Monday, September 26, 2016

NorCal products Sanchez, Novikov win doubles titles

Maria Sanchez, who was born and raised in Modesto,
rose to a career-high No. 56 in doubles. 2015 photo
by Paul Bauman
   Two pros from Northern California won doubles titles on Sunday.
   Third-seeded Maria Sanchez, who was born and raised in Modesto, and Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands beat second-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium and Mandy Minella of Luxembourg 6-2, 6-4 in the $75,000 ColemanVision Tennis Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.
   Dennis Novikov, who grew up in San Jose and lives in nearby Milpitas, and Mikelis Libietis of Latvia topped Canadians Philip Bester and Peter Polansky 7-5, 7-6 (4) in a matchup of unseeded teams in the $50,000 Columbus (Ohio) Challenger.
   Sanchez improved five spots in the world rankings to a career-high No. 56 after winning her 17th ITF (minor-league) doubles title and first with Krajicek.
   Sanchez, a 26-year-old USC graduate, has won one WTA (major-league) doubles crown. She teamed with Sharon Fichman of Canada for the Auckland crown in 2014.
   Novikov and Libietis, who won the 2014 NCAA doubles title with Tennessee teammate Hunter Reese, stopped Bester and Polansky's winning streak at seven matches. They won the title in the $50,000 Cary (N.C.) Challenger the previous week.
   Bester and Adil Shamasdin of Canada defeated Novak Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia in the first round at Toronto on the ATP World Tour in July.
   The 22-year-old Novikov jumped 39 places to No. 177 in doubles. His career high is No. 160.
  Novikov, who won his fourth Challenger doubles title and first with Libietis, is seeded fifth in singles in this week's $100,000 Wells Fargo Bank Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger.

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