Saturday, January 31, 2015

Australian Open Day 13: Serena wins 19th Slam

Serena Williams serves during last year's Bank of the West Classic
at Stanford. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Women's final -- Serena Williams continued to make her case as the greatest female tennis player in history, beating Maria Sharapova 6-3, 7-6 (5) today at Melbourne Park for her 19th Grand Slam singles title.
   Williams, 33, passed Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on the all-time list and tied Helen Wills Moody for third place behind Margaret Court (24) and Steffi Graf (22).
   Williams won her sixth Australian Open title but first in five years. She improved to 17-2 against Sharapova with a 16-match winning streak that began 10 years ago in the Australian Open semifinals.
   Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam singles champion who saved two match points in the second round against qualifier Alexandra Panova, held her own during rallies in the final.
   But the 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter) Williams, generally considered to have the best women's serve ever, pounded 18 aces to the 6-foot-2 (1.88-meter) Sharapova's five. Fifteen of Williams' aces came in the second set. Also, Williams served at up to 126 mph (203 kph) to Sharapova's 110 mph (177 kph).
   Williams left the court during a rain delay in the first set and threw up during a match for the first time in nearly 20 years as a professional.
   Men's final -- Novak Djokovic will renew his rivalry with Andy Murray on Sunday at 12:30 a.m. California time (ESPN). Djokovic is 4-0 in Australian Open finals and Murray 0-3, but the Scot has played better than the Serb in the last two rounds.
   Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 15-8, but the players are tied 2-2 in Grand Slam finals. Murray has won both of his major titles against Djokovic, including Wimbledon in 2013 to end Great Britain's 77-year drought in men's singles there. 
   Notable -- Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini became the first all-Italian team to win a Grand Slam men's doubles title in more than 50 years, beating Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-4. Both teams were unseeded. The last Italians to accomplish the feat were Nicola Pietrangeli and Orlando Sirola in the 1959 French Open. Herbert said he felt sick before the match and could barely run.
   Top-seeded Roman Safiullin of Russia and unseeded Tereza Mihalikova of Slovakia won the junior boys and girls singles titles, respectively. 
   Stars and stripes -- Williams' title was one of two by an American in this year's Australian Open. Bethanie Mattek-Sands took the women's doubles crown with Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in their first tournament together.
   Northern California connection -- Williams won her third title in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford last year. Sharapova was the runner-up to Victoria Azarenka in the 2010 Bank of the West Classic.
   Fast facts -- Williams improved to 19-4 (.826) in Grand Slam singles finals. Two of Williams' losses came to sister Venus, in the 2001 U.S. Open and at Wimbledon in 2008. The other two defeats were to Sharapova, then 17, at Wimbledon in 2004 and Samantha Stosur in the 2011 U.S. Open.
   Quote -- Serena Williams: "Growing up, I wasn't the richest. But I had a rich family in spirit and support, and standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen. I went on the courts with just a ball and a racket and hope. That's all I had."

Friday, January 30, 2015

Aussie Open Day 12: Djokovic outlasts Wawrinka

Novak Djokovic, shown at Indian Wells in 2012, will play
for his fifth Australian Open title. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Men's semifinals -- Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka played five sets in the Australian Open for the third straight year, but this match was anticlimactic.
   Djokovic, the top seed seeking his fifth Australian Open title, dethroned Wawrinka, seeded fourth, 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 in 3 hours, 31 minutes in a ragged contest today at Melbourne Park.
   Djokovic improved to 17-3 lifetime against Wawrinka. Djokovic prevailed 12-10 in the fifth set in 5 hours, 2 minutes in the fourth round of the 2013 Australian Open, and Wawrinka triumphed 9-7 in the fifth in 4 hours in last year's quarterfinals to snap a 14-match losing streak to the Serb.
   Djokovic will face sixth-seeded Andy Murray on Sunday. ESPN will televise the match at 12:30 a.m. California time.
   Notable -- Leander Paes, 41, of India hit a behind-the-back volley as he and International Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Hingis, 34, of Switzerland reached the mixed doubles final. The seventh seeds, who beat unseeded Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan and Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 7-5, 6-4, will face third seeds and defending champions Kristina Mladenovic of France and Daniel Nestor, 42, of Canada. 
   Stars and stripes -- Bethanie Mattek-Sands apparently feels at home in Australia. The 29-year-old American won her second Grand Slam title, both in the Australian Open.
   Mattek-Sands and Czech Lucie Safarova, playing in their first tournament together, beat 14th-seeded Yung-Jan Chan of Taiwan and Jie Zheng of China 6-4, 7-6 (5) for the women's doubles crown.
   Mattek-Sands, known for her knee socks and general flamboyance, underwent hip surgery last April and missed six months. She also won the 2012 Australian Open mixed doubles title with Horia Tecau of Romania.
   Northern California connection -- Marketa Vondrousova, the girls doubles champion with fellow Czech Miriam Kolodziejova, also won the doubles title in last month's Orange Bowl with CiCi Bellis of Atherton. They defeated Kolodziejova and Tereza Mihalikova of Slovakia in the final. Mihalikova, unseeded in girls singles in the Australian Open, will meet 14th-seeded Katie Swan of Great Britain for the championship.
   Fast facts -- Djokovic and Wawrinka combined for 118 errors and 69 winners. Both players had at least 22 more errors than winners. Djokovic had 14 errors and no winners in the fourth set.
   Djokovic lost track of the score and didn't realize he had won the third set.
   Quote -- Djokovic: "I'm going to need to step it up and play better to win the title."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Aussie Open Day 11: Serena finally subdues Keys

Serena Williams practices during the Bank of the West
Classic at Stanford last July. Williams won the title for
the third time. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Women's semifinals -- Serena Williams won the match, but Madison Keys won legions of admirers with her power and persistence.
   The top-seeded Williams needed nine match points to conquer the 19-year-old sensation 7-6 (5), 6-2 today in an all-American semifinal at Melbourne Park. Keys saved seven match points serving at 1-5 in the second set in an 11-minute game and one at 2-5. Williams finally ended the match with her 13th ace. 
   Neither player appeared hindered by her health problem. Williams is recovering from a respiratory infection, and Keys again played with her left thigh taped after hurting it in her quarterfinal victory over Venus Williams.
   Maria Sharapova, seeded fourth, improved to 6-0 against fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova, seeded 10th, with a 6-3, 6-2 victory. In the second round, Sharapova saved two match points against Russian qualifier Alexandra Panova. 
   Men's semifinals -- Andy Murray, who's 0-3 in Australian Open finals, earned another shot at the title with a 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 victory over seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych.
   The sixth-seeded Murray, a two-time Grand Slam singles champion, will face the winner of Friday's match between top-seeded Novak Djokovic and fourth-seeded Stan Wawrinka, the defending champ. ESPN will televise the showdown live at 12:30 a.m. (California time).
   Djokovic leads the series 16-3 and will meet Wawrinka in the Australian Open for the third straight year, each time one round later. The first two encounters were marathons. Djokovic prevailed 12-10 in the fifth set in 5 hours, 2 minutes in the fourth round in 2013, and Wawrinka triumphed 9-7 in the fifth in 4 hours in last year's quarterfinals to snap a 14-match losing streak to the Serb.
   Notable -- Two unseeded teams will meet for the men's doubles title. Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini will play Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut on Saturday at 2:30 a.m. (California time) on Tennis Channel.
   Mahut, 33, is best known for playing in the longest match ever. After 11 hours, 5 minutes over three days, John Isner prevailed 70-68 in the fifth set in the first round at Wimbledon in 2010.
   Stars and stripes -- In the women's doubles final, unseeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands of Phoenix and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic will face 14th-seeded Yung-Jan Chan of Taiwan and Jie Zheng of China. Tennis Channel will televise the match on Thursday not before 9 p.m. California time.
   Mattek-Sands, the 2012 Australian Open mixed doubles champion with Horia Tecau of Romania, underwent hip surgery last April and missed six months.
   All remaining U.S. juniors were eliminated. Third-seeded Taylor Fritz and 11th-seeded Raveena Kingsley lost in the boys and girls singles quarterfinals, respectively, and the third-seeded team of Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia and Michael Mmoh of Temple Hills, Md., fell in the boys doubles semifinals.
   Northern California connection -- Serena Williams won her third Bank of the West Classic title at Stanford last year. Sharapova was the runner-up to Victoria Azarenka in the 2010 Bank of the West Classic.
   Murray, a two-time Grand Slam singles champion, won the first of his 31 career titles in San Jose at 18 in 2006 and repeated the following year. He never returned, and the tournament folded after 2013.
   Fast facts -- Serena Williams, 33, can tie Helen Wills Moody for third place on the all-time list with 19 Grand Slam singles titles. Margaret Court has 24 and Steffi Graf 22. Williams is 5-0 in Australian Open finals and 16-2 against Sharapova with a 15-match winning streak.
   Sharapova and Makarova met in the Australian Open for the third time in four years, and the scores have been almost identical. Sharapova won 6-2, 6-3 in 2012 and 6-2, 6-2 in 2013.  
   Quote -- Serena Williams: "It's an honor for me to play someone who will be No. 1 in the future."

Cal women rise to No. 5 in college rankings

TOP 10 AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
Men's team
1. USC (1)
2. Oklahoma (2)
3. Virginia (3)
4. UCLA (4)
5. Ohio State (5)
6. North Carolina (7)
7. Georgia (8)
8. Illinois (11)
9. Texas (9)
10. Baylor (6)
12. Cal (15)
36. Stanford (31)
52. Santa Clara  (57)

Women's team
1. UCLA (1)
2. Florida (2)
3. North Carolina (3)
4. Duke (4)
5. Cal (6)
6. Baylor (9)
7. Alabama (7)
8. Stanford (8)
9. Georgia (10)
10. Virginia (5)
44. Saint Mary's (45)

Aussie Open Day 10 highlights: Keys edges Venus

Madison Keys, then 18, practices during the 2013
Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. In her only
appearance in the tournament, she upset No. 8 seed
Magdalena Rybarikova in the first round before losing
to qualifier Vera Dushevina. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset of the day -- Madison Keys' storybook tournament continued while Venus Williams' ended. In a battle of American generations, the unseeded Keys overcame a thigh injury to outlast the 18th-seeded Williams 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 today at Melbourne Park and reach her first Grand Slam semifinal.
   Keys, 19, had her left thigh taped at 1-4 (two service breaks) in the second set against Williams, 34. The same injury caused Keys to retire from a third-round match against Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan at Wimbledon last year.
   Williams was diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome, a chronic autoimmune disease, in 2011. She was trying to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal since the 2010 U.S. Open and become the oldest female semifinalist in a major since Billie Jean King (39) at Wimbledon in 1983.
   Keys has only one day rather than the customary two to recover for the semifinals.
   Match of the day -- A one-sided match suddenly became a thriller as defending champion Stan Wawrinka subdued 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (6) in the quarterfinals.   
   The fourth-seeded Wawrinka bolted to leads of 5-0 and 6-1 in the tiebreaker but blew all five match points. At 6-6, the fifth-seeded Nishikori attempted a risky drop shot that hit the tape and fell back. Wawrinka finally ended the match with an ace down the middle to avenge a five-set loss to Nishikori in the quarterfinals of last year's U.S. Open.
   Notable -- Serena Williams reached the Australian Open semifinals for the first time since winning the last of her five titles at Melbourne Park in 2010. The top seed, playing with a chest cold, routed 11th seed and 2014 runner-up Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-2.  
   Top seed Novak Djokovic tamed hard-serving Milos Raonic, seeded eighth, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. Djokovic, 27, seeks his fifth Australian Open title.
   In junior girls singles, No. 14 seed Katie Swan of Great Britain surprised No. 1 Shilin Xu of China 6-2, 6-2 in the third round.
   Men's semifinal matchups (seedings in parentheses) -- No. 6 Andy Murray vs. No. 7 Tomas Berdych. Berdych leads the head-to-head series 6-4.
   No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 4 Wawrinka. Djokovic leads the series 16-3. The veterans will meet in the Australian Open for the third straight year, each time one round later. The first two encounters were marathons. Djokovic prevailed 12-10 in the fifth set in 5 hours, 2 minutes in the fourth round in 2013, and Wawrinka triumphed 9-7 in the fifth in 4 hours in last year's quarterfinals to snap a 14-match losing streak to the Serb.
   Women's semifinal matchups -- No. 2 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova. Sharapova leads the series 5-0.
   No. 1 Serena Williams vs. Keys (first meeting).
   Stars and stripes -- The United States has two women in the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since the Williams sisters at Wimbledon in 2009. Three American women reached the quarterfinals of a Slam for the first time since the 2004 U.S. Open (Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport and Serena Williams). Davenport now coaches Keys.
   Third-seeded Taylor Fritz of Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area and 11th-seeded Raveena Kingsley of Fulton, Md., advanced to the junior boys and girls quarterfinals, respectively.
   Third-seeded Michael Mmoh of Temple Hills, Md., and Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia moved into the boys doubles semifinals. 
   Northern California connection -- Serena Williams and Cibulkova have combined to win the last four titles in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. Williams triumphed in 2011, 2012 and 2014, and Cibulkova in 2013 (when Williams did not play in the tournament). Cibulkova lost to 15-year-old CiCi Bellis of Atherton, near Stanford, in the first round of last year's U.S. Open.
   Sameer Kumar, a Carmel, Ind., resident who will enroll at Stanford next year, lost to sixth-seeded Duck Hee Lee of South Korea 2-6, 6-0, 7-5 in the third round of junior boys singles. 
   Fast facts -- Wawrinka improved to 9-0 while Venus Williams fell to 9-1 this year. Both won Australian Open tuneup tournaments, Wawrinka in Chennai and Williams in Auckland.
   Quote -- Wawrinka: "Phew."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Aussie Open Day 9 highlights: Berdych upsets Nadal

Tomas Berdych practices during the BNP Paribas Open
at Indian Wells last year. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset and match of the day -- Before the Australian Open began, Rafael Nadal said he wasn't in good enough shape to win the title. He was right.
   Seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic dismantled the third-seeded Nadal 6-2, 6-0, 7-6 (5) on Monday (PST in the United States) to reach the semifinals at Melbourne Park.
   Coming into the Australian Open, Nadal had played only eight matches since last June because of a right wrist injury and appendix surgery in November. The 28-year-old Spaniard has won 14 Grand Slam singles titles, tied for second all-time with Pete Sampras behind Roger Federer's 17.
   Nadal had reached the final in his last two appearances in the Australian Open, losing to Novak Djokovic in a 5-hour, 53-minute epic in 2012 and to Stan Wawrinka last year. Nadal missed the 2013 tournament with a knee injury. He won his only Australian Open title in 2009, beating Federer in five sets.
   Berdych ended a 17-match losing streak to Nadal dating to 2007 and improved to 4-18 in the head-to-head series. In Berdych's only Grand Slam final, he lost to Nadal at Wimbledon in 2010.
   Notable -- No. 10 seed Ekaterina Makarova of Russia advanced to her second straight Grand Slam semifinal, rolling to a 6-4, 6-0 victory over third-seeded Simona "I Need" Halep of Romania.
   Makarova will meet countrywoman Maria Sharapova, the second seed who dominated seventh-seeded Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-3, 6-2.
   In the featured night match, sixth-seeded Andy Murray ended the run of 19-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3.  
   Men's semifinal matchups (seedings in parentheses) -- No. 6 Murray vs. No. 7 Berdych, No. 1 Djokovic or No. 8 Milos Raonic vs. No. 4 Wawrinka or No. 5 "Special K" Kei Nishikori.
   Women's semifinal matchups -- No. 2 Sharapova vs. No. 10 Makarova, No. 1 Serena Williams or No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova vs. No. 18 Venus "And Mars" Williams or Madison "Avenue" Keys.
   Stars and stripes -- Unseeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands of Phoenix and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic upset Makarova and countrywoman Elena Vesnina, the third seeds and last year's runners-up, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-2 to reach the women's doubles semifinals.
   The last remaining American in mixed doubles, 41-year-old Lisa Raymond, lost in the second round with Robert Lindstedt of Sweden.  
   Northern California connection -- Murray, a two-time Grand Slam singles champion, won the first of his 31 career titles in San Jose at 18 in 2006 and repeated the following year. He never returned, and the tournament folded after 2013. 
   Fifth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones, a San Jose resident and former Cal star, and Abigail Spears lost to 13th-seeded Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the women's doubles quarterfinals.
   Kops-Jones, 32, and Spears, 33, advanced to the semifinals last year for their best Grand Slam result. Krajicek, 26, is the sister of 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek.
   Sameer Kumar, a Carmel, Ind., resident who's headed to Stanford next year, ousted ninth-seeded Mikael Ymer of Sweden 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in the second round of junior boys singles.
   Lindstedt, 37, played at Fresno State before transferring to Pepperdine.
   Fast facts -- Nadal was shut out in a set in a Grand Slam match for the first time since losing to Federer 6-0, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (2), 6-3 in the 2006 Wimbledon final. Federer was 24 and Nadal 20 at the time.
   This is only the second time since the 2004 French Open that neither Federer, who lost to unseeded Andreas Seppi of Italy in the third round, nor Nadal has reached the semifinals of a Slam. Federer lost to Berdych in the quarterfinals of the 2012 U.S. Open, and Nadal missed the tournament with his knee injury.
   Quote -- Nadal: "As I said when I got here, it is always tough to come back from injuries. I am feeling OK, but it was not my day. Quarterfinals here is not bad for me."

Monday, January 26, 2015

Australian Open Day 8: Venus downs Radwanska

Venus Williams, serving in last year's
Bank of the West Classic at Stanford,
reached her first Grand Slam quarter-
final since the 2010 U.S. Open.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset of the day -- No. 18 seed Venus Williams knocked off No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 today in Melbourne to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since a semifinal appearance in the 2010 U.S. Open. Williams, 34, has won seven major singles titles (five at Wimbledon and two in the U.S. Open) but was diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disease, in 2011.
   Match of the day -- No. 4 seed and defending champion Stan Wawrinka topped Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 7-6 (2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (8) to advance to the final eight. Wawrinka, playing with a sore right elbow, trailed 5-0 and 6-2 in the fourth-set tiebreaker.
   Notable -- Top-seeded Serena Williams avenged her worst loss in a Grand Slam tournament by beating No. 24 Garbine Muguruza of Spain 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. During the first set, Williams struggled to breathe at times and had a coughing fit into a towel on a changeover, the Associated Press reported. Muguruza drubbed Williams 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of the French Open last year.
   No. 11 seed Dominika Cibulkova, last year's runner-up to since-retired Li Na, eliminated two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Azarenka was unseeded in the tournament for the first time since 2007 after missing much of last year with foot and knee injuries.
   Top-seeded Novak Djokovic beat Gilles Muller, a 31-year-old left-hander from Luxembourg, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 in a late-night match.
   Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, the top seeds and two-time defending champions in women's doubles, lost to 16th-seeded Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the third round.
   Men's quarterfinal matchups (seedings in parentheses) -- No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. Milos Raonic (8), No. 4 Wawrinka vs. No. 5 Kei Nishikori, No. 3 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 7 Tomas Berdych, No. 6 Andy Murray vs. Nick Kyrgios.
   Women's quarterfinal matchups --No. 1 Serena Williams vs. Cibulkova, No. 18 Venus Williams vs. Madison Keys, No. 3 Simona Halep vs. No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova, No. 2 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard.
   Stars and stripes -- In an all-American encounter, Keys overpowered Madison Brengle 6-2, 6-4. The United States has three women (the Williams sisters and Keys) in the quarterfinals, all in the top half of the draw. All U.S. men have been eliminated from singles and doubles.
   Three American women have reached the doubles quarterfinals: the fifth-seeded team of Raquel Kops-Jones from San Jose and Abigail Spears, and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who's playing with Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic.
   Only three Americans entered mixed doubles, and only one, 41-year-old Lisa Raymond, remains after the first round. The 11-time Grand Slam doubles champion (six titles in women's doubles and five in mixed doubles) is playing with Sweden's Robert Lindstedt, who won the Australian Open men's doubles crown last year with Lukasz Kubot of Poland. 
   Northern California connection -- Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan lost in the third round of men's doubles for the second straight year. The 1998 NCAA champions from Stanford fell to 14th-seeded Dominic Inglot of Great Britain and Florin Mergea of Romania 7-6 (4), 6-3. Six of the Bryans' record 16 Grand Slam men's doubles titles have come in the Australian Open, more than anywhere else. 
   Both Serena Williams (singles) and Muguruza (doubles with countrywoman Carla Suarez Navarro) won titles in last year's Bank of the West Classic at Stanford.
   Brengle was the runner-up to Mayo Hibi, then 17, in the 2013 Sacramento Challenger. An ailing Brengle said at the time that she had been "throwing up all day." 
   Fast facts -- Venus Williams improved to 9-0 this year. She warmed up for the Australian Open by winning Auckland.
   Both Venus and Radwanska have younger sisters in professional tennis. Venus' sibling is fairly well known; Urszula Radwanska is ranked No. 149. 
   Quote -- Serena Williams: "(Muguruza) hits the ball really, really big. Someone in the crowd was like, 'C'mon, Serena, use spin,' and I was like, 'OK.' (There are) coaches everywhere out here. Thank you."

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Australian Open Day 7: Kyrgios tops Seppi in thriller

Nick Kyrgios, shown in the 2013 Sacramento Challenger, saved
a match point in his five-set victory over Andreas Seppi.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- For the second straight night, a 19-year-old starred in Melbourne.
   Nick Kyrgios of Australia saved a match point and outlasted Italian veteran Andreas Seppi 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 8-6 in 3 hours, 34 minutes today in the fourth round.
   Kyrgios became the first Aussie man to advance to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005 and the first male teenager since Roger Federer to have reached two Grand Slam quarters.
   Madison Keys of Boca Raton, Fla., ousted two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, seeded fourth, on Saturday to move into the fourth round of a major for the first time.
   Kyrgios survived a match point with a service winner at 5-6 in the fourth set of the night match in front of a boisterous capacity crowd of 10,500 at Hisense Arena.
   At Wimbledon last year, Kyrgios saved nine match points in a second-round victory over Richard Gasquet and stunned top-ranked Rafael Nadal in the fourth round before losing to Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals.
   Here's a link to my 2013 story on Kyrgios: http://norcaltennisczar.blogspot.com/2013/10/potential-star-kyrgios-upsets-klahn.html
   Seppi, trying to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at age 30, showed no signs of a letdown after shocking second-seeded Roger Federer in the previous round.
   Upset of the day -- None. 
   Notable -- No. 6 seed Andy Murray held off No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-5 in 3 hours, 32 minutes to move into the Australian Open quarterfinals for the sixth straight year. Murray avenged a quarterfinal loss to Dimitrov at Wimbledon last year that ended the defense of Murray's title, the first in singles at Wimbledon for a British man in 77 years. Murray will face Kyrgios in the Melbourne quarters.
   Seventh-seeded Eugenie Bouchard, a 20-year-old Canadian, advanced to the quarters with a 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 win over Irina-Camelia "Ain't Too Proud To" Begu of Romania. Bouchard won nine of the first 10 games but lost seven of the next nine, forcing her to play a third set for the first time in the tournament.
   In the quarterfinals in the bottom half of the draw, Bouchard will take on No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova, and No. 3 Simona ("I Need") Halep will meet No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova.
   Men's seeded winners -- No. 3 Nadal, No. 6 Murray, No. 7 Tomas Berdych.
   Men's seeded losers -- No. 10 Dimitrov, No. 14 Kevin Anderson.
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 2 Sharapova, No. 3 Halep, No. 7 Bouchard, No. 10 Makarova.
   Women's seeded losers -- No. 21 Peng Shuai.
   Stars and stripes -- Lisa Raymond, 41, of Media, Pa., and Robert Lindstedt, 37, of Sweden outclassed Anastasia Rodionova of Russia and Robert Farah of Colombia 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of mixed doubles. Raymond has won 11 Grand Slam titles (six in women's doubles and five in mixed doubles) and Lindstedt one (in men's doubles at last year's Australian Open with Lukasz Kubot of Poland).
   In the first round of junior boys singles, third-seeded Taylor Fritz of Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area beat Alex Molcan of Slovakia 6-1, 6-4. 
   Northern California connection -- Fifth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones, from San Jose and Cal, and Abigail Spears advanced to the women's doubles quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over 12th-seeded Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia. Kops-Jones and Spears reached the semifinals last year for their best Grand Slam result.
   Kops-Jones and Scott Lipsky, a former Stanford star, lost to fourth-seeded Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic and Alexander Peya of Austria 6-1, 6-3 in the opening round of mixed doubles.
   Lindstedt competed at Fresno State before transferring to Pepperdine. Rodionova played for the now-defunct Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis.
   In the first round of junior boys singles, Sameer Kumar of Carmel, Ind., defeated Renta Tokuda of Japan 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. Kumar is headed to Stanford next year. 
   Fast facts -- Murray seeks his first Australian Open title after three runner-up finishes (2010, 2011 and 2013). In addition to Wimbledon in 2013, he won the 2012 U.S. Open for his maiden Grand Slam title in his fifth final. Murray spent last year rebounding from "minor" back surgery in September 2013, reaching the quarterfinals or better in all four Slams but failing to play in a major final for the first time since 2009.
   Berdych reached the Australian Open quarterfinals, in which he will play Nadal, for the fifth consecutive year. He lost in the quarters from 2011 through 2013 and in last year's semifinals to eventual champion Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 6-7 (1), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4).
   Quote -- Bouchard, who took a short break after double-faulting to lose the second set: "I gave myself a good, long hard look in the mirror. I said, 'Genie, this is unacceptable.' I really kind of kicked my self in the butt a little bit."

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Australian Open Day 6: A star is born (maybe)

Madison Keys, then 18, practices during the 2013
Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. In her only
appearance in the tournament, she upset No. 8 seed
Magdalena Rybarikova in the first round before losing
to qualifier Vera Dushevina. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset of the day -- Maybe there's hope for U.S. women's tennis when the Williams sisters retire, after all.
   CiCi Bellis of Atherton stunned 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in the first round of the U.S. Open last August. Sofia Kenin won the Orange Bowl in December. Left-hander Taylor Townsend in 2012 became the first American in 30 years to end the year with the No. 1 girls ranking.
   And 19-year-old Madison Keys, perhaps the brightest prospect of all, outslugged fourth seed and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-4, 7-5 today in Melbourne to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. 
   In addition to her tremendous power, the 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) Keys displayed remarkable composure as she held serve at love to close out the biggest victory of her career. She's ranked 35th.
   Keys began working with International Tennis Hall of Famer Lindsay Davenport late last year. 
   Match of the day -- No. 18 seed Venus Williams defeated Camila Giorgi of Italy 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1 in the third round in Melbourne. Giorgi, ranked 33rd, served for the match in the second set but was broken at love.
   Giorgi, 23, was trying to become the second Italian in two nights to pull off a big upset. Andreas Seppi stunned Roger Federer in the third round.
   The 34-year-old Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, reached the round of 16 in a major for the first time since being diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome, which can cause joint pain and saps energy, in 2011.  
   Notable -- Gilles Muller, a 31-year-old left-hander from Luxembourg, toppled 19th-seeded John Isner of Tampa, Fla., 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6), 6-4 in the third round. Muller is best known for reaching the quarterfinals of the 2008 U.S. Open as a qualifier.
   Victoria Azarenka, unseeded in the Australian Open for the first time since 2007, outplayed 25th-seeded Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4. Azarenka won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013 but missed most of last year with foot and knee injuries.
   Both defending men's doubles champions, Lukasz Kubot and Robert Lindstedt, were eliminated in the second round. They played with separate partners this year. Nothing like breaking up a winning combination ... 
   Men's seeded winners -- No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, No. 5 Kei Nishikori, No. 8 Milos Raonic, No. 9 David Ferrer, No. 12 Feliciano Lopez.
   Men's seeded losers -- No. 18 Gilles Simon, No. 19 John Isner, No. 31 Fernando Verdasco.
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova, No. 18 Venus Williams, No. 24 Garbine Muguruza.
   Women's seeded losers -- No. 19 Alize Cornet, No. 25 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, No. 26 Elina Svitolina, No. 30 Varvara Lepchenko.
   Stars and stripes -- Four U.S. women, all in the top half of the draw, reached the round of 16: the Williams sisters, Keys and Madison Brengle. The two Madisons will meet for the second time. Keys won 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of qualifying for the 2012 U.S. Open. 
   The only other remaining American man in the Australian Open, Steve Johnson, lost to fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-7 (7), 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. Nishikori is coming off his first Grand Slam final, a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 loss to Marin Cilic.
   Northern California connection -- Davenport, a lifelong Los Angeles-area resident, practically made Northern California her second home as a player.
   Davenport racked up a whopping nine titles (three in singles and six in doubles) in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. All of her doubles crowns came with a different partner (Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Mary Joe Fernandez, Martina Hingis, Natalia Zvereva, Corina Morariu and Liezel Huber), and four came consecutively (1996-99).
   Davenport also played for the now-defunct Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis in separate stints as an unknown 17-year-old, a budding star on the WTA tour and a 31-year-old mother. She was named the WTT Female Rookie of the Year at 17 in 1993 and helped the Capitals win three of their record six league titles (1997, 1998 and 2007).
   Top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan, 36-year-old former Stanford stars, defeated Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in the second round. The Bryans seek their seventh Australian Open men's doubles title.
   Lindstedt played at Fresno State before transferring to Pepperdine.
   Fast fact -- Giorgi committed 16 double faults in her loss to Venus Williams.
   Quote -- ESPN2 commentator and International Tennis Hall of Famer Pam Shriver on Keys: "She has a chance to win the Australian Open based on the way she played tonight."

Friday, January 23, 2015

Australian Open Day 5: Italian stuns Federer

Second-seeded Roger Federer lost to Andreas Seppi of Italy
in four sets in the third round. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset and match of the day -- Roger Federer had reached the semifinals or better in the Australian Open for 11 straight years and was 10-0 against Andreas Seppi. Both streaks ended on Thursday night (PST in the United States).  Seppi, a 30-year-old Italian, shocked the second-seeded Federer, who has won a record 17 Grand Slam singles titles, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (5) in the third round in Melbourne.
   Federer, 33, led 4-1 in the second-set tiebreaker and had a mini-break in the fourth-set breaker against the 46th-ranked Seppi.
   Notable -- Third-seeded Rafael Nadal was back to his old self after struggling to beat qualifier Tim Smyczek in the second round. Nadal routed Dudi Sela -- a 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter), 144-pound (65-kilogram) Israeli -- 6-1, 6-0, 7-5.
   Men's seeded winners -- No. 3 Nadal, No. 6 Andy Murray, No. 7 Tomas Berdych, No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 14 Kevin Anderson.
   Men's seeded losers -- No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 24 Richard Gasquet. 
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 2 Maria Sharapova, No. 3 Simona Halep, No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard, No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova, No. 21 Shuai Peng. 
   Women's seeded losers -- No. 14 Sara Errani, No. 31 Zarina Diyas.  
   Stars and stripes -- The bad news is Bethanie Mattek-Sands, the last American in the bottom half of the women's draw, lost to third-seeded Simona Halep 6-4, 7-5 in the third round. The good news is six U.S. women will play their third-round matches today.
   American left-handers Austin Krajicek and Donald Young fell to Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay and David Marrero Spain 6-2, 6-2 in the second round. Krajicek and Young had surprised Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, the third seeds and runners-up in last year's French Open and U.S. Open.
   Northern California connection -- Fifth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones, a San Jose resident and former Cal star, and Abigail Spears edged Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia and Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5) in the second round. Kops-Jones and Spears reached the semifinals last year. 
   Fast fact -- Berdych needed eight match points to close out his 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Viktor Troicki.
   Quote -- Federer: "Just a bad day. It had to do with Andreas' game and with my game as well. You put those things together, all of a sudden you're playing a match you don't want to play."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Australian Open Day 4: Azarenka ousts Wozniacki

Victoria Azarenka has rebounded after suffering
from injuries last year. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset of the day -- Victoria Azarenka is back. In a matchup of former No. 1 players, Azarenka dispatched eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday (PST in the United States) in the second round in Melbourne. Azarenka won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013 but was hobbled by foot and knee injuries last year.
   Match of the day -- Top-seeded Serena Williams saved three set points, then won the last 10 games to beat Vera Zvonareva of Russia 7-5, 6-0. Zvonareva, a two-time Grand Slam runner-up, reached a career-high No. 2 in the world in 2010 but  missed all of 2013 and most of 2014 after shoulder surgery. 
   Notable -- Williams wasn't the only No. 1 seed to reel off numerous straight games in a win at Rod Laver Arena. Novak Djokovic won the first nine games in his 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 win over Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia.
   Men's seeded winners -- No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (defending champion), No. 5 Kei Nishikori, No. 8 Milos Raonic, No. 9 David Ferrer, No. 12 Feliciano Lopez, No. 18 Gilles Simon, No. 19 John Isner, No. 31 Fernando Verdasco.
   Men's seeded losers -- No. 13 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 17 Gael Monfils, No. 30 Santiago Giraldo. 
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 4 Petra Kvitova, No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova, No. 18 Venus Williams, No. 19 Alize Cornet, No. 24 Garbine Muguruza, No. 25 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, No. 26 Elina Svitolina, No. 30 Varvara Lepchenko.
   Women's seeded losers -- No. 20 Samantha Stosur, No. 29 Casey Dellacqua. 
   U.S. report -- Three Americans knocked off seeds. CoCo Vandeweghe topped No. 20 Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-4, 6-4, Madison Keys eliminated No. 29 Dellacqua of Australia 2-6, 6-1, 6-1, and Steve Johnson dismantled No. 30 Giraldo of Colombia 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. The United States has seven women (Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Lepchenko, Vandeweghe, Keys, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Madison Brengle) and two men (Isner and Johnson) in the third round.
   Northern California connection -- Nicole Gibbs, the 2012 and 2013 NCAA singles champion from Stanford, lost to 26th-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 7-6 (3), 7-6 (6). Fifth-seeded Racquel Kops-Jones, from San Jose and Cal, and Abigail Spears handled Australian wild cards Kimberly Birrell and Priscilla Hon 6-3, 7-5. Kops-Jones and Spears reached the semifinals last year. Johnson and Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native and veteran of the now-defunct Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis, lost to Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. 
   Fast facts -- Qualifier Marius Copil of Romania pounded a 150.4-mph (242-kph) serve, the 11th-fastest ever, in his 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-3 loss to Wawrinka. Radwanska dismissed Johanna Larsson of Sweden 6-0, 6-1 in 44 minutes, the fastest match of the tournament. 
   Quote -- Wozniacki: "I think I've gotten a curse here. I've made semis, then quarters, then fourth round, then third round, this year second round (in the past five years). Obviously, it was a tough draw for both of us. But she played better and came out on top."

Australian Open Day 3: Sharapova, Nadal escape

No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova saved two match points in her
second-round victory over qualifier Alexandra Panova.
2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Matches of the day -- Maria Sharapova showed her renowned mental toughness on Tuesday (PST in the United States). The No. 2 seed and 2008 Australian Open champion saved two match points in a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 second-round victory over fellow Russian Alexandra Panova, a qualifier ranked No. 150, in Melbourne. Sharapova trailed by two service breaks at 4-1 in the third set.
   No. 3 seed Rafael Nadal, the 2009 Australian Open champion and last year's runner-up, overcame stomach cramps and dizziness to outlast qualifier Tim Smyczek of Tampa, Fla., 6-2, 3-6, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-5 in 4 hours, 12 minutes.
   Nadal missed almost three months after Wimbledon last year with a right wrist injury and had an appendectomy in November.
   Upset of the day -- Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus ousted No. 20 David Goffin of Belgium 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0. Baghdatis, who will turn 30 in June, was the runner-up to Roger Federer in the 2006 Australian Open and won last year's $100,000 Comerica Bank Challenger in Aptos.
   Notable -- Unseeded Serena and Venus Williams -- who have won 13 Grand Slam women's doubles titles, including four in Melbourne -- withdrew from their first-round match. No reason was given.
   American left-handers Austin Krajicek and Donald Young surprised third-ranked Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez of Spain 7-6 (6), 2-6, 7-5 in the first round. Granollers and Lopez were the runners-up in the French Open and U.S. Open last year.
   Men's seeded winners -- No. 2 Federer, No. 3 Nadal, No. 6 Andy Murray, No. 7 Tomas Berdych, No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 14 Kevin Anderson, No. 24 Richard Gasquet.
   Men's seeded losers -- No. 20 Goffin, No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 23 Ivo Karlovic, No. 26 Leonardo Mayer, No. 28 Lukas Rosol, No. 29 Jeremy Chardy, No. 32 Martin Klizan.
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 2 Sharapova, No. 3 Simona Halep, No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard, No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova, No. 14 Sara Errani, No. 21 Shuai Peng, No. 22 Karolina Pliskova.
   Women's seeded losers -- None.
   U.S. report -- Americans went 1-2 in singles, including Smyczek's loss, on Tuesday.
   Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who had hip surgery and missed six months last year, held off Kristina Mladenovic of France 7-6 (3), 7-6 (6). Mladenovic, a two-time Grand Slam mixed doubles champion, knocked off 2011 French Open champion Li Na in the first round at Roland Garros last year.
   Christina McHale, who vomited during her marathon victory in the first round, lost to 19-year-old Carina Witthoeft of Germany 6-3, 6-0.
   Northern California connection -- Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, former Stanford stars (1997-98) seeking their seventh Australian Open title, defeated Aussies John Millman and Benjamin Mitchell 6-3, 7-5 in the first round.
   Americans Scott Lipsky, another ex-Stanford standout (2000-03), and Rajeev Ram lost to 10th-seeded Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Leander Paes, 41, of India 6-4, 7-6 (6). Klaasen and Paes, who has won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles (eight men's and six mixed), won Auckland last week.
   Fast fact -- Nick Kyrgios' 7-6 (4), 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 win over Karlovic featured 65 aces. Karlovic, a 6-foot-11 (2.11-meter) Croat, had 40 against the 19-year-old Australian, who stunned Nadal to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals last year.
   Quote -- Nadal, on whether the victory over Smyczek was the toughest of his career: "In terms of feeling bad on the court, yes. Probably yes. I was close to not continue because I felt that I was very dizzy."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Men's, women's college rankings

TOP 10 AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
Men's team
1. USC (1)
2. Oklahoma (2)
3. Virginia (3)
4. UCLA (4)
5. Ohio State (5)
6. Baylor (T6)
7. North Carolina (T6)
8. Georgia (8)
9. Texas (9)
10. Texas A&M (10)
15. Cal (15)
31. Stanford (30)
57. Santa Clara  (56)

Women's team
1. UCLA (1)
2. Florida (3)
3. North Carolina (4)
4. Duke (2)
5. Virginia (6)
6. Cal (7)
7. Alabama (T8)
8. Stanford (T8)
9. Baylor (15)
10. Georgia (5)
45. Saint Mary's (T46) 
72. Fresno State (70)

Australian Open Day 2: No. 12 Lopez survives scare

American wild card Denis Kudla had three match points
in a five-set loss to 12th-seeded Feliciano Lopez.
2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- No. 12 seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain saved three match points in a 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 10-8 victory over American wild card Denis Kudla on Monday (in the United States) in the first round in Melbourne. Kudla lost his serve at love in the final game.
  Upset of the day -- Camila Giorgi beat fellow Italian Flavia Pennetta, the 12th seed, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. 
   Notable -- Victoria Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, dispatched Sloane Stephens, an Australian Open semifinalist two years ago, 6-3, 6-2. Both players are trying to rebound from injuries last year.
   Men's seeded winners -- No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (defending champion), No. 5 Kei Nishikori, No. 8 Milos Raonic, No. 9 David Ferrer, No. 12 Feliciano Lopez, No. 13 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 17 Gael Monfils, No. 18 Gilles Simon, No. 19 John Isner, No. 30 Santiago Giraldo, No. 31 Fernando Verdasco. 
   Men's seeded losers -- No. 16 Fabio Fognini, No. 21 Alexandr Dolgopolov, No. 25 Julien Benneteau, No. 27 Pablo Cuevas.
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 4 Petra Kvitova, No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 8 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova, No. 18 Venus Williams, No. 19 Alize Cornet, No. 20 Samantha Stosur, No. 24 Garbine Muguruza, No. 25 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, No. 26 Elina Svitolina, No. 29 Casey Dellacqua, No. 30 Varvara Lepchenko. 
   Women's seeded losers -- No. 12 Pennetta, No. 13 Andrea Petkovic, No. 15 Jelena Jankovic.
   U.S. report -- American women went 10-3 on Monday and the men 3-2.
   Northern California connection -- Former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs, making her Australian Open main-draw debut, defeated wild card Olivia Rogowska, playing in her hometown, 6-4, 6-1. Rogowska won the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger last July, and Gibbs lost in the second round.
   Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native and veteran of the now-defunct Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis, lost to Vasek ("Anything Is") Pospisil of Canada 6-3, 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Querrey, a former top-20 player who swept three Northern California Challengers last fall, fell to 0-3 in singles in tennis' major leagues this year. Pospisil and American Jack Sock upset top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan to win the Wimbledon men's doubles title last year.
   Fast facts -- Twelve of 17 American women reached the second round, tied for the United States' most in the Australian Open since 1999. Four of seven U.S. men advanced.
   Azarenka is unseeded at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since the 2007 U.S. Open.
   Quote -- "Now I have even more motivation." -- Djokovic, on getting married and having a son last year.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Australian Open Day 1: Ivanovic, 7 other women exit

Fifth-seeded Ana Ivanovic lost to Czech qualifier
Lucie Hradecka 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. 2014 photo
by Paul Bauman
   Upset of the day -- Former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, seeded fifth, lost to Czech qualifier Lucie Hradecka 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday. Ivanovic, who finished in the top five last year for the first time since 2008, was one of eight seeded women to fall.
   Matches of the day -- Thanasi Kokkinakis, an 18-year-old wild card from Australia, saved four match points in the fourth set of a 5-7, 6-0, 1-6, 7-6 (2), 8-6 victory over 11th-seeded Ernests Gulbis of Latvia. The 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Kokkinakis, ranked No. 147, needed 4 hours, 7 minutes to subdue Gulbis, a French Open semifinalist last year.
   Christina McHale of Englewood Cliffs, N.J., vomited on the court and saved a match point in a 6-4, 1-6, 12-10 win over qualifier Stephanie ("Can't See The") Foretz of France. The third set lasted 1 hour, 51 minutes and the match 3 hours, 9 minutes.
   Men's seeded winners -- No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 3 Rafael Nadal, No. 6 Andy Murray, No. 7 Tomas Berdych, No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 14 Kevin Anderson, No. 20 David Goffin, No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 23 Ivo Karlovic, No. 24 Richard ("Blew A") Gasquet, No. 26 Leonardo ("Don't Call Me Da Vinci") Mayer, No. 28 Lukas Rosol, No. 29 Jeremy Chardy, No. 32 Martin Klizan.
   Men's seeded losers -- No. 15 Tommy Robredo (retired).
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 2 Maria Sharapova, No. 3 Simona ("I Need") Halep, No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard, No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova, No. 14 Sara Errani, No. 21 Shuai Peng, No. 22 Karolina Pliskova, No. 31 Zarina Diyas.
   Women's seeded losers -- No. 5 Ana Ivanovic, No. 9 Angelique Kerber, No. 16 Lucie Safarova, No. 17 Carla Suarez Navarro, No. 23 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, No. 27 Svetlana Kuznetsova, No. 28 Sabine Lisicki, No. 32 Belinda Bencic.
   U.S. report -- American men and women went 3-3 combined. Advancing were qualifier Tim Smyczek, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and McHale. Losing were 36-year-old qualifier Michael Russell (the oldest man in the draw), Grace Min and Alison ("Take A") Riske.
   Fast facts -- Ivanovic led the WTA tour with 58 match victories last year and made her earliest exit in a Grand Slam tournament since the 2011 French Open. She upset top-ranked Serena Williams in last year's Australian Open en route to the quarterfinals. 
   Quote -- McHale: "I would have preferred to have not thrown up on the court."

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Australian Open TV schedule

(All times PST in United States)
Today
   First round, ESPN2, 4 p.m.-4 a.m. Monday (live).
Monday
   First round, Tennis Channel, 4-9:30 a.m. (repeat).
   First round, Tennis Channel, 3-6 p.m. (live).
   First round, ESPN2, 6 p.m.-4 a.m. Tuesday (live).
Tuesday
   First round, Tennis Channel, 4 a.m.-noon (repeat).
   First round, ESPN2, noon-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Second round, Tennis Channel, 3-6 p.m. (live).
   Second round, ESPN2, 6 p.m.-4 a.m. Wednesday (live).
Wednesday
   Second round, Tennis Channel, 4 a.m.-noon (repeat).
   Second round, ESPN2, noon-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Second round, Tennis Channel, 3-6 p.m. (live).
   Second round, ESPN2, 6 p.m.-4 a.m. Thursday (live).
Thursday
   Second round, Tennis Channel, 4 a.m.-noon (repeat).
   Second round, ESPN2, noon-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Third round, Tennis Channel, 3-8 p.m. (live).
   Third round, ESPN2, 8 p.m.-4 a.m. Friday (live).
Friday
   Third round, Tennis Channel, 4 a.m.-noon (repeat).
   Third round, ESPN2, noon-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Third round, Tennis Channel, 3-6 p.m. (live).
   Third round, ESPN2, 6 p.m.-4 a.m. Saturday (live).
Saturday
   Third round, Tennis Channel, 4-6 a.m. and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (repeat).
   Third round, ESPN2, 6-9 a.m. (repeat).
   Round of 16, Tennis Channel, 4-6 p.m. (live).
   Round of 16, ESPN2, 6-11 p.m. (live).
Sunday, Jan. 25
   Round of 16, ESPN2, midnight-4 a.m. (live).
   Round of 16, Tennis Channel, 4-6 a.m. (repeat).
   Round of 16, ESPN2, 6-10 a.m. (repeat).
   Round of 16, Tennis Channel, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Round of 16, Tennis Channel, 3-6 p.m. (live).
   Round of 16, ESPN2, 6-11 p.m. (live).
Monday, Jan. 26
   Round of 16,  ESPN2, midnight-3:30 a.m. (live)
   Round of 16, Tennis Channel, 3:30 a.m.-noon (repeat).
   Round of 16, ESPN2, noon-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 3-6 p.m. (live).
   Quarterfinals, ESPN2, 6-11 p.m. (live).
Tuesday, Jan. 27
   Quarterfinals, ESPN2, midnight-3 a.m. (live).
   Quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 3 a.m.-noon (repeat).
   Quarterfinals, ESPN2, noon-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 3-6 p.m. (live).
   Quarterfinals, ESPN2, 6-11 p.m. (live).   
 Wednesday, Jan. 28
   Quarterfinals, ESPN2, 12:30-3 a.m. (live).
   Quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 3 a.m.-noon (repeat).
   Quarterfinals, ESPN2, noon-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Men's doubles semifinals, Tennis Channel, 3-6:30 p.m. (live).
   Women's semifinals, ESPN2, 6:30-11 p.m. (live).
Thursday, Jan. 29
   Men's semifinals, ESPN, 12:30-3 a.m. (live).
   Semifinals, Tennis Channel, 3-11 a.m. (repeat).
   Men's semifinals, ESPN2, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Semifinals, Tennis Channel, 3-7 p.m. (repeat).
   Mixed doubles semifinals, women's doubles final, Tennis Channel, 7 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday (live).
Friday, Jan. 30
   Men's semifinals, ESPN, 12:30-3 p.m. (live).
   Semifinals, Tennis Channel, 3-11 a.m. (repeat).
   Men's semifinals, ESPN2, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Semifinals, Tennis Channle, 3 p.m.-midnight (repeat).
Saturday, Jan. 31
   Women's final, ESPN, midnight-2:30 a.m. (live).
   Men's doubles final, Tennis Channel, 2:30-4:30 a.m. (live).
   Men's doubles final, Tennis Channel, 4:30-6 a.m. (repeat).
   Women's final, ESPN2, 6-8 a.m. (repeat).
   Men's semifinals, Tennis Channel, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (repeat).
   Women's final, Tennis Channel, 5-9 p.m. (repeat).
   Mixed doubles final, Tennis Channel, 9-11 p.m. (live).
Sunday, Feb. 1
   Men's final, ESPN, midnight-3:30 a.m. (live).
   Women's final, Tennis Channel, 3:30-6 a.m. (repeat).
   Men's final, ESPN2, 6-9 a.m. (repeat).
   Men's semifinals, Tennis Channel, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (repeat).
   Men's final, Tennis Channel, 5-9 p.m. (repeat).

Players to watch in the Australian Open

   The Australian Open begins today at 4 p.m. California time (ESPN2) in Melbourne and continues through Feb. 1. Seedings are in parentheses.
Novak Djokovic seeks his fifth Australian Open title.
2012 photo by Paul Bauman
MEN
 Novak Djokovic (1)
   Why he'll win -- Four of Djokovic's seven Grand Slam singles titles have come in the Australian Open (2008, 2011-13), and he has extra motivation after losing 9-7 in the fifth set to eventual champion Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals last year. That ended Djokovic's 25-match win streak in Melbourne. 
   Why he won't -- Djokovic canceled a Saturday practice session because of an undisclosed illness or injury.
   NorCal connection -- None.
Roger Federer (2)
   Why he'll win -- Federer has won a record 17 Grand Slam titles, including four in the Australian Open (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010). He extended Djokovic to 6-4 in the fifth set in last year's Wimbledon final, ended 2014 at No. 2 and won Brisbane last week.
   Why he won't -- Federer, 33, hasn't won a Grand Slam crown since Wimbledon in 2012 or reached the Australian Open final since capturing the 2010 title. Winning seven best-of-five-set matches in the heat, even with a day off in between, is asking too much at his age. 
   NorCal connection -- None.
Rafael Nadal (3)
   Why he'll win -- Nadal is tied for second all-time with Pete Sampras at 14 majors, including the 2009 Australian Open. Nadal also has extra incentive after suffering an apparent back injury during last year's upset loss to Wawrinka in the Melbourne final.
   Why he won't -- Nadal is rusty after missing three months last summer with a right wrist injury and undergoing surgery for appendicitis on Nov. 3. He lost to qualifier Michael Berrer, a German ranked No. 127 at the time, in the first round at Doha last week. 
   NorCal connection -- None.
Stan Wawrinka (4)
   Why he'll win -- Wawrinka broke through for his only Grand Slam championship in last year's Australian Open. Like last year, he's coming off the title in Chennai.
   Why he won't -- Last year was a fluke because of Nadal's injury, and Wawrinka faces pressure as the defending champion.
   NorCal connection -- None.
Kei Nishikori (5)
   Why he'll win -- Nishikori advanced to his first Grand Slam final in last year's U.S. Open, and the 25-year-old Japanese is playing in his home Slam in the Asia/Pacific region but without the massive pressure faced by Australians.
   Why he won't -- Listed at 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters) and 150 pounds (68 kilograms), he can be overpowered, and he's too frail to hold up in the heat over two weeks.
   NorCal connection -- Nishikori played in the now-defunct SAP Open in San Jose three times, losing in the second round in 2008, 2009 and 2011. Brad Gilbert of San Rafael coached Nishikori in 2011.
  Andy Murray (6)
   Why he'll win -- Murray has won two Slams (2012 U.S. Open and 2013 Wimbledon) and reached three Australian Open finals (2010, 2011, 2013). Plus, he's 8-0 in singles this year in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi and the Hopman Cup in Perth.
   Why he won't -- He slumped last year -- although he reached three quarterfinals and one semifinal in the Slams -- after undergoing "minor" back surgery in September 2013. Also, he has encountered lingering pain in his left shoulder this year despite his hot streak.
   NorCal connection -- Murray won the SAP Open in San Jose in 2006 at 18 years old and repeated in 2007. He also won the Aptos Challenger in 2005.
Milos Raonic (8)
   Why he'll win -- The 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Canadian with a monster serve reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon last year. He beat Federer en route to the Paris Indoors final last fall and went toe-to-toe with him in last week's Brisbane final. 
   Why he won't -- The 24-year-old Raonic is not quite ready to win a Slam, cracking at crunch time against Federer in Brisbane.
   NorCal connection -- Raonic never lost a set in his 13 SAP Open matches, winning the last three titles (2011-13).
Others
   Tomas Berdych (7) -- The 2010 Wimbledon runner-up pushed Wawrinka in a 6-3, 6-7 (1), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) loss in last year's Australian Open semifinals after reaching the quarterfinals in Melbourne the previous three years. Berdych was the runner-up to David Ferrer in Doha last week.
   David Ferrer (9) -- The 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter) Spaniard has gained the Australian Open semifinals or quarterfinals for the past four years. He's still going strong at 32, as his Doha title indicates.
   Grigor Dimitrov (10) -- He reached the quarterfinals of last year's Australian Open before losing to Nadal and, like Raonic, advanced to his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon. But Dimitrov lost 6-2, 6-2 to Federer in the Brisbane semifinals last week.
    Champion
   Djokovic will make it four Australian Open titles in five years, although his undisclosed illness or injury is worrisome.
Serena Williams has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, tied
with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for fourth place
all-time. Tri Nguyen/TriNguyenPhotography.com, 2014
WOMEN
Serena Williams (1)
   Why she'll win -- Williams has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, tied with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for fourth place all-time. Five have come in the Australian Open (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010).
   Why she won't -- Williams, 33, hasn't advanced past the quarterfinals in Melbourne since winning the 2010 title. Also, she dropped two of her four singles matches in the season-opening Hopman Cup and -- surprise -- her temper in the final, which she and John Isner lost to Poland.
   NorCal connection -- Williams won her third Bank of the West title at Stanford last year.
Maria Sharapova (2)
   Why she'll win -- The five-time Grand Slam champion has regained her health after shoulder problems, winning the Brisbane title last week. She won the Australian Open in 2008 and reached the final in 2007 and 2012. 
   Why she won't -- Sharapova is 2-16 against Williams with no victories since 2004. 
   NorCal connection -- Sharapova was the runner-up to Victoria Azarenka in the 2010 Bank of the West Classic.
  Simona Halep (3)
   Why she'll win -- Halep advanced to her first Grand Slam final last year in the French Open and began this year with the Shenzhen title.
   Why she won't -- At 5-foot-6 (1.68 meters) and 132 pounds (60 kilograms), she can be overpowered on hardcourts. Also, she withdrew from Sydney last week with gastroenteritis. 
   NorCal connection -- Halep lost to Sabine Lisicki in the first round of the 2011 Bank of the West Classic in her only appearance.
Petra Kvitova (4)
   Why she'll win -- Kvitova won her second Wimbledon title last year and the Sydney crown this week. She'll be on a mission after her shocking loss to Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand in first round of last year's Australian Open.
   Why she won't -- She's streaky and could meet Williams, against whom she's 0-5 (not counting a walkover victory in Madrid last year), in the semifinals. 
   NorCal connection -- None.
    Others
   Ana Ivanovic (5) -- The former world No. 1 returned to the top 10 in the year-end rankings for the first time since 2008. She lost to Sharapova in the Brisbane final in three sets in a rematch of the 2008 Australian Open final.
   Agnieszka Radwanska (6) -- The 2012 Wimbledon runner-up beat Williams in the Hopman Cup, winning the title with Jerzy Janowicz for Poland. Radwanska, who recently added Navratilova to her coaching team, then lost to Garbine Muguruza in the second round at Sydney. 
   Eugenie Bouchard (7) -- The 20-year-old Canadian reached the semis of the Australian Open and French Open and the final at Wimbledon last year. She beat Williams in the recent Hopman Cup. 
   Caroline Wozniacki (8) -- The former world No. 1 advanced to her second major final (both in the U.S. Open) last year but still seeks her first Grand Slam title. The right-hander retired from her first-round match in Sydney this week with a left wrist injury.  
   Venus Williams (18) -- The 34-year-old Williams won the last of her seven Grand Slam singles titles (five at Wimbledon and two in the U.S. Open) in 2008. But she won her 46th career singles crown last week in Auckland.
   Victoria Azarenka -- The 2012 and 2013 Australian Open champion was hampered by foot and knee injuries throughout last year.
Champion
   Serena Williams is virtually unbeatable when healthy and motivated. She appears to be both.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nadal, Azarenka matches highlight Aussie Open draw

   Highlights of today's Australian Open draw:
MEN
   Best first-round matchup: Rafael Nadal (3) vs. Mikhail Youzhny. Nadal, the 2009 champion and last year's runner-up, is trying to rebound from health problems last year. He could be tested by Youzhny, a former top-10 player now ranked No. 47 at age 32.
   First-round matchups of top seeds: Novak Djokovic (1) vs. qualifier to be determined; Roger Federer (2) vs. Yen-Hsun Lu, Nadal (3) vs. Youzhny, Stan Wawrinka (4, defending champion) vs. Marsel Ilhan.
   Potential quarterfinal matchups: Djokovic (1) vs. Milos Raonic (8), Wawrinka (4, defending champion) vs. Kei Nishikori (5), Nadal (3) vs. Tomas Berdych, Federer (2) vs. Andy Murray (8).
   Potential semifinal matchups: Djokovic (1) vs. Wawrinka (4) in rematch of 2014 epic quarterfinal, Federer (2) vs. Nadal (3). 
   Potential final matchup: Djokovic (1) vs. Federer (2).
   NorCal connection: Sam Querrey (San Francisco native, former Sacramento Capitals veteran in World TeamTennis) vs. Vasek Pospisil (2014 Wimbledon doubles champion with Jack Sock) in first round. 
WOMEN
   Best first-round matchup: Victoria Azarenka vs. Sloane Stephens. Azarenka won the Melbourne title in 2012 and 2013, and Stephens reached the semifinals in 2013. Both slumped last year with injuries.  
   First-round matchups of top seeds: Serena Williams (1) vs. Alison Van Uytvanck, Maria Sharapova (2) vs. qualifier to be determined, Simona Halep (3) vs. Karin Knapp, Petra Kvitova (4) vs. qualifier to be determined. 
   Potential quarterfinal matchups: Serena Williams (1) vs. Caroline Wozniacki (8), Kvitova (4) vs. Agnieszka Radwanska, Ana Ivanovic (5) vs. Halep (3), Sharapova (2) vs. qualifier to be determined.
   Potential semifinal matchups: Serena Williams (1) vs. Kvitova (4), Sharapova (2) vs. Halep (3). 
   Potential final matchup: Serena Williams (1) vs. Sharapova (2).
   NorCal connection: Nicole Gibbs (2012, 2013 NCAA champion from Stanford) vs. Olivia Rogowska (won Sacramento Challenger last July) in first round. 

Klahn falls in Australian Open qualifying

Ex-Stanford star Bradley Klahn will not return to the main draw
of the Australian Open this year. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Former Stanford star Bradley Klahn, seeded 30th, lost to Michal Przysiezny of Poland 6-4, 6-4 today in the second round of Australian Open qualifying in Melbourne.
   Klahn, a 24-year-old left-hander from the San Diego suburb of Poway, was trying to play in the main draw of the Australian Open for the second time in three appearances.
   He lost to 22nd-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round last year and the second round of qualifying in 2013. Dimitrov went on to the reach the quarterfinals before losing to top seed and 2009 champion Rafael Nadal.
   Przysiezny, 30, will play seventh-seeded Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia for a berth in the main draw. Bedene, 25, topped Tomislav Brkic of Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-0, 7-6 (2).
   Bedene qualified in Chennai, India, last week and defeated three of the top five seeds en route to his first ATP World Tour final. He saved four match points against Roberto Bautista Agut, named the Most Improved Player of the Year in 2014, in the semifinals before falling to defending champion Stan Wawrinka.
   Przysiezny reached the second round of the Australian Open main draw for the first time last year in six appearances (including qualifying), beating Horacio Zeballos of Argentina before losing to Stephane Robert of France.
   Bedene is playing in the Australian Open for the fourth time. He fell in the second round of qualifying in 2012 and the first round of the main draw the past two years.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Brooksby, 14, wins Cupertino Open

Jenson Brooksby, 14, edged Alex Strom, 31,
to win the Cupertino Open. 2013 photo
by Paul Bauman
   Jenson Brooksby, 14, won a Northern California title on Sunday.
   But it came in an Open, not a junior, tournament.
   Brooksby, unseeded from Carmichael, edged fifth-seeded Alex Strom, a 31-year-old Millbrae resident, 3-6, 6-1 [10-4] to win the Cupertino Open.
   In the second round, Brooksby knocked off top-seeded Nicholas Ballou, 25, of Orinda 6-7 (4), 6-1 [10-8].
   Brooksby, the USTA boys 12 national champion in 2013, reached the third round of the recent USTA 14 National Winter Championships in Tucson, Ariz.
   Brooksby trains at the JMG Tennis Academy under Joseph Gilbert at the Arden Hills Swimming and Tennis Club in Sacramento.
   The academy also produced Collin Altamirano, the USTA boys 18 national champion in 2013 and runner-up last year. Altamirano is scheduled to begin competing for the University of Virginia this month.
   Here's a link to my 2013 story on the JMG Tennis Academy, Altamirano and Brooksby: http://norcaltennisczar.blogspot.com/2013/09/academy-makes-waves-with-two-national.html

Klahn advances in Australian Open qualifying

Bradley Klahn will face Michal Przysiezny
of Poland in the second round of Australian
Open qualifying. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   If Bradley Klahn plays in the main draw of the Australian Open for the second consecutive year, he'll have to qualify this time.
   The former Stanford star, seeded 30th, took the first step with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Enrique Lopez-Perez of Spain on Wednesday in Melbourne (Tuesday in the United States).
   Klahn, a 24-year-old left-hander from Poway in the San Diego area, will face Michal Przysiezny of Poland for the first time on Friday (Thursday in the U.S.) in the second round. Przysiezny, 30, outlasted Jurgen Zopp of Estonia 4-6, 6-3, 9-7.
   Players must win three qualifying matches to advance to the main draw, which begins Monday (Sunday in the U.S.).
   Klahn and Przysiezny had remarkably similar years in 2014, plunging in the rankings largely because of injuries after reaching career highs within six places of each other.
   Klahn has fallen from No. 63 in March to No. 150 and Przysiezny from No. 57 last January to No. 170. In the first half of 2014, Przysiezny lost in the first round of 11 consecutive tournaments and Klahn eight. In the fall, Przysiezny rebounded with an amazing tournament in Tokyo on the ATP World Tour and Klahn with the title in the $50,000 Traralgon (Australia) Challenger.
   Przysiezny, a qualifier in singles and doubles (with Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France) in Tokyo, recorded the biggest win of his career with an upset of then-No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round and stunned top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan en route to his first career ATP doubles title.
   Klahn gained direct entry into last year's Australian Open, losing to 22nd-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round. Dimitrov went on to the reach the quarterfinals before losing to top seed and 2009 champion Rafael Nadal.
   Klahn made his Australian Open debut in 2013, falling in the second round of qualifying.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Rankings mover of the week: Dmitry Tursunov (down)

Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian who trains
in the Sacramento area, remains sidelined
by a left foot and ankle injury. 2014 photo
by Paul Bauman
 
   Dmitry Tursunov, who remains sidelined by a left foot and ankle injury, tumbled 23 more places to No. 128 in this week's world rankings.
   The 32-year-old Russian, who trains in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, lost the 90 ranking points he earned for reaching the Sydney semifinals during the corresponding week last year.
   Tursunov has played only one tournament since falling in the first round of Wimbledon in 2014 to nemesis Denis Istomin. Tursunov lost to Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in the opening round of the U.S. Open. 
   A key member of Russia's Davis Cup championship team in 2006, Tursunov climbed to a career-high No. 20 that year during his injury-plagued career. He was No. 26 at this time last year and No. 30 as recently as July.
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, 19-year-old Sacramentan -- No. 745 in singles (no change), No. 883 in doubles (-4).
   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. 150 in singles (-6), No. 134 in doubles (+16).
   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. 642 in singles (-1), No. 586 in doubles (-4).
   Dennis Novikov, 21-year-old San Jose resident -- Career-high No. 287 in singles (+1), No. 424 in doubles (-5).
   Sam Querrey, 27-year-old San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis (2012-13) -- No. 35 in singles (no change), No. 62 in doubles (+2).
   Matt Seeberger, 30-year-old Los Altos resident -- No. 399 in doubles (-8).
   Dmitry Tursunov, 32-year-old resident of Folsom in Sacramento area -- No. 128 in singles (-23), No. 196 in doubles (no change).
Women
   Kristie Ahn, 22-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 638 in singles (-3), No. 699 in doubles (-2).
   CiCi Bellis, 15-year-old resident of Atherton in San Francisco Bay Area -- Career-high No. 251 in singles (+1), No. 813 in doubles (-2).
   Hadley Berg, 18-year-old resident of Greenbrae in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 933 in doubles (-2).
   Alexandra Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 727 in doubles (-2).
   Kat Facey, 21-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 727 in doubles (-2).
   Nicole Gibbs, 21-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 97 in singles (-5), No. 823 in doubles (-1). 
   Michaela Gordon, 15-year-old resident of Saratoga in San Francisco Bay Area -- Career-high No. 694 in singles (+2).
    Lejla Hodzic, 28-year-old former Stanford standout -- No. 733 in doubles (-2).
    Raquel Kops-Jones, 32-year-old San Jose resident and former Cal star -- No. 12 in doubles (no change), No. 809 in singles (-19).
   Maria Sanchez, 25-year-old Modesto product -- No. 98 in doubles (-1), No. 235 in singles (no change).
   Karina Vyrlan, 16-year-old Sacramentan -- No. 954 in singles (+2).
   Allie Will, 23-year-old native of San Mateo in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 158 in doubles (-3), No. 531 in singles (-2).
   Carol Zhao, 19-year-old Stanford sophomore -- No. 293 in singles (no change), No. 510 in doubles (-2).
TV SCHEDULE
(All times in California)
Wednesday
   Sydney (women), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, midnight-4 a.m. (live). 
   Auckland (men), Sydney (men and women), quarterfinals, Tennis Channel, 3 p.m.-midnight (live).
Thursday
   Sydney (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, midnight-3 a.m. (live), 2-5 p.m. (delay).
  Auckland (men), Sydney (men), Hobart (women), semifinals, Tennis Channel, 5:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Friday (live).
Friday
   Sydney (women), final, Tennis Channel, 2-4 p.m. (delay).  
   Australian Open preview, Tennis Channel, 4-5 p.m. (premiere).
   Auckland (men), Sydney (men), Hobart (women), finals, Tennis Channel, 5:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Saturday (live).
Saturday
   Australian Open preview, Tennis Channel, 11 a.m.-noon and 10:30-11:30 p.m. (repeat). 
Sunday
   Australian Open preview, Tennis Channel, 2-3 p.m. (repeat).
   Australian Open (men, women), first round, ESPN2, 4 p.m.-4 a.m. Monday (live).
   Sydney (men), final, Tennis Channel, 7-9 p.m. (delay).
CALENDAR
     Sunday-Feb. 1 -- 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 -- Fed Cup first round, United States at Argentina. fedcup.com
   Feb. 13-16 -- Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoor Championships, Chicago. itatennis.com
   March 6-8 -- Davis Cup first round, United States at Great Britain. daviscup.com
   March 9-22 -- BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, Calif. 2014 champions: Novak Djokovic, Flavia Pennetta, Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan, Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai. bnpparibasopen.com 
Please help defray travel expenses
$
Thanks for your donation!