Sunday, March 6, 2016

Isner lifts U.S. in Davis Cup; Sanchez in doubles final

John Isner defeated Bernard Tomic to
to give the United States a 3-1 victory
over Australia in the first round of the
Davis Cup. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   They are the two most successful nations in Davis Cup history.
   The United States has won 32 titles and Australia 28. However, it has been nine and 13 years, respectively, since the last one.
   In the 46th meeting between the countries, John Isner defeated Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (4) on Saturday to give the United States a 3-1 first-round victory on grass at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club in Melbourne, Australia.
   The reverse singles match between American Jack Sock and Sam Groth was not played as the United States improved to 26-20 against Australia.
   Isner, 6-foot-10 (2.08 meters), pounded 49 aces against Tomic, a 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) right-hander who played with a right wrist injury.
   "Breathtaking to watch John serve the way he did," U.S. captain Jim Courier told reporters. "After the last couple of years (first-round losses to Great Britain), this is massive for us. It was a tough matchup on paper and in reality. You can't take any of these for granted."
   Isner, who won a $15,000 Futures tournament in the Sacramento suburb of Shingle Springs in his professional debut in 2007, also defeated Groth on Thursday to give the United States a 1-0 lead.
   After Tomic beat Sock to level the tie, former Stanford All-Americans Bob and Mike Bryan won in doubles to give the Americans a 2-1 lead.
   The 37-year-old Bryan twins improved to 24-4 in Davis Cup doubles, fifth all time in victories.
   The United States will host Croatia or Belgium on July 17-19. Croatia leads host Belgium 2-1.
   WTA tour in Monterrey, Mexico -- Unseeded Petra Martic of Croatia and Maria Sanchez, who was born and raised in Modesto, topped fourth-seeded Maria Irigoyen of Argentina and Paula Kania of Poland 6-4, 6-2 to reach the doubles final of the Abierto Monterrey Afirme.
   Martic and Sanchez, who took up tennis at 10 when her family lived in Guadalajara, Mexico, for one year, will play top-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain for the title.
   Medina Garrigues and Parra Santonja won the Acapulco crown last week, beating Tatjana Maria of Germany and Sanchez 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
   Medina Garrigues was named the co-Female MVP of World TeamTennis while playing for the Sacramento-based California Dream last July. The team folded in January.
   Sanchez, 26, will play in her second career WTA tour doubles final. She won the Auckland title in 2014 with Sharon Fichman of Canada.
   Pacific Coast Men's Doubles in La Jolla, Calif. -- Northern California will be well-represented in today's semifinals.
   No. 3 seeds Tom Fawcett and Maciek Romanowicz of Stanford will play No. 8 Jimmy Bendeck and Julian Lenz of Baylor.
   Also, No. 1 Julian Cash and Arjun Kadhe of Oklahoma State will meet No. 7 Tyler Browne of Walnut Creek and J.T. Nishimura of Cal and San Jose.   

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