), No. 241 in singles (-1).
   Karina Vyrlan, 16-year-old Sacramentan -- No. 773 in singles (+2).
   Allie Will, 23-year-old native of San Mateo in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 161 in doubles (-1), No. 546 in singles (+5).
   Carol Zhao, 19-year-old Stanford sophomore -- No. 296 in singles (-3), No. 518 in doubles (no change).
TV SCHEDULE
(All broadcasts on Tennis Channel; all times in California)
Friday
   Davis Cup final, Switzerland at France, 5-11 a.m. (live), 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. (repeat).
Saturday
   Davis Cup final, Switzerland at France, 6:30-9:30 a.m. (live), 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-8 p.m. and 8:30-11:30 p.m. (repeat). 
Sunday  
   Davis Cup final, Switzerland at France, 4-10 a.m. (live), 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. (repeat). 
CALENDAR
   Friday-Sunday -- Davis Cup final, Switzerland at France. daviscup.com
   Dec. 8-14 -- Orange Bowl, boys and girls 18 and 16 singles and doubles, Plantation, Fla. orangebowltennis.org
   Dec. 13-23 -- Junior Orange Bowl, boys and girls 14 and 12 singles, Coral Gables, Fla. jrorangebowl.com
   Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2015 -- USTA National Winter Championships, boys and girls 18 and 16 singles and doubles, Scottsdale, Ariz. phoenixtennis.com
   Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2015 -- USTA National Winter Championships, boys and girls 14 and 12 singles and doubles, Tucson, Ariz. reffkintenniscenter.com
   Jan. 19-Feb. 1, 2015 (Jan. 18-31, 2015, in United States) -- AUSTRALIAN OPEN. 2014 champions: Stan Wawrinka, Li Na, Lukasz Kubot/Robert Lindstedt, Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci, Kristina Mladenovic/Daniel Nestor. ausopen.com
   Feb. 7-8, 2015 -- Fed Cup first round, United States at Argentina. fedcup.com
   March 6-8, 2015 -- Davis Cup first round, United States at Great Britain. daviscup.com
   March 9-22, 2015 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, Calif. 2014 champions: Novak Djokovic, Flavia Pennetta, Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan, Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai. bnpparibasopen.com     

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Martinez inducted in Women's Collegiate Hall of Fame

From left to right are Jeff Moore, Lindsay Morse Bennett, Ce-
celia Martinez, Betsy Nagelsen McCormack, Katrina Adams,
Stacy Margolin Potter and Bob Meyers.
   Cecilia Martinez, a former college and pro standout and women's tennis pioneer from Northern California, was inducted in the ITA Women's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame with five others on Monday in Williamsburg, Va.
   Martinez, the 1966 intercollegiate champion from San Francisco State, reached No. 4 in the world in doubles and No. 15 in singles.
   At the 1970 U.S. Open, Martinez and doubles partner Esme Emanuel handed out a questionnaire asking tennis fans whether they would support a women's tour and collected nearly 300 responses. Half of the men and two-thirds of the women said they would pay to attend a women's tournament.
   Also inducted in the Hall of Fame were:
   --Katrina Adams, the 1987 NCAA doubles champion (with Diane Donnelly) from Northwestern. Adams climbed to No. 8 in the world in doubles, winning 20 titles. A commentator for Tennis Channel since 2003, she will become the chairman of the board, CEO and president of the USTA in January.
   --Stacy Margolin Potter, who won the National Collegiate Singles Championship while at USC in 1977 and helped the Women of Troy capture the 1978 team title. As a pro, she reached a career-high No. 18 in singles.
   --Bob Meyers, who launched the Southern Illinois-Edwardsville women's team in 1979 and coached the Cougars to four straight NCAA Divison II championships, three NCAA singles titles and two NCAA doubles crowns.
   --Jeff Moore, who coached the University of Texas women for 23 years (1982-2005). Under Moore, the Longhorns captured the NCAA team title in 1993 and 1995, had two runner-up finishes and appeared in three other Final Fours.
   --Lindsay Morse Bennett, a former UC Irvine star who won the 1977 singles title at the Women's National Collegiate Championships.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bryans survive test, earn fourth ATP Finals title

Bob, left, and Mike Bryan edged Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo
to win the ATP World Tour Finals. 2013 photo by Paul Bauman
   Bob and Mike Bryan almost were eliminated early in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
   Today, though, the 36-year-old identical twins hoisted their fourth trophy in the season-ending tournament featuring the top eight doubles teams of the year.
   The top-seeded Bryans, originally from Camarillo in the Los Angeles area, edged seventh-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil 6-7 (5), 6-2 [10-7] for their 10th title of the year and 103rd of their career.
   After losing their opening round-robin match, the Bryans edged fifth-seeded Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands and Horia Tecau of Romania 6-7 (4), 6-3 [10-6].
   The Bryans had trailed 3-1 in the second set and 4-0 in the match tiebreaker against Rojer and Tecau. A loss would have meant an ignominious exit for the holders of a record 16 Grand Slam men's doubles titles.
   The former NCAA doubles champions from Stanford won one major this year, the U.S. Open for their 100th career title.
   “Looking back at the year, we're very proud of the way it went,” Mike Bryan said on atpworldtour.com. “If we had to pick one highlight during this great season, it would probably have to be the U.S. Open. It was just a milestone we were shooting for.
   "One of our big goals coming in the year was to try to hit 100 titles. We did it luckily at our home Grand Slam when there was a lot of talk about it. To finish year-end No. 1 was a huge goal; we did that for the 10th season. That ranks right up there.
   “This is considered the fifth slam, with the top eight teams in the world. To lose our first match and bounce back, barely qualify for the semifinals, win today, was a great feeling.”
   The Bryans won the ATP Finals for the first time since 2009. They also triumphed in 2003 and 2004 and were the runners-up in 2008 (to Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia) and last year (to Spaniards David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco).
   Dodig and Melo were the only team in the field that did not win a title this year.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bryans cruise into title match of ATP Finals

   Bob and Mike Bryan will play for their fourth ATP World Tour Finals title.
   The top seeds and former Stanford stars overwhelmed fourth-seeded Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-0, 6-3 in 53 minutes today in London. The Bryans improved to 4-0 against the Frenchmen.
   The 36-year-old Bryan twins will meet seventh-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil today for the title.
   Dodig and Melo, the only team in the ATP World Tour Finals not to have won a title this year, edged eighth-seeded Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Robert Lindstedt of Sweden 4-6, 6-4 [10-6].
   The finalists have met once this year. The Bryans prevailed 6-3, 3-6 [10-8] on clay in Monte Carlo in April for one of their nine titles this year.
   The Bryans also beat Dodig and Melo 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in 2013 for the last of their three Wimbledon crowns.
  The Bryans won the ATP Finals in 2003, 2004 and 2009. They were the runners-up in 2008 to Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia and last year to Spaniards David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco.

Bryans advance to semis in ATP Finals

   Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States reached the semifinals of the Barclay's ATP World Tour Finals in London, edging third-seeded Alexander Peya of Austria and Bruno Soares of Brazil 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2) on Friday.
   The Bryans, 36-year-old identical twins and former NCAA doubles champions from Stanford, will meet fourth-seeded Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France today.
   Both teams won one Grand Slam men's doubles title this year, the Bryans at the U.S. Open and Benneteau and Roger-Vasselin at the French Open. Overall, the Bryans have won a record 16 majors and Benneteau and Roger-Vasselin one.
   In the other semifinal, seventh-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil will face eighth-seeded Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Robert Lindstedt of Sweden.
   The Bryans seek their fourth ATP Finals title after winning in 2003, 2004 and 2009. They were the runners-up in 2008 to Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia and last year to Spaniards David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ex-Capitals owner sentenced to 20 years in prison

Then-Capitals owner Deepal Wannakuwatte and his wife, Betsy,
pose with Mike, left, and Bob Bryan of the visiting Texas Wild
after a match last year. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Deepal Wannakuwatte, the former owner of the defunct Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday in Sacramento for orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme.
   The Sacramento Bee reported that Wannakuwatte, a native of Sri Lanka who will turn 64 next week, will be eligible for parole in 17 years.
   Wannakuwatte was arrested on Feb. 20 in Sacramento on charges of defrauding banks and individual investors in his medical supply business of more than $100 million.
   U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley called Wannakuwatte "an evil person" at the sentencing, according to The Bee. One victim who lost $22 million went further, referring to Wannakuwatte as a "sociopath," "serial liar" and "serial thief."
   In a letter read by defense attorney Philip Cozens, Wannakuwatte apologized to his victims and asked forgiveness.
   The Capitals announced on Feb. 4 that they were moving to Las Vegas after 28 years because Sacramento lacks a permanent tennis facility. Shortly after Wannakuwatte's arrest, however, WTT terminated the franchise.
   The league played its 39th season in July with seven teams instead of eight. 
   The Capitals were the longest-running franchise in WTT at 28 years and won a record six league titles, including four straight (1997-2000).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bryans rally to stay alive in ATP Finals

   Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan twice were in serious danger today of early elimination from the Barclay's ATP World Tour Finals in London.
   But the 36-year-old identical twins and former Stanford All-Americans showed the mental toughness that has helped carry them to a record 16 Grand Slam men's doubles titles.
   The Bryans pulled out a 6-7 (4), 6-3 [10-6] round-robin victory over fifth-seeded Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands and Horia Tecau of Romania.
   The Bryans trailed 3-1 in the second set and 4-0 in the match tiebreaker. But they improved to 4-0 against Rojer and Tecau, who have won eight titles in their first season as a team.
   Now 1-1 in the tournament, the Bryans will play their last round-robin match on Friday against third-seeded Alexander Peya of Austria and Bruno Soares of Brazil.
   The Bryans are trying to win the season-ending tournament for the fourth time and earn their 10th title of the year.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Rankings, TV schedule, calendar

WORLD RANKINGS
   Players with Northern California ties ranked in the top 1,000 in the world (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Collin Altamirano, 18-year-old Sacramentan -- Career-high No. 732 in singles (+1), career-high No. 865 in doubles (+2).
   Bob Bryan, 36-year-old former Stanford star -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 36-year-old former Stanford star -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Bradley Klahn, 24-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 136 in singles (-16), No. 154 in doubles (no change).
   Scott Lipsky, 33-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 32 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mackenzie McDonald, 19-year-old Piedmont resident -- No. 632 in singles (-4), No. 580 in doubles (-2).
   Dennis Novikov, 21-year-old San Jose resident -- Career-high No. 366 in singles (+4), No. 461 in doubles (-4).
   Sam Querrey, 27-year-old San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis (2012-13) -- No. 34 in singles (no change), No. 64 in doubles (-1).
   Matt Seeberger, 30-year-old Los Altos resident -- Career-high No. 502 in doubles (no change).
   Dmitry Tursunov, 31-year-old resident of Folsom in Sacramento area -- No. 109 in singles (-1), No. 175 in doubles (+3).
Women
   Kristie Ahn, 22-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 649 in singles (+1), No. 714 in doubles (-3).
   CiCi Bellis, 15-year-old resident of Atherton in San Francisco Bay Area -- Career-high No. 257 in singles (no change), career-high No. 823 in doubles (+23).
   Hadley Berg, 18-year-old resident of Greenbrae in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 948 in doubles (-1).
   Mallory Burdette, 23-year-old former Stanford star -- Injured, unranked in singles and doubles.
   Alexandra Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 735 in doubles (+2).
   Kat Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 735 in doubles (+2).
   Nicole Gibbs, 21-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 93 in singles (-1), No. 835 in doubles (-7). 
   Michaela Gordon, 15-year-old resident of Saratoga in San Francisco Bay Area -- Career-high No. 697 in singles (+3).
    Lejla Hodzic, 28-year-old former Stanford standout -- Career-high No. 727 in doubles (+1).
    Raquel Kops-Jones, 31-year-old San Jose resident and former Cal star -- No. 12 in doubles (no change), No. 810 in singles (+2).
   Maria Sanchez, 24-year-old Modesto product -- No. 80 in doubles (-1), No. 240 in singles (-14).
   Karina Vyrlan, 16-year-old Sacramentan -- No. 775 in singles (+2).
   Allie Will, 23-year-old native of San Mateo in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 160 in doubles (-10), No. 551 in singles (-46).
   Carol Zhao, 19-year-old Stanford sophomore -- No. 293 in singles (+6), No. 518 in doubles (+5).
TV SCHEDULE
(Tournaments on Tennis Channel except as noted; all times in California)
Wednesday
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin doubles, 4-6 a.m. (live), 8-10 a.m. (repeat), 10 a.m.-noon (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin singles, 6-8 a.m. and noon-2 p.m. (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round robin, 2:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursday (repeat).
Thursday
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin doubles, 4-6 a.m. (live), 8-10 a.m. (repeat), 10 a.m.-noon (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin singles, 6-8 a.m. and noon-2 p.m. (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round robin, 2:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday (repeat).
Friday
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin doubles, 4-6 a.m. (live), 8-9:45 a.m. (repeat), 9:45-11:30 a.m. (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin singles, 6-8 a.m. (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin singles, ESPN2, noon-2 p.m. (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round robin, 2:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday (repeat).
Saturday
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, doubles semifinals, 4-6 a.m. (live), 8-10 a.m. (repeat), 10 a.m.-noon (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, singles semifinals, 6-8 a.m. (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, singles semifinals, ESPN2, noon-2 p.m. (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round robin, 2:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday (repeat).
Sunday  
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, doubles final, 7:30-9:30 a.m. (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, singles final, ESPN2, 10 a.m.-noon (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, singles final, 5-9 p.m. (repeat).  
CALENDAR
   Through Sunday -- Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, London. 2013 champions: Novak Djokovic, David Marrero/Fernando Verdasco. atpworldtour.com
   Nov. 21-23 -- Davis Cup final, Switzerland at France. daviscup.com
   Dec. 8-14 -- Orange Bowl, boys and girls 18 and 16 singles and doubles, Plantation, Fla. orangebowltennis.org
   Dec. 13-23 -- Junior Orange Bowl, boys and girls 14 and 12 singles, Coral Gables, Fla. jrorangebowl.com
   Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2015 -- USTA National Winter Championships, boys and girls 18 and 16 singles and doubles, Scottsdale, Ariz. phoenixtennis.com
   Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2015 -- USTA National Winter Championships, boys and girls 14 and 12 singles and doubles, Tucson, Ariz. reffkintenniscenter.com
   Jan. 19-Feb. 1, 2015 (Jan. 18-31, 2015, in United States) -- Australian Open. 2014 champions: Stan Wawrinka, Li Na, Lukasz Kubot/Robert Lindstedt, Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci, Kristina Mladenovic/Daniel Nestor. ausopen.com
   Feb. 7-8, 2015 -- Fed Cup first round, United States at Argentina. fedcup.com
   March 6-8, 2015 -- Davis Cup first round, United States at Great Britain. daviscup.com
   March 9-22, 2015 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, Calif. 2014 champions: Novak Djokovic, Flavia Pennetta, Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan, Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai. bnpparibasopen.com     

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bryans upset in round-robin ATP Finals

   Eighth-seeded Lukasz Kubot and Robert Lindstedt stunned top seeds and three-time champions Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (3), 6-3 today in a round-robin opener at the Barclay's ATP World Tour Finals in London.
   Kubot and Lindstedt saved one set point at 5-6 on Kubot's serve in the first set of the tournament featuring the top eight singles players and top eight doubles teams of the year.
   Three of the four players in the doubles match attended college in Northern California.
   The Bryan twins led Stanford to the 1997 and 1998 NCAA team titles in their two years on the Farm. Bob Bryan won a rare Triple Crown in 1998, also prevailing in singles and doubles (with Mike).
   Lindstedt, a 37-year-old Swede, played at Fresno State before transferring to Pepperdine and reaching the 1998 NCAA doubles final. In that match, Lindstedt and Kelly Gullett lost to none other than the Bryans.
   The 36-year-old Bryans have captured a record 16 Grand Slam men's doubles titles, including this year's U.S. Open. They won the ATP World Tour Finals in 2003, 2004 and 2009 and were the runners-up in 2008 and last year (to Spaniards David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco).
   Kubot, from Poland, and Lindstedt won the Australian Open in January for the first Grand Slam title for either player.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Manasse of Cal falls in National Indoor final

Julia Elbaba of Virginia receives her trophy from former New
York Mayor David Dinkins. Also shown is Intercollegiate Tennis
Association executive director David Benjamin. Photo courtesy
of International Tennis Association
   For the second time this year, a Cal woman lost to a University of Virginia player in a national final.
   Sixth-seeded Julia Elbaba of Virginia beat unseeded Maegan Manasse of Cal 6-2, 7-5 today to win the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   In May, the Cavaliers' Danielle Collins defeated the Bears' Lynn Chi for the NCAA title.
   Elbaba, a junior from Oyster Bay, N.Y., is ranked fifth nationally. Manasse, a sophomore from Redondo Beach in the Los Angeles area, is 43rd.
   Elbaba eliminated Cal's Zsofi Susanyi, an NCAA semifinalist as a freshman in 2012, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round and top-seeded and top-ranked Jamie Loeb of North Carolina 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
   Manasse had not faced a seed in the tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the home of the U.S. Open.
   In other finals:
   --Brayden Schnur of North Carolina defeated Gonzales Austin of Vanderbilt 6-4, 7-6 (2) in men's singles. Both players were unseeded.
   --Top-seeded Yannick Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz of reigning NCAA champion USC outplayed unseeded Ross Guignon and Tim Kopinsky of Illinois 6-3, 7-5 in men's doubles.
   --Unseeded Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips of NCAA champion UCLA upset second-seeded Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger of Auburn 6-2, 6-3 in women's doubles.    

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Cal's Manasse to play for National Indoor title

   Fifth-seeded Maegan Manasse of Cal topped unseeded Stephanie Wagner of Miami 6-3, 7-6 (4) today to reach the final of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   Manasse, a sophomore from Redondo Beach in the Los Angeles area, has not lost a set in her four matches. All have been against unseeded players.
   Wagner, ranked 18th, dispatched second-seeded Chanelle Van Nguyen of NCAA champion UCLA 6-2, 6-2 in the second round and NCAA singles runner-up Lynn Chi of Cal 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
   Manasse will play sixth-seeded Julia Elbaba of Virginia in Sunday's final at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the home of the U.S. Open. Elbaba is ranked fifth and Manasse 43rd.
   Elbaba, a junior from Oyster Bay, N.Y., outplayed fourth-seeded Brooke Austin of Florida 6-2, 6-4.
   Elbaba eliminated Cal's Zsofi Susanyi, an NCAA semifinalist as a freshman in 2012, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round and top-seeded and top-ranked Jamie Loeb of North Carolina 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.
   In the men's final, Brayden Schnur of North Carolina will face Gonzales Austin of Vanderbilt. Both players are unseeded, but Schnur is ranked seventh and Austin ninth.
   UCLA's Mackenzie McDonald, a sophomore from Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Martin Redlicki lost to Ross Guignon and Tim Kopinski of Illinois 6-3, 3-6 [10-7] in a battle of unseeded teams in the doubles semifinals. 

Cal's Manasse reaches National Indoor semis

   Fifth-seeded Maegan Manasse of Cal won two matches Friday to reach the semifinals of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   Manasse, a sophomore from Redondo Beach in the Los Angeles area, beat Despoina Vogasari of Houston 6-4, 6-4 in the second round and Stephanie Nauta of Virginia 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
   Manasse, who has not lost a set in her three matches, will face unseeded Stephanie Wagner of Miami today at 7:30 a.m. PST. Wagner ousted Lynn Chi of Cal 6-1, 6-3 in a matchup of unseeded players.
   Earlier Friday, Chi avenged her loss to Danielle Collins of Virginia in this year's NCAA final with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over the No. 7 seed.
   In today's other women's semifinal, fourth-seeded Brooke Austin of Florida will meet sixth-seeded Julia Elbaba of Virginia.
   All men's semifinalists are unseeded. Ryan Shane of Virginia will take on Gonzales Austin of Vanderbilt, and Brayden Schnur of North Carolina will play Dominik Koepfer of Tulane.
   Mackenzie McDonald, a UCLA sophomore from Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Martin Redlicki advanced to the men's doubles semifinals with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Alex Lawson and Billy Pecor of Notre Dame.
   Third-seeded Klara Fabikova and Zsofi Susanyi of Cal lost to unseededCatherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips of NCAA champion UCLA 6-4, 6-4 in the women's doubles quarterfinals.

Daily tickets go on sale for BNP Paribas Open

With a capacity of 16,100, Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden is the
second-largest tennis facility in the world behind 23,200-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium
at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
File photo by Paul Bauman
   Daily tickets and daily double packages for the BNP Paribas Open are now on sale, tournament director Steve Simon announced this week.
   The BNP Paribas Open, the largest WTA and ATP World Tour combined two-week event in the world, is scheduled for March 9-22, 2015, at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
   Daily loge and grandstand tickets for Stadium 1 range in price from $15 for a grandstand seat for the first Thursday evening session to $67 and $105 for grandstand and loge seats, respectively, for championship weekend.
   The daily double package provides the same seat (suite, box or loge) for both day and evening sessions. New this year, fans can get seats right behind the front box seats by purchasing a premium courtside daily double BNP Paribas Open tennis package.
   Local residents, students, seniors, military and USTA members can receive 30 percent off on loge seats in Stadium 1 between March 11 and 19, 2015.
   BNP Paribas Open daily tickets for reserved seats in Stadium 2 in the lower bowl, including 100 sections and select 200 sections, begin at $130. Access to some 200 sections in the lower bowl and to all sections in the upper bowl is on a general admission basis and available to any patron holding a ticket to the tournament. Also, any ticket to the BNP Paribas Open provides access to the general admission sections of Stadiums 1-9 for day sessions. 
   Classic series, mini, group and hotel packages are still available as well.
   Improvements at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden include eight new (9 feet x 5 feet) video screens inside Stadium 1 and new hydration stations on the loge level. Stadium 2 will have new shade awnings added to the restaurant patio areas and the Point Bar, along with a designated reservation check-in area for all three restaurants with seating and television screens to watch the matches and a new bar.
   Also, seating also is being added throughout the venue, including Practice Courts 15-20. In all, 3,625 seats will be added, with 45,110 seats being available for a session at the 2015 BNP Paribas Open.
   Lastly, new video boards will be placed near all practice courts to make it easier than ever for fans to identify the players on court.
   For more information or to purchase tickets, visit bnpparibasopen.com or call (800) 999-1585.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Piedmont's McDonald ousted in National Indoors

Third-seeded Mackenzie McDonald of UCLA lost to Amerigo
Contini of Virginia Tech in the first round of the USTA/ITA
National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship. 2012 photo
by Paul Bauman

   Amerigo Contini of Virginia Tech stunned third-seeded Mackenzie McDonald, a UCLA sophomore from Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 on Thursday in the first round of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   The tournament is being held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the site of the U.S. Open.
   Also, Thai Kwiatkowski of Virginia defeated Stanford freshman Thomas Fawcett 7-5, 6-3.
   Two Cal women advanced, both in straight sets. Fifth-seeded Maegan Manasse crushed Josie Kuhlman of Florida 6-0, 6-1, and Lynn Chi dispatched Valentine Confalonier of Lynn 6-3, 6-4.
   Chi will have a chance to avenge her loss to seventh-seeded Danielle Collins of Virginia in the NCAA final last May. Collins held off Sydney Campbell of Vanderbilt 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.
   Sixth-seeded Julia Elbaba of Virginia beat Cal's Zsofi Susanyi 6-2, 6-4, and Caroline Price of North Carolina eliminated Giuliana Olmos, a USC junior from Fremont in the Bay Area, 7-5, 6-1.
   Advancing to the doubles quarterfinals were McDonald and Martin Redlicki on the men's side and third-seeded Klara Fabikova and Susanyi on the women's.
   Fourth-seeded Manasse and Denise Starr lost to Kelsey Laurente and Viktoriya Lushkova of Oklahoma State 6-4, 3-6 [10-5]. Bernardo Saraiva and Nils Skajaa of USF fell to Kevin Metka and Ralf Steinbach of Ohio State 6-2, 6-4. 

TV schedule

TV SCHEDULE
(All tournaments on Tennis Channel; all times in California)
   Saturday
   Fed Cup final, Germany at Czech Republic, 4-8 a.m. (live), 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (repeat).
Sunday
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin doubles, 4-6 a.m. (live), 8-10 a.m. (repeat), 10 a.m.-noon (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin singles, 6-8 a.m. and noon-2 p.m. (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round robin, 2:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Monday (repeat).
Monday
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin doubles, 4-6 a.m. (live), 8-10 a.m. (repeat), 10 a.m.-noon (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin singles, 6-8 a.m. and noon-2 p.m. (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round robin, 2:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Tuesday (repeat). 
Tuesday
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin doubles, 4-6 a.m. (live), 8-10 a.m. (repeat), 10 a.m.-noon (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin singles, 6-8 a.m. and noon-2 p.m. (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round robin, 2:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Wednesday (repeat).
Wednesday
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin doubles, 4-6 a.m. (live), 8-10 a.m. (repeat), 10 a.m.-noon (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin singles, 6-8 a.m. and noon-2 p.m. (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round robin, 2:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursday (repeat).
Thursday
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin doubles, 4-6 a.m. (live), 8-10 a.m. (repeat), 10 a.m.-noon (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round-robin singles, 6-8 a.m. and noon-2 p.m. (live).
   ATP World Tour Finals in London, round robin, 2:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday (repeat).

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Rankings, calendar

WORLD RANKINGS
   Players with Northern California ties ranked in the top 1,000 in the world (change from last week in parentheses):
Men
   Collin Altamirano, 18-year-old Sacramentan -- Career-high No. 733 in singles (no change), career-high No. 867 in doubles (+7).
   Bob Bryan, 36-year-old former Stanford star -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Mike Bryan, 36-year-old former Stanford star -- Career-high No. 1 in doubles (no change), unranked in singles.
   Bradley Klahn, 24-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 120 in singles (+4), No. 154 in doubles (-11).
   Scott Lipsky, 33-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 32 in doubles (+1), unranked in singles.
   Mackenzie McDonald, 19-year-old Piedmont resident -- No. 628 in singles (-2), No. 578 in doubles (-1).
   Dennis Novikov, 20-year-old San Jose resident -- Career-high No. 370 in singles (+41), career-high No. 457 in doubles (+2).
   Sam Querrey, 27-year-old San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis (2012-13) -- No. 34 in singles (+4), No. 63 in doubles (+1).
   Matt Seeberger, 30-year-old Los Altos resident -- Career-high No. 502 in doubles (-23).
   Dmitry Tursunov, 31-year-old resident of Folsom in Sacramento area -- No. 108 in singles (-1), No. 178 in doubles (-1).
Women
   Kristie Ahn, 22-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 650 in singles (+62), No. 711 in doubles (+21).
   CiCi Bellis, 15-year-old resident of Atherton in San Francisco Bay Area -- Career-high No. 257 in singles (no change), career-high No. 846 in doubles (+18).
   Hadley Berg, 18-year-old resident of Greenbrae in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 947 in doubles (+17).
   Mallory Burdette, 23-year-old former Stanford star -- Injured, unranked in singles and doubles.
   Alexandra Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 737 in doubles (+21).
   Kat Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 737 in doubles (+21).
   Nicole Gibbs, 21-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 92 in singles (no change), No. 828 in doubles (-240). 
   Michaela Gordon, 15-year-old resident of Saratoga in San Francisco Bay Area -- Career-high No. 700 in singles (+13).
    Lejla Hodzic, 28-year-old former Stanford standout -- Career-high No. 728 in doubles (+20).
    Raquel Kops-Jones, 31-year-old San Jose resident and former Cal star -- No. 12 in doubles (no change), No. 812 in singles (+19).
   Maria Sanchez, 24-year-old Modesto product -- Career-high No. 79 in doubles (no change), No. 226 in singles (+32).
   Karina Vyrlan, 16-year-old Sacramentan -- No. 777 in singles (+26).
   Allie Will, 23-year-old San Mateo native -- No. 150 in doubles (no change), No. 505 in singles (-5).
   Carol Zhao, 19-year-old Stanford sophomore -- No. 299 in singles (-2), No. 523 in doubles (+8).
CALENDAR
   Saturday-Sunday -- Fed Cup final, Germany at Czech Republic. fedcup.com
   Sunday-Nov. 16 -- Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, London. 2013 champions: Novak Djokovic, David Marrero/Fernando Verdasco. atpworldtour.com
   Nov. 21-23 -- Davis Cup final, Switzerland at France. daviscup.com
   Dec. 8-14 -- Orange Bowl, boys and girls 18 and 16 singles and doubles, Plantation, Fla. orangebowltennis.org
   Dec. 13-23 -- Junior Orange Bowl, boys and girls 14 and 12 singles, Coral Gables, Fla. jrorangebowl.com
   Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2015 -- USTA National Winter Championships, boys and girls 18 and 16 singles and doubles, Scottsdale, Ariz. phoenixtennis.com
   Dec. 27-Jan. 2, 2015 -- USTA National Winter Championships, boys and girls 14 and 12 singles and doubles, Tucson, Ariz. reffkintenniscenter.com
   Jan. 19-Feb. 1, 2015 (Jan. 18-31, 2015, in United States) -- Australian Open. 2014 champions: Stan Wawrinka, Li Na, Lukasz Kubot/Robert Lindstedt, Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci, Kristina Mladenovic/Daniel Nestor. ausopen.com
   Feb. 7-8, 2015 -- Fed Cup first round, United States at Argentina. fedcup.com
   March 6-8, 2015 -- Davis Cup first round, United States at Great Britain. daviscup.com
   March 9-22, 2015 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, Calif. 2014 champions: Novak Djokovic, Flavia Pennetta, Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan, Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai. bnpparibasopen.com     

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Groundbreaking held for $3 million Pacific center

   Eve Zimmerman-Short has a legendary passion for tennis.
   As a player at the University of the Pacific in Stockton 30 years ago, she was so excited about the resurfaced courts that she kissed them.
   Zimmerman-Short, who lives in England with her husband and young son, returned to campus last month for the groundbreaking of the $3 million Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center. Completion is scheduled for the winter of 2015.
   Zimmerman-Short donated $1.5 million for the complex, which will feature 12 courts, a 5,500-square-foot clubhouse, covered player benches and a new electronic scoreboard. 
    "This facility will enable Pacific tennis players to shine as Tigers should," Zimmerman, who played for Pacific from 1980 to 1984 and went on to compete professionally, said on pacifictigers.com.
   Ted Leland, vice president for external relations and athletics at Pacific, said the complex "will give Pacific tennis a critical recruiting edge with our peer NCAA and West Coast Conference institutions. It will enable the Tigers to take their game to a whole new level."

Ex-Stanford stars win titles in Paris, Australia

Mike, left, and Bob Bryan became the first players in singles or doubles to win six
Masters 1000 titles on the ATP World Tour in one season. File photo by Paul Bauman
   It was a big day for former Stanford men's stars.
   Bob and Mike Bryan set another doubles record on Sunday, and Bradley Klahn won another Challenger singles title.
   The top-seeded Bryans became the first players in singles or doubles to win six Masters 1000 crowns on the ATP World Tour in one season, edging unseeded Marcin Matkowski of Poland and Jurgen Melzer of Austria 7-6 (5), 5-7 [10-6] in the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. 
   The 36-year-old identical twins also won titles at Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Cincinnati and Shanghai, in addition to the U.S. Open and ATP 250 tournaments in Delray Beach and Houston.
   The Bryans have won 102 career ATP titles, including 32 Masters 1000s and four in the Paris indoors. Masters 1000s are the highest level in men's professional tennis other than the Grand Slams.
Bradley Klahn, shown in last month's
Tiburon Challenger, captured the title
in Traralgon, Australia. Photo by
Paul Bauman
   The Bryans will try to win the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, which begin Sunday in London, for the fourth time.
   The natives of Camarillo in the Los Angeles area led Stanford to NCAA team championships in their two years on the Farm, 1997 and 1998. Bob Bryan pulled off a rare Triple Crown as a sophomore, winning the NCAA singles and doubles crowns (with Mike) in addition to the team title.
   Matkowski and Melzer played together for the first time in Paris.
   The second-seeded Klahn won his third Challenger singles crown of the year and fifth overall, beating unseeded U.S. countryman Jarmere Jenkins 7-6 (5), 6-1 in the $50,000 Traralgon (Australia) Challenger.
   Klahn, a 24-year-old left-hander from Poway in the San Diego area, underwent surgery for a herniated disc three years ago as a Stanford junior. He missed two months this spring when his back flared up and five weeks in the summer with a foot sprain.
   Jenkins, 23, of Coconut Creek, Fla., knocked off No. 1 seed Go Soeda of Japan, No. 4 Hiroki Moriya of Japan and No. 5 Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia en route to the Traralgon final.
   Both Klahn and Jenkins are former NCAA champions with college degrees.
   Klahn won the 2010 singles title as a sophomore and graduated in economics in 2012.
   In 2013, Jenkins led Virginia to its first NCAA team championship, reached the singles final and won the doubles crown with Mac Styslinger.
   Jenkins earned an anthropology degree but could not attend commencement because it conflicted with the NCAA Tournament. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Garcia, Shin team up for title in clay-court league

(Left to right) Jeff Shin and Justin Garcia pose with host Ben Combs after winning
the open division of the Sacramento Clay Court League. Photo by David Hagiwara
   ORANGEVALE, Calif. -- Justin Garcia and Jeff Shin defeated Scott Colby and Whit Livingston 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to win the open division of the Sacramento Clay Court League.
   Garcia and Shin, the runners-up last year, split $400 in the doubles-only league at the home of Ben and Mary Combs. Colby and Livingston shared $200.
   Bryan Paveglio and Steve Scurfield repeated in the 40-and-over division, outlasting Chris Gerety and Todd Stanley 7-5, 7-5. The champions divided $700 and the runners-up $300.
   Ben Combs and Mark Tappan won the 50-and-over title, holding off Bob Deller and Mike Smith 6-4, 7-6 (5) to collect $300 total. Deller and Smith split $100.
   The league began in 2007.
   Here's a link to my 2011 feature story on Combs and his clay court, one of the few in the Sacramento area: http://norcaltennisczar.blogspot.com/2011/12/with-clay-court-california-dreamin.html

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Finals set in Sacramento Clay Court League

   The doubles team of Justin Garcia and Jeff Shin on Saturday reached the open final of the Sacramento Clay Court League for the second straight year.
   Garcia and Shin advanced by default over Eric Roberson and Yasmin Schnack in the losers' bracket of the doubles-only league at Ben and Mary Combs' house in the Sacramento suburb of Orangevale. 
   Garcia and Shin will face Whit Livingston and Scott Colby today at 1 p.m. for the title. Livingston and Colby edged Roberson and Schnack 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the winners' bracket last Sunday.
   Play will begin today at 9:30 a.m., when Bryan Paveglio and Steve Scurfield defend their 40-and-over title against Chris Gerety and Todd Stanley. In the 50-and-over final at 11 a.m., Mike Smith and Bob Deller will oppose Ben Combs and Mark Tappan.
   Finalists in the three divisions will compete for a total of $2,000.
   The public is invited to attend the matches, including a barbecue lunch, at 8582 Westin Lane. Donations will benefit the Sacramento Community Tennis Association and its Sacramento Junior Tennis Fund, which provides lessons for underprivileged children.
    Roberson, a 28-year-old former Boise State standout from Sacramento, won last year's open title with Darrin Cohen, who did not return, and mixed doubles crown with Schnack. Mixed doubles was not offered this year.
   Roberson and Schnack, a 26-year-old resident of Elk Grove in the Sacramento area, won a national playoff last year to earn an automatic wild card in mixed doubles at the U.S. Open. They fell to Slovakians Janette Husarova and Filip Polasek 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the first round.
   Shin won the 2012 open title in the Sacramento Clay Court League with Kevin Vieira.
   For more information, click on sacramentoclaycourtleague.com.
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