Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Radwanska tops Bellis; Mackie wins in Open qualies

Agnieszka Radwanska evened her record against CiCi Bellis at 1-1 with
a 7-6 (4), 6-0 victory today in the second round of the Sydney International.
File photo by Mal Taam
   Agnieszka Radwanska got even with CiCi Bellis.
   The fourth-seeded Radwanska beat the 18-year-old qualifier, who was born and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, 7-6 (4), 6-0 today in the second round of the Sydney International.
   In the players' only previous meeting, Bellis defeated Radwanska 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 in the third round at Dubai last February for the first top-10 victory of her career. Bellis now has two of them, having beaten Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round at Toronto last August en route to being named the WTA Newcomer of the Year.
   Radwanska's ranking equals her age -- 28. She reached a career-high No. 2 in 2012 after advancing to the Wimbledon final, in which she lost to -- surprise! -- Serena Williams. Bellis' ranking is double Radwanska's at 56.
   Radwanska, the 2013 Sydney champion and last year's runner-up to Johanna Konta, will play either two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova or qualifier Camila Giorgi of Italy in the quarterfinals.
   Australian Open qualifying -- In a matchup of young, diminutive Americans, Bay Area native Mackenzie McDonald crushed Noah Rubin 6-1, 6-0 in 49 minutes in the first round in Melbourne.
   The 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter) Rubin, 21, apparently suffered a major letdown after defeating 20-year-old American Taylor Fritz to win last week's $75,000 Noumea (New Caledonia) Challenger.
   Rubin, the 2014 Wimbledon junior champion, reached the second round of the main draw in the Australian Open in each of the past two years. He stunned 17th-seeded Benoit Paire of France in 2016 and, as a qualifier last year, lost to Roger Federer 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (3). Federer, then 35, went on to end his Grand Slam singles title drought at almost five years.
   The 22-year-old McDonald, 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters), made his Australian Open men's debut, although he reached the junior semifinals in Melbourne in 2012.
   Dennis Novikov of Milpitas in the Bay Area beat 32-year-old Australian Marinko Matosevic, a former top-40 player, 6-3, 7-6 (3). Novikov, 6-foot-4 (1.93 meters) and 200 pounds (91 kilograms), pounded 12 aces and committed four double faults.
   Former Stanford star Bradley Klahn, rebounding from his second back operation, lost to 28th-seeded Ramkumar Ramanathan of India 6-7 (8), 7-6 (3), 6-2. Ramanathan, ranked No. 139 at age 23, had 10 aces and no double faults.

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