Thursday, February 28, 2019

NorCal Challenger stars reach Acapulco semifinals

Sofia Kenin, playing in the Berkeley Tennis Club Challenge
last July, beat former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka to reach
the semifinals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Between them, Sofia Kenin and Cameron Norrie have won five Challenger singles titles in Northern California.
   Both reached Friday's semifinals in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco in the major leagues of tennis.
   The fifth-seeded Kenin, from Pembroke Pines, Fla., outlasted wild card and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 tonight in 2 hours, 32 minutes on the WTA tour.
   Kenin captured the title in Sacramento in 2016, Stockton in 2017 and Berkeley last July. Azarenka won the 2010 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2010.
   Great Britain's Norrie continued his mastery of Mackenzie McDonald, from Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a 6-3, 6-2 victory in a matchup of unseeded 23-year-olds and former college stars.
   Norrie, a left-hander who won back-to-back titles in Tiburon and Stockton in 2017, has not lost more than three games in a set in three career matches against McDonald.
   Norrie ended his collegiate career at Texas Christian as the No. 1 player in the nation in 2017. McDonald swept the 2016 NCAA singles and doubles titles as a UCLA junior. Both turned pro after their junior year.
Cameron Norrie, addressing the crowd after
winning the 2017 Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger,
continued his domination of San Francisco
Bay Area product Mackenzie McDonald.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Kenin, ranked No. 35 at age 20, will play Bianca Andreescu, an 18-year-old Canadian. In the other semifinal, third-seeded Donna Vekic of Croatia will play Yafan Wang of China.
   Norrie will face second-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany, and unseeded Nick Kyrgios will meet third-seeded John Isner of Dallas.
   Isner won his first professional title in the 2007 Shingle Springs Futures in the Sacramento area.
   In an all-brothers doubles quarterfinal tonight, Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev edged second-seeded Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 5-7, 6-4 [10-7]. The Bryan twins led Stanford to the NCAA team title in both of their years there (1997 and 1998) and won the Acapulco title in 2002 and 2004.
   In the women's doubles quarters, unseeded Sharon Fichman of Canada and Maria Sanchez, a 29-year-old Modesto product, nipped second-seeded Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia and Irina Khromacheva of Russia 5-7, 6-2 [11-9].
   When Sanchez was 10, she lived in Guadalajara, Mexico, for a year with her family.
   In the other half of the draw, third-seeded Desirae Krawczyk from Palm Desert, Calif., and Giuliana Olmos from Fremont in the Bay Area routed Laura Pigossi of Brazil and Wang 6-3, 6-0. 

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