Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fritz's rise, Bryans' fall highlight top stories of 2015

Taylor Fritz of the United States won back-
to-back Challengers in Northern California
 at 17 years old. 2015 photo by Paul Bauman
   This year hinted at the dawn of a new era in U.S. men's tennis.
   It's too soon to write off doubles stars Bob and Mike Bryan, even at age 37. If Daniel Nestor can play at 43 and Leander Paes at 42, so can the Bryans if they so desire. But the former Stanford All-Americans endured their worst season in more than a decade in 2015.
   Meanwhile, Taylor Fritz led a surge of promising American teenagers with back-to-back Challenger titles in Northern California.
   Following are the top 10 stories, plus 12 honorable mentions, in NorCal tennis in 2015:
Top 10
   1. Fritz, 17, coasts to second straight Challenger title
   2. Bryans' long reign at No. 1 ends
   3. Stanford product to head USTA player development
   4. Date-Krumm, 44, rallies to shock Lisicki at Stanford
   5. Ex-Sacramento champ banned for 15 years
   6. Aussie Millman makes Aptos history with title
   7. Altamirano adds NCAA team title to resume
   8. World TeamTennis returns to Sacramento
   9. Roseville's Riffice, 16, sweeps USTA Clay Court titles
   10. Juniors Volynets, Lee win USTA national titles
Honorable mention
   -- Sanchez wins third pro doubles title in three weeks
   -- Tursunov wins Moscow doubles title after long layoff
   -- Bellis falls in Stanford debut
   -- Smyczek gets the breaks in Tiburon thriller
   -- Kalinina overcomes big deficit for Challenger title
   -- Embree pulls off incredible comeback in Redding
   -- Kops-Jones, Sanchez, Bellis, Muljat highlight big day
   -- Bellis, 15, crushes Sanchez for Rancho Santa Fe title
   -- Stanford, Cal women fall in NCAA individual finals
   -- Cal's Manasse rises to No. 1 in nation
   -- Lee wins boys 12 doubles title in Winter Nationals
   -- Roseville's Riffice loses in Easter Bowl final

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