Monday, January 16, 2017

Querrey ends Aussie skid; Altamirano falls in Futures

No. 31 seed Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native, beat French
wild card Quentin Halys in four sets on Sunday in the first round
of the Australian Open. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   With one notable exception, Sam Querrey endured terrible Grand Slam campaigns in 2015 and 2016.
   The 29-year-old San Francisco native lost in the first round of six of eight majors and the second round of another. However, he stunned top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the third round at Wimbledon last year en route to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
   Querrey, seeded 31st, ended a two-match losing streak in the Australian Open on Sunday (California time) with a  6-7 (10), 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-4 victory over 20-year-old wild card Quentin Halys of France in the first round in Melbourne.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey blasted 31 aces and committed 10 double faults in his first match against the 6-3 (1.91-meter) Halys, who had 24 aces and nine double faults.
   Querrey won 89 percent of the points (72 of 81) on his first serve and Halys, the runner-up in the $50,000 Fairfield (Calif.) Challenger last October, 74 percent (66 of 89).    
   Querrey, who now lives in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Monica, will face another wild card, 17-year-old Alex De Minaur of Australia, on Tuesday.
   De Minaur, the Wimbledon boys runner-up to Denis Shapovalov of Canada last year, outlasted Gerald Melzer of Austria 5-7, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-1 It was De Minaur's Grand Slam men's debut.
   The winner of the Querrey-De Minaur match likely will meet top-ranked Andy Murray in the third round. Querrey, who has never advanced past that stage of the Australian Open in 10 appearances, is 1-6 against Murray.
   Dmitry Tursunov, a 34-year-old Russian who trains in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, is scheduled to open today against Radek Stepanek, a 38-year-old qualifier from the Czech Republic. It will be the injury-plagued Tursunov's first match since July. Ranked as high as No. 20 in 2006, Tursunov has tumbled to No. 405.
   On the women's side, ex-Stanford star Nicole Gibbs of Marina Del Rey in the Los Angeles area will try to reach the second round of the Australian Open for the third consecutive year. However, she will face 25th-seeded Timea Babos, a two-time Wimbledon runner-up in women's doubles, for the first time. Both players are 23.
   Men's USTA Pro Circuit in Long Beach -- Unseeded Marcos Giron, continuing his comeback from two hip operations, defeated Collin Altamirano, a 21-year-old wild card from Sacramento, 7-6 (3), 6-1 to win the Legends $25K Tennis Tournament.
   Giron, the 2014 NCAA singles champion from UCLA, earned his fifth career ITF Pro Circuit singles title. He saved two match points in the semifinals against Germany's Sebastian Fanselow, a former All-American at Pepperdine in the Los Angeles area.
    Atamirano, a junior at two-time defending NCAA champion Virginia, was playing in his first ITF singles final. In 2013, he became the first unseeded player to win the USTA Boys 18 National Championships in the history of the then-71-year-old tournament.
   Giron, from Thousand Oaks in the Los Angeles region, returned from a 14-month layoff  last September. In his fourth tournament back, he won the $25,000 Berkeley Futures.
   Giron had surgery on his left hip on Christmas 2015 and on his right hip six weeks later.
   Women's USTA Pro Circuit in Daytona Beach, Fla. -- Qualifier Anhelina Kalinina, who won the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger in 2015, swept the titles in the Daytona Beach $25,000 Women's Pro Championships.
   Ukraine's Kalinina routed unseeded American Elizabeth Halbauer 6-1, 6-2 on Sunday in a matchup of 19-year-olds. Unseeded Kalinina and Robin Anderson of the United States knocked off top-seeded Paula Kania and Katarzyna Piter of Poland 6-4, 6-1 in Saturday's final.

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