Saturday, August 5, 2017

Americans Vandeweghe, Keys gain Stanford final

CoCo Vandeweghe routed local favorite CiCi Bellis 6-3, 6-1 today in the semifinals
of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. Photo by Mal Taam
   The local favorite won't play for the Bank of the West Classic title.
   But two Americans will.
   No. 6 seed CoCo Vandeweghe overwhelmed No. 8 CiCi Bellis 6-3, 6-1 in 65 minutes this afternoon at Stanford.
   It was the first semifinal in a WTA Premier Level tournament for Bellis, who grew up a five-minute drive from Stanford in Atherton. At 18, she became the youngest semifinalist in the Bank of the West Classic since 17-year-old Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic in 2006.
   In the evening semifinal, third-seeded Madison Keys ousted top seed and reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 6-2 in 57 minutes to end the Spaniard's winning streak at nine matches. Keys improved to 3-0 against Muguruza, who also won tlast year's French Open.
   Vandeweghe will play in her second Bank of the West final. As a lucky loser in 2012, she held a set point in the first set of a 7-5, 6-3 loss to Serena Williams.
   "I'm five years older, and hopefully I'm more mature," Vandeweghe said today in her on-court interview. "I think (I'm) a little bit of a different tennis player. You grow and evolve as a tennis player and as a person, and I think especially in the last two years, it's been kind of clicking in that regard."
Madison Keys ousted top seed and reigning Wim-
bledon champion Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 6-2 in
less than an hour. Photo by Mal Taam
   Keys had lost in the second round in her two previous appearances at Stanford, in 2013 and 2015.
   Surprisingly, Vandeweghe and Keys will meet for the first time (2 p.m. PDT on ESPN2). But the similarities between them are uncanny. Besides being American (Vandeweghe is from Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area, and Keys resides in Boca Raton, Fla.), both:
   --Are young. Vandeweghe is 25 and Keys 22.
   --Are tall. Vandeweghe is 6-foot-1 (1.85 meters) and Keys 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters).
   --Are ranked in the 20s, Keys at No. 21 and Vandeweghe at No. 24.
   --Seek their third WTA title.
   --Have won two titles on grass in Europe.
   --Have reached one Grand Slam semifinal in the Australian Open, Keys in 2015 and Vandeweghe this year.
   Vandeweghe played for now-defunct Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis at 17 in 2009, one year after winning the U.S. Open girls singles title, and 2012.
   Vandeweghe comes from a renowned athletic family. Her uncle Kiki averaged 19.7 points during his 13-year NBA career (1980-93), and her grandfather Ernie played for the New York Knicks in the 1950s. CoCo's mother, Tauna, competed in the Olympics in swimming in 1976 and volleyball in 1984.
   Keys, a right-hander with a two-handed backhand, had left wrist surgery last November and returned to the tour in March.
   Vandeweghe also will play for the doubles title with Abigail Spears of Colorado Springs, Colo. Seeded third, they will face unseeded Alize Cornet of France and Alicja Rosolska of Poland after the singles final.
   ATP Tour -- Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native like Bellis, completed a Sombrero Double by winning the title in Los Cabos, Mexico.
   Seeded second, Querrey defeated wild card Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. The victory will put Querrey in the top 20 for the first time since 2013.
   Querrey also defeated Rafael Nadal for the Acapulco title in March.
   Men's Challenger -- Here are the singles main draw, qualifying draw and Sunday's schedule for the men's $100,000 Nordic Naturals Challenger at the Seascape Sports Club in Aptos, a one-hour drive south of Stanford.

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