Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dream team: California acquires Bryan brothers

Bob, left, and Mike Bryan watch the action in 2013 at Sunrise Mall
in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Sacramento's new World TeamTennis franchise won't have coach Wayne Bryan this season.
   But California Dream fans shouldn't feel too bad. The team will have Bryan's sons.
   The Dream acquired Bob and Mike Bryan, the top-ranked men's doubles team in the world, from the San Diego Aviators for financial considerations before Monday's draft.
   The 36-year-old identical twins and former Stanford stars have won 16 Grand Slam men's doubles titles and 104 on the ATP Tour, both records.
   WTT did not announce how many of the Dream's 14 regular-season matches the Bryans will play. Marquee players usually do not play full-time.
    Wayne Bryan, 68, retired in 2013 after guiding the Sacramento Capitals for 12 years and being named Coach of the Year three times (2004-06).
   David Macpherson, a former Capital and the twins' personal coach, will lead the Dream. He won Coach of the Year honors last season with San Diego in his first year at the helm in WTT.
   The Capitals announced early in 2014 that they were moving to Las Vegas after 28 years. Instead, WTT terminated the franchise after team owner Deepal Wannakuwatte was arrested on fraud charges related to his medical supply business. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in November.
   In Monday's four-round roster draft, California selected, in order, Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia, Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain, Tennys Sandgren of Wesley Chapel, Fla., and Aisam Qureshi of Pakistan.  
   Gajdosova, a 27-year-old Slovakia native, became an Australian citizen in 2009. She won the 2013 Australian Open mixed doubles title with Aussie Mathew Ebden.
   Medina Garrigues, 32, and Qureshi, a doubles specialist who turned 35 today, played last year for the Texas Wild, which relocated to Sacramento.
   Medina Garrigues, the WTT Female Rookie of the Year in 2014, has been ranked as high as third in the world in doubles and 16th in singles. She won the 2008 and 2009 French Open women's doubles titles with countrywoman Virginia Ruano Pascual.
   Qureshi reached a career-high No. 8 in men's doubles in 2011. In the 2010 U.S. Open, he was the runner-up in men's doubles with Rohan Bopanna of India and in mixed doubles with Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic.
   Sandgren, 23, turned pro after reaching the NCAA singles semifinals in 2011 as a sophomore at the University of Tennessee. He has won eight singles and 12 doubles titles in tennis' minor leagues but underwent hip surgery last year and missed more than six months.
   The Washington Kastles are heavily favored to win a record fifth straight WTT title and sixth in seven years.
   Playing at least part-time for Washington will be International Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Hingis; future Hall of Famers Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Leander Paes; former top-20 player Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native; and holdover Anastasia Rodionova. Querrey and Rodionova are former Capitals, although at different times.
   Eugenie Bouchard, the Wimbledon runner-up to Petra Kvitova last year, was drafted first overall by the Boston Lobsters.
   Joining Bouchard on the Lobsters will be Scott Lipsky, a 33-year-old doubles specialist from Stanford. Former Cardinal Nicole Gibbs, the 2012 and 2013 NCAA singles champion, went in the first round to Austin Aces.
   WTT's 40th season will begin on July 12 and end on Aug. 2 with the finals. The Dream will play at the Capitals' former home, a temporary stadium in the parking lot at Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights.
   BNP Paribas Open -- Fourth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki and fifth-seeded Ana Ivanovic, both former No. 1 players and champions at Indian Wells, exited in the third round.
   Wozniacki lost to 31st-seeded Belinda Bencic, 18, of Switzerland 6-4, 6-4, and Ivanovic fell to 25th-seeded Caroline Garcia, 21, of France 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.
    In another matchup of former top-ranked players and titlists at Indian Wells, second-seeded Maria Sharapova outplayed 32nd-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-3. Azarenka is rebounding from a left foot injury that limited her to nine tournaments last year.
   On the men's side, 32nd-seeded Bernard Tomic eliminated eighth-seeded David Ferrer 7-5, 6-4 in the third round. Tomic will meet fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, an 18-year-old wild card, in the round of 16.
   Kokkinakis lost in the first round of qualifying in his Indian Wells debut last year.
   Futures tournament -- Ninth-seeded Connor Farren defeated Victor Pham 6-2, 6-4 in a clash of San Francisco Bay Area residents to qualify for the $15,000 Bakersfield (Calif.) Tennis Open.
   Farren, a USC sophomore, lives in Foster City, and Pham, a high school senior, is from Saratoga.

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