Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Stanford women ranked No. 1; Pliskova routs Bellis

Michaela Gordon, now a Stanford freshman, eyes a forehand in singles quali-
ing for the $60,000 Sacramento Challenger in July. Photo by Rob Vomund
   The Stanford women earned the top spot in the first college rankings of the dual-match season, which were released today.
   Returnees from the Cardinal's NCAA runner-up team last year include junior All-American Melissa Lord, junior Caroline Lampl and sophomores Emma Higuchi and Emily Arbuthnott.
   Joining Stanford, which has won a record 19 national titles, is Michaela Gordon of nearby Saratoga. Gordon ranks second nationally among freshmen and newcomers and 13th overall.
   Artbuthnott and Gordon won the doubles title in the inaugural ITA National Fall Championships at Indian Wells in November. Stanford has only one senior, and she is not a regular.
   Stanford opens the spring season on Jan. 12 in the NCTC Classic at Indian Wells and the Freeman Memorial Championships in Las Vegas.
   The Cal women, led by freshman Anna Bright, are ranked No. 11. On the men's side, Stanford is No. 13, and Cal is No. 19. The Cardinal's Tom Fawcett, a 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) senior from Winnetka, Ill., reached the NCAA singles semifinals last May.
   The first singles and doubles rankings of the year will be released on Feb. 7.
   WTA tour -- CiCi Bellis, the WTA Newcomer of the Year in 2017, lost to defending champion and former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 6-1 in 53 minutes in the second round of the Brisbane (Australia) International.
   The 6-foot-1 (1.86-meter) Pliskova, seeded second, won 90 percent of the points on her first serve (19 of 21) and 64 percent (9 of 14) on her second delivery against the 5-foot-7 (1.70-meter) Bellis, an 18-year-old product of Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area. Pliskova faced no break points in the match. 

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