Monday, July 13, 2015

California Dream falls in World TeamTennis debut

   It didn't take long for the California Dream to miss Aisam Qureshi.
   The 35-year-old Pakistani, a World TeamTennis veteran ranked No. 57 in doubles after reaching  No. 8 in 2011, withdrew from the league days before Sunday night's season opener. He was replaced by Great Britain's Neal Skupski, a WTT rookie ranked No. 120 in doubles.
   Skupski and Tennys Sandgren, also debuting in WTT, fell 5-2 in men's doubles, and California went on to lose its inaugural match to the host San Diego Aviators 24-19.
   Each of the four other sets was decided by one game.
   With the match tied 9-9, Raven Klaasen and James Blake beat Sandgren and Skupski to give San Diego a 14-11 lead at intermission. The Aviators then won 5-4 in mixed doubles and women's doubles.
   California's only victory came from the 23-year-old Sandgren, who edged Blake 5-4 in the second set of the night. Blake, 35, climbed to No. 4 in the world in 2006. He retired from the tour at the end of 2013.
   The Dream will open its home season tonight at 7:30 against the Springfield (Mo.) Lasers (0-1) at Sunrise Mall in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights.
SAN DIEGO AVIATORS 24, CALIFORNIA DREAM 19
In San Diego
   Women's singles -- Chani Scheepers (S.D.) def. Jarka Gajdosova 5-4.
   Men's singles -- Tennys Sandgren (Calif.) def. James Blake 5-4.
   Men's doubles -- Raven Klaasen and Blake (S.D.) def. Sandgren and Neal Skupski 5-2.
   Mixed doubles -- Klaasen and Darija Jurak (S.D.) def. Skupski and Gajdosova 5-4.
   Women's doubles -- Jurak and Scheepers (S.D.) def. Gajdosova and Anabel Medina Garrigues 5-4.

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