Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rankings mover of the week: Raquel Kops-Jones (up)

Raquel Kops-Jones, 32, of San Jose cracked the top 10
in women's doubles for the first time. 2012 photo
by Paul Bauman
   Time is running out for doubles specialist Raquel Kops-Jones to reach her goal of winning a Grand Slam title.
   But at 32, the San Jose resident and former Cal star reached a major milestone this week when she cracked the top 10 in women's doubles for the first time.
   The Fresno native rose four places to No. 10 after winning the Qatar Total Open in Doha with longtime partner Abigail Spears, 33. Seeded fourth, they knocked off top-seeded Hsieh-Su Wei of Taiwan and Sania Mirza of India 6-4, 6-4.
   "We are super happy about reaching the Top 10 in the rankings," Kops-Jones said on wtatennis.com after winning her 13th career WTA doubles title and 11th with Spears, including last year's Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. "It has definitely been a goal for a long time."
   Kops-Jones will get back to work next week, though, in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
   "Even though we are excited about making the top 10, it is still the beginning of the year, and we want to end every year in the Top 10," added Kops-Jones, the 2003 NCAA doubles champion with Sacramento native and former touring pro Christina Fusano. "Also, next year, we want to still be in the top 10 in July to help ensure that we qualify for the Olympics.
   "In addition to winning a Grand Slam, we also want to play the Olympics and win a medal. So we have some lofty goals, but if we keep our heads down and keep working hard, I think we can accomplish them."
   Kops-Jones and Spears reached the semifinals of last year's Australian Open for their best Grand Slam result. They fell in the quarterfinals in Melbourne this year.  
   BNP Paribas Open -- Even though the year is just over two months old, Petra Kvitova withdrew from Indian Wells, Wednesday through March 22, with exhaustion.
   Kvitova has played at Indian Wells for the past six years, advancing to the quarterfinals in 2013 for her best result there. Seeded first in Doha last week, Kvitova lost to ninth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarterfinals.
   The fourth-ranked Kvitova will try to win her second straight Wimbledon title and third overall in July.
   Meanwhile, former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs was among six women to receive a wild card into the main draw of the BNP Paribas Open.
   Joining Gibbs will be fellow Americans Taylor Townsend, Grace Min, Louisa Chirico, Sachia Vickery and Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Croatia's Donna Vekic. Serena Williams accepted a wild card earlier.
   Awarded wild cards on the men's side were Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro and Americans Tim Smyczek, Ryan Harrison, Denis Kudla and Austin Krajicek.
   Mackenzie McDonald, a UCLA sophomore from Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Maria Sanchez, a Modesto product and former USC star, received wild cards into men's and women's qualifying, respectively.
   Also gaining wild cards into qualifying were 17-year-old Taylor Fritz of Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area and USC senior Yannick Hanfmann of Germany on the men's side, and Americans Julia Boserup, Tornado Alicia Black and Allie Kiick, plus Hsieh, on the women's side.
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. 757 in singles (-13).
   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. 203 in singles (+1), No. 149 in doubles (+4).
   Scott Lipsky, 33-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 35 in doubles (-2), unranked in singles.
   Mackenzie McDonald, 19-year-old Piedmont resident -- No. 626 in singles (-1), No. 555 in doubles (+2).
   Dennis Novikov, 21-year-old San Jose resident -- Career-high No. 253 in singles (no change), No. 298 in doubles (-5).
   Sam Querrey, 27-year-old San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis (2012-13) -- No. 43 in singles (-3), No. 64 in doubles (no change).
   Matt Seeberger, 30-year-old Los Altos resident -- No. 395 in doubles (no change).
   Dmitry Tursunov, 32-year-old resident of Folsom in Sacramento area -- No. 151 in singles (-11), No. 247 in doubles (-2).
Women
   Kristie Ahn, 22-year-old former Stanford star -- No. 534 in singles (+5), No. 606 in doubles (no change).
   CiCi Bellis, 15-year-old resident of Atherton in San Francisco Bay Area -- Career-high No. 244 in singles (+3), No. 958 in doubles (+19).
   Alexandra Facey, 22-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 733 in doubles (-5).
   Kat Facey, 22-year-old resident of Cameron Park in Sacramento area -- No. 733 in doubles (-5).
   Nicole Gibbs, 22-year-old former Stanford star -- Career-high No. 84 in singles (+2), No. 993 in doubles (+7). 
   Michaela Gordon, 15-year-old resident of Saratoga in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 749 in singles (+10).
    Lejla Hodzic, 29-year-old former Stanford standout -- No. 746 in doubles (-2).
    Raquel Kops-Jones, 32-year-old San Jose resident and former Cal star -- Career-high No. 10 in doubles (+4), No. 788 in singles (no change).
   Maria Sanchez, 25-year-old Modesto product -- No. 109 in doubles (-1), No. 220 in singles (+9).
   Karina Vyrlan, 16-year-old Sacramentan -- No. 951 in singles (no change).
   Allie Will, 23-year-old native of San Mateo in San Francisco Bay Area -- No. 177 in doubles (+1), No. 564 in singles (no change).
   Carol Zhao, 19-year-old Stanford sophomore -- No. 289 in singles (-1), No. 517 in doubles (-3).

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