Sunday, March 1, 2015

Kops-Jones, Sanchez, Bellis, Muljat highlight big day

Raquel Kops-Jones, above, and Abigail Spears won the
doubles title in Qatar. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   From Qatar in the Middle East to Southern California to Northern California, it was an eventful day.
   Fourth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones of San Jose and Abigail Spears of San Diego surprised top-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan and Sania Mirza of India 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday to win the Qatar Total Open, a Premier-level tournament on the WTA tour, in Doha.
   Kops-Jones, 32, and Spears, 33, have won 11 WTA doubles titles together, including seven at the Premier level. One came in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2013.
   Meanwhile, the $25,000 Fresh Start Women's Open in the San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe will feature an all-NorCal final today.
   Fourth-seeded Maria Sanchez, a 25-year-old Modesto product, will face sixth-seeded CiCi Bellis, 15, of Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area for the first time.
   Sanchez, who starred two hours up the freeway from San Diego at USC, topped unseeded countrywoman Sanaz Marand 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Bellis outplayed unseeded Ipek Soylu of Turkey 6-2, 6-4.
   In college action, the No. 37 Stanford men lost at No. 21 UCLA 5-2, the visiting Pacific women beat Cal State Fullerton 4-3, and the host UC Davis women lost to No. 46 Long Beach State 5-2.
   In the $2,000 Rio del Oro Open, 14-year-old Jessi Muljat reached the women's open semifinals at the Rio del Oro Racquet Club in her hometown of Sacramento.
   Muljat, seeded fourth, has not lost a game in two matches. She will face top-seeded Haley Gay, 23, of San Ramon today at 8 a.m. Second-seeded Sophie Lohscheidt will meet fellow Sacramento resident Eirene Granville in the other semifinal. The final is scheduled for 11 a.m.
   Muljat, an amateur, reached the second round of qualifying in the Fresh Start Women's Open in her first professional tournament.
   In the men's open semifinals at 8 a.m., top-seeded Anton Stryhas of Carmichael will play third-seeded Victor Pham of Saratoga, and second-seeded Kiryl Harbatsiuk of Orangevale will take on fourth-seeded Adrian Chamdani of Santa Clara. The final is set for 10:30 a.m.

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