Saturday, May 21, 2016

Tursunov, Querrey, Gibbs learn French Open foes

Dmitry Tursunov, who trains in the Sacramento area, practices
at Indian Wells in 2014. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Dmitry Tursunov, ailing as usual, drew a seed.
   Sam Querrey will play a former French Open junior champion named after Bjorn Borg.
   And Nicole Gibbs will face a player who almost beat Serena Williams at Wimbledon last year.
   The three players with Northern California connections learned their first-round opponents in the French Open when the draw was held Friday. The year's second Grand Slam tournament is scheduled for Sunday through June 5.
   Tursunov, a 33-year-old Russian who trains in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, will meet 14th-seeded Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain.
   Tursunov is 2-0 against Bautista-Agut, including one match on clay, without dropping a set but hasn't played a match since losing in the first round of the Sarasota (Fla.) Challenger on clay in mid-April.
   "Dmitry is not at 100 percent" Tursunov's manager, Michael Gorin, wrote in an e-mail without elaborating.
   Tursunov retired from his first-round match in the Australian Open in January with a hip injury while trailing Stan Wawrinka two sets to none.
   Tursunov also missed the last half of 2014, except the U.S. Open, and the first 9 1/2 months of 2015 with plantar fasciitis in his left foot and pain in his left ankle that was operated on twice in 2009.
   Ranked as high as No. 20 in 2006, Tursunov has tumbled to No. 484.
   Querrey, a 28-year-old San Francisco native living in Santa Monica in the Los Angeles area, will play Bjorn Fratangelo, a 22-year-old wild card originally from Pittsburgh, for the first time.
   Querrey is ranked No. 37 and Fratangelo a career-high No. 104. Fratangelo in 2011 joined John McEnroe (1977) as the only Americans in the Open era (since 1968) to win the French Open boys singles title. Tommy Paul became the third last year.
   Querrey reached the third round of the 2013 French Open, his best result in nine appearances at Roland Garros. Fratangelo will play in the main draw for the first time.
   Gibbs, a 23-year-old former Stanford star, will take on Heather Watson, 24, of Great Britain in a matchup of undersized players.
   Watson twice came within two points of stunning Williams in the third round at Wimbledon last year before falling 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. Watson led 3-0 (two service breaks) in the third set and served for the match at 5-4. Williams went on to win the title.
   The 72nd-ranked Gibbs is 1-0 against the 54th-ranked Watson, winning 7-5, 6-2 on a hardcourt in the first round at Seoul in 2014.
   At Roland Garros, however, Gibbs is 0-1 in the main draw, and Watson has reached the second round four times.
   Watson teamed with Marina Erakovic of New Zealand to win the doubles title in the 2012 Bank of the West Classic on Gibbs' former home courts at Stanford.

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