Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Zhao routed in Open qualies; Altamirano pulls upset

   According to the rankings, the first-round qualifying match between Denisa Allertova and Carol Zhao in the Australian Open looked highly competitive.
   It didn't work out that way.
   The 18th-seeded Allertova, a 24-year-old Czech, dominated Zhao, a 22-year-old former Stanford star from Canada, 6-3, 6-0 in 58 minutes in Melbourne. The 5-foot-11 (1.80-meter) Allertova is ranked No. 131, 14 spots ahead of the 5-foot-5 (1.65-meter) Zhao.
   In 2016, Allertova reached the third round of the main draw in the Australian Open for her best Grand Slam result and shocked then-No. 2 Angelique Kerber in the second round at Indian Wells.
   Zhao, the 2015 NCAA runner-up to Jamie Loeb, won a $100,000 tournament in Shenzhen (China) last November for the biggest title of her career.
   On the men's side, San Francisco Bay Area products Mackenzie McDonald and Dennis Novikov played late second-round qualifying matches. McDonald outclassed Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia 6-2, 6-2 after dropping only one game in the first round against American Noah Rubin. Novikov fell to 27th-seeded Elias Ymer of Sweden 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-3.
   McDonald, 22, is playing in the men's Australian Open for the first time, although he reached the boys semifinals in 2012. The 2016 NCAA singles and doubles champion from UCLA won his first Challenger singles title in the $100,000 Northbay Healthcare Pro Championships in Fairfield, near San Francisco, last October.
   Ymer, who will turn 22 in April, ousted top-seeded Ruben Bemelmans in the first round of the $100,000 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger in October en route to the quarterfinals.
   Men's Futures -- Avenging a loss in last year's final, Collin Altamirano of Sacramento knocked off second-seeded Marcos Giron, the 2014 NCAA champion from UCLA, 7-6 (0), 6-3 in the first round of the rain-delayed $25,000 Long Beach (Calif.) Futures.
   Altamirano, 22, turned pro in June after helping Virginia win the NCAA team title in all three of his years with the Cavaliers.
   Sam Riffice, an 18-year-old product of Roseville in the Sacramento area, defeated Trevor Allen Johnson, a Texas Christian senior from Las Vegas, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
   Jenson Brooksby, a 17-year-old Sacramentan, lost to fellow qualifier Logan Smith, a USC junior from Carlsbad in the San Diego region, 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-0.

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