Sunday, March 31, 2019

Bryans, Easter Bowl, NorCal HOF, coach award, colleges

Bob Bryan, serving, and Mike Bryan play in the 2016
U.S. Open. The ex-Stanford stars won their sixth Miami
Open title on Saturday. Photo by Paul Bauman
   The Bryan brothers and Vivian Ovrootsky won big titles on Saturday.
   Third seeds and ex-Stanford stars Bob and Mike Bryan beat unseeded Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 7-5, 7-6 (6) for their sixth Miami Open crown and second in a row.
   The 40-year-old Bryan twins saved four set points in the second-set tiebreaker. They also survived four match points in their 7-6 (7), 6-7 (8) [14-12] semifinal victory over top-seeded Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Marcelo Melo of Brazil.
   The Bryans collected their 118th tour-level title and second since Bob returned to action in January after missing eight months. He underwent hip replacement surgery last August.
   "A doctor was cutting me open eight months ago, and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make it back on court," said Bob, who lives in the Miami suburb of Sunny Isles Beach. "To win this title is a dream and certainly wasn't possible eight months ago. This huge for us."
   Ovrootsky, a 14-year-old San Jose resident, downed DJ Bennett of Belleview, Fla., 6-3, 6-4 for the Easter Bowl girls 16 title in Indian Wells. Ovrootsky was seeded ninth and Bennett 10th.
   "I didn't play my best tennis today, and DJ played unbelievable tennis today, and her forehand was really on," Ovrootsky, who also received the USTA Sportsmanship Award in her age group, told publicist Steve Pratt. "I just had to get through the match and stay offensive."
   Ovrootsky, who won an ITF Level 4 tournament in Irvine last week, extended her winning streak to 12 matches.
   "It was tiring, but I think I recovered well, which is why I was able to move the way I did today," said Ovrootsky, who has won three USTA gold balls and two silver balls.
   Ovrootsky takes online classes and trains under Nick Fustar at the Eagle Fustar Tennis Academy.
   Two other San Francisco Bay Area residents, Ria Bhakta of Saratoga and Natasha Rajaram of Los Altos, lost in finals on Thursday.
   Third-seeded Tsehay Driscoll of Pacific Palisades in the Los Angeles area topped the second-seeded Bhakta 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 for the girls 14 singles title.
   Unseeded Daniela Borruel of Buena Park in the L.A. region, and Rebecca Kong of San Diego dominated second-seeded Thea Latak, from the Chicago suburb of Burr Ridge, Ill., and Rajaram 6-3, 6-1 for the girls 12 doubles crown.
   NorCal Hall of Fame -- The USTA Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame will enshrine prominent coach Brad Stine and four others at a luncheon on Friday, June 21, at the Peninsula Golf & Country Club in San Mateo. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  Stine has coached Jim Courier, Kevin Anderson, Mardy Fish, Andrei Medvedev and other pros. Also inducted will be:
   --Elly Hakami, who reached No. 32 in the world in singles in 1988 and No. 68 in doubles in 1987.
   --Jeff Greenwald, a sports psychologist, author and top 40-and-over player.
   --Administrators Linda Peltz and Mike Skinner.
   Developmental Coach of Year -- Joseph Gilbert, the owner and director of the JMG Tennis Academy at Arden Hills Athletic & Social Club in Sacramento, became the first two-time winner of the Team USA Developmental Coach of the Year award.
   Gilbert coaches:
   --Collin Altamirano and Jenson Brooksby, the 2013 and 2018 USTA boys 18 national champions, respectively.
   --Ishaan Ravichander and Mason Nguyen, the boys 18 and 12 winners, respectively, in the USTA National Winter Championships in January.
   --Zachery Lim, who won the boys 16 title in the International Spring Championships in Carson last April.
   Colleges -- Caroline Lampl edged Rianna Valdes 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) to give the No. 7 Stanford women (14-1, 5-0 Pac-12) a 4-3 victory over No. 16 USC (13-3, 3-1) in Los Angeles.
   Emily Arbuthnott, one of the Cardinal's top players, missed the match for an undisclosed reason.
   No. 11 UCLA (12-4, 4-1) routed No. 15 Cal (9-5, 3-2) 6-1 in Los Angeles.
   The No. 12 USC men (13-6, 3-0) outplayed No. 10 and host Stanford (12-4, 2-2) 4-1. No. 19 UCLA (10-4, 3-0) beat No. 40 Cal (9-9, 2-2) 4-2 in Berkeley.

Monday, March 18, 2019

NorCal amateur Brooksby, 18, earns first pro title

Jenson Brooksby, practicing in Sacramento last May, routed No. 2 seed
Aleksandar Vukic of Australia 6-3, 6-1 on Sunday to win the $25,000
Bakersfield Tennis Open in Southern California. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Jenson Brooksby, an 18-year-old amateur from Carmichael in the Sacramento area, won his first professional title on Sunday.
   The wild card routed second-seeded Aleksandar Vukic of Australia 6-3, 6-1 in the final of the $25,000 Bakersfield Tennis Open in Southern California.
   Brooksby, who's listed at 6-foot-1 (1.85 meters) and only 140 pounds (64 kilograms), lost no more than six games in four of his five matches.
   However, Brooksby barely survived in the second round against unseeded Alexander Ritschard, a 24-year-old Swiss native who starred at Virginia and plays for the United States. Brooksby prevailed 6-7 (2), 7-5, 7-6 (5) in 3 hours, 7 minutes but did not face a match point.
   Brooksby won the USTA Boys 18 National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. last August to earn an automatic wild card in the main draw of the U.S. Open, losing to Australian veteran John Millman 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 in oppressive humidity in the first round. Millman went on to stun Roger Federer in the fourth round before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals.
   Brooksby plans to enroll at Baylor in Waco, Texas, in the fall or January 2020.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Serena retires with viral illness vs. Muguruza in BNP

Serena Williams, playing in San Jose last July, has not advanced past the
third round in Indian Wells since losing to Victoria Azarenka in the 2016 final.
Photo by Mal Taam
   For the third time in five years, an injury or illness has kept Serena Williams from playing in Indian Wells.
   In a matchup of former world No. 1s on Sunday, 20th-seeded Garbine Muguruza led 6-3, 1-0 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open when the 10th-seeded Williams retired because of a viral illness.
   Williams, a part-time Silicon Valley resident, played brilliantly in a 7-5, 6-3 victory over another former world No. 1, Victoria Azarenka, on Friday night and bolted to a 3-0 lead against Muguruza. From then on, however, Williams looked lethargic.
   "Before the match, I did not feel great, and then it just got worse with every second -- extreme dizziness and extreme fatigue," Williams, a two-time Indian Wells champion (1999 and 2001), told reporters. "By the score, it might have looked like I started well, but I was not feeling at all well physically. I will focus on getting better and start preparing for Miami."
   After boycotting the Indian Wells tournament for 14 years, Williams withdrew from her 2015 semifinal against Simona Halep with a right knee injury. Halep went on to win the title.
   Williams, 37, has not advanced past the third round at Indian Wells since losing in the 2016 final to Azarenka. Williams pulled out of the 2017 tournament with a left knee injury and announced the following month that she was 20 weeks pregnant.
   Muguruza defeated a top-10 player for the first time in more than a year and evened her record against Williams at 3-3 in their first non-Grand Slam match. Their last two meetings had come in finals, with Muguruza winning her first major title in the 2016 French Open and Williams claiming the sixth of her seven Wimbledon crowns in 2015.
   In men's action on Sunday, 14th-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia eliminated Mackenzie McDonald, who was born and raised in Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, 7-5, 6-0 in the second round.
   However, wild cards McDonald and Reilly Opelka defeated French alternates Adrian Mannarino and Gael Monfils 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the first round. Opelka, a 6-foot-11 (2.11-meter) American, is 13 inches (33 centimeters) taller than McDonald.
   In the second round of doubles:
   --Seventh-seeded Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Michael Venus of New Zealand topped Ben McLachlan (Cal, 2011-14) of Japan and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-4, 7-6 (4).
   --Elise Mertens of Belgium and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus edged Raquel Atawo (Cal, 2001-04) of Sacramento and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia 5-7, 6-3 [11-9].

Saturday, March 9, 2019

After BNP loss, Querrey will plunge further in rankings

Sam Querrey, a 31-year-old San Francisco native, lost
to 13th-seeded Milos Raonic 7-6 (1), 6-4 today in the
second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
File photo by Paul Bauman
   Sam Querrey's free-fall in the rankings will continue.
   The 31-year-old San Francisco native lost to 13th-seeded Milos Raonic 7-6 (1), 6-4 today in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
   The 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Raonic, who reached the Wimbledon and Indian Wells finals in 2016, hammered 18 aces and saved all four break points against him. Querrey, 6-foot-6 (1.98 meters), pounded 10 aces and escaped four of the five break points he faced.
   Raonic improved to 4-2 against Querrey in a rematch of their Indian Wells quarterfinal last year. Raonic won that encounter 7-5, 2-6, 6-3.
   Querrey, who ascended to a career-high No. 11 in February last year, will plunge from No. 51 to about No. 69 in the next rankings on March 18. That would be his lowest spot since he was No. 77 in June 2014.
   Both Raonic, a 28-year-old Canadian, and Querrey, now based in Las Vegas, have excelled in Northern California.
   Raonic never lost a set in three appearances in the SAP Open in San Jose, winning the last three titles (2011, 2012 and 2013) before the tournament ended a 125-year run in NorCal.
   Querrey swept the Napa, Sacramento and Tiburon Challengers in three weeks in 2014.
   In the first round of men's doubles today, fourth-seeded Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, playing in their native Southern California, dispatched Russians Karen Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev, both ranked in the top 15 in singles, 6-3, 6-2.
   The 40-year-old Bryan twins (Stanford, 1997-98) won the Indian Wells title in 2013 and 2014 and were the runners-up in 2003, 2006 and last year.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Serena beats Azarenka in BNP baseline battle

Serena Williams slugs a backhand during her 7-5, 6-3 victory over Victoria
Azarenka tonight in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Photo by Harjanto Sumali
   It was like old times.
   Serena Williams, a part-time Silicon Valley resident, defeated Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-3 in a scintillating featured match tonight in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
   Tennis Channel commentator Lindsay Davenport called the 2-hour, 6-minute battle of mothers and former world No. 1s the highest-quality match on the WTA tour this year.
   Williams, ranked and seeded 10th, had not played a match since losing to Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January. Still, it had the intensity of a Grand Slam final as she and Azarenka, ranked 48th, traded punishing groundstrokes.
   Williams improved to 18-4 against Azarenka in their first meeting since the 2016 Indian Wells final, which the Belarusian won 6-4, 6-4. Williams defeated Azarenka in three sets in the 2012 and 2013 U.S. Open finals.
   Both players have won Indian Wells twice. They also combined for four titles in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, with Williams winning three (2011, 2012 and 2014). The tournament ended a 21-year run at Stanford in 2017 and was replaced by the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose.
   Williams is scheduled to face another former world No. 1, Garbine Muguruza, on Sunday. Muguruza, seeded 20th, beat American wild card Lauren Davis 6-1, 6-3.
   Williams is 3-2 against Muguruza, who won twice on clay. Their last two meetings have come in Grand Slam finals, with Muguruza winning her first Grand Slam title in the 2016 French Open and Williams claiming her sixth of seven Wimbledon crowns in 2015.
   Also today, Stephanie Voegele, a Swiss qualifier ranked No. 109, improved to 5-1 against Fresno product Sloane Stephens, ranked and seeded fourth, with 6-3, 6-0 victory in 68 minutes in the wind.
    In the opening round of men's singles, San Francisco Bay Area native Mackenzie McDonald topped Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 for his first main-draw victory at Indian Wells.
   The 23-year-old McDonald starred at UCLA, a two-hour drive west of Indian Wells. He will play 14th-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia on Sunday.
   Medvedev beat McDonald 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the second round of qualifying in Toronto last August in their only previous meeting.
   In first-round doubles matches:
   --Top seeds and 2016 champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France edged John Isner of Dallas and Sam Querrey, a 31-year-old San Francisco native, 6-7 (3), 6-4 [12-10]. Isner won the title last year with compatriot Jack Sock.
   --Ben McLachlan (Cal, 2011-14) of Japan and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany defeated Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain 7-5, 6-3.
   --Raquel Atawo (Cal, 2001-04) of Sacramento and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia dismissed Miyu Kato and Makoto Ninomiya of Japan 6-3, 6-1.

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Querrey to face Raonic in Indian Wells showdown

Sam Querrey, a 31-year-old San Francisco native, will play
No. 13 seed Milos Raonic in a rematch of last year's quarter-
final in Indian Wells. Raonic prevailed in three sets. File photo
by Paul Bauman
   In just over one year, Sam Querrey has tumbled from a career-high No. 11 to No. 51.
   If the 31-year-old San Francisco native doesn't at least match his quarterfinal finish in last year's BNP Paribas Open, which will be very difficult, he will fall even further.
   Querrey outlasted Matteo Berrettini of Italy 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-4 in the first round in Indian Wells on Thursday to set up a rematch of last year's quarterfinal against Milos Raonic, who won that encounter 7-5, 2-6, 6-3.
   Raonic, the 13th seed and 2016 runner-up to Novak Djokovic, received a first-round bye. The 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Canadian is 3-2 against the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey.
   Raonic never lost a set in three appearances in the SAP Open in San Jose, winning the last three titles before the tournament moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2014 after 125 years in Northern California.
   Bradley Klahn, a 28-year-old Stanford graduate playing in his native Southern California, lost to Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6-4, 6-2 in the opening round in Indian Wells.
   It was Klahn's first match since a first-round loss to Hyeon Chung of South Korea in the Australian Open in January. The 90th-ranked Klahn, who underwent his second operation for a herniated disc in his back in 2015, is 0-3 in the main draw in Indian Wells.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Roundup: Silicon Valley Classic, Indian Wells, Gould

Garbine Muguruza is scheduled to play in the Mubadala
Silicon Valley Classic, July 29-Aug. 4 at San Jose State.
2017 photo by Mal Taam
   Former world No. 1s Garbine Muguruza and Victoria Azarenka and American phenom Amanda Anisimova have entered the second annual Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, tournament officials announced Wednesday.
   The tournament, which replaced the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, is scheduled for July 29-Aug. 4 at San Jose State. 
   Muguruza, who won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017, has slumped to No. 20. The 25-year-old Spaniard won the Stanford doubles title with compatriot Carla Suarez Navarro in 2014.
   Muguruza withdrew from last year's tournament with a right arm injury hours before she was scheduled to play Azarenka in the second round. Muguruza had received a first-round bye. 
   Azarenka, the Australian Open champion in 2012 and 2013, has climbed to No. 48 after ending 2017 at No. 208 because of the birth of her first child and subsequent custody battle. The 29-year-old Belarusian captured the Stanford singles championship in 2010 and doubles title (with Maria Kirilenko) in 2011.
   Anisimova, ranked No. 67, is the youngest player in the top 100 at 17 years old. She won her first professional title in the 2017 Sacramento Challenger.
   In last year's Silicon Valley Classic finals, Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania routed Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1, 6-0, and Latisha Chan of Chinese Taipei and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic defeated twins Lyudmyla Kichenok and Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine 6-4, 6-1.
   BNP Paribas Open -- Azarenka dispatched countrywoman Vera Lapko 6-2, 6-3 in the first round to set up a rematch of the 2016 final against 10th-seeded Serena Williams.
   Azarenka beat Williams 6-4, 6-4 for the 2016 title in their last meeting, but Williams leads the head-to-head series 17-4.
   Azarenka also won the Indian Wells crown in 2012, defeating Maria Sharapova. Williams captured the title in 1999 and 2001, then boycotted the tournament for 13 years because of a racially charged incident.
   In the first round of women's doubles, Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium and Johanna Larsson of Sweden dominated wild cards Eugenie Bouchard of Canada and Sloane Stephens, who grew up in Fresno, 6-1, 6-2.
   College men -- Stanford coaching legend Dick Gould and 11 others will be inducted into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor on March 15 in Las Vegas.
   Gould led Stanford to a 776-148 (.840) record and 17 NCAA team titles in 38 years as the coach (1967-2004). He was enshrined in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 2006.
   Joining Gould in the Pac-12 Hall of Honor will be Meg Ritchie-Stone (Arizona track and field), Frank Kush (Arizona State football), Ann Meyers Drysdale (UCLA basketball), Natalie Coughlin (California swimming), Ronnie Lott (USC football), Lisa Van Goor (Colorado basketball), Steve Smith Sr. (Utah football), Bev Smith (Oregon basketball), Patricia "Trish" Bostrom (Washington tennis), Dick Fosbury (Oregon State track and field) and John Olerud (Washington State baseball).

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Stanford's Geller rises to No. 8; Gibbs falls in qualies

Stanford's Axel Geller, playing in the $100,000 Fairfield (Calif.)
Challenger last October, improved five spots to No. 8 in the Inter-
collegiate Tennis Association rankings. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Despite not beating a ranked player, Stanford's Axel Geller jumped five spots to No. 8 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings released today.
   Since the last singles rankings on Feb. 20, the sophomore from Argentina sat out of singles in Stanford's 4-0 victory over UC Davis on Feb. 22 and crushed Cal's Jacob Brumm 6-1, 6-0 on Court 1 in the Cardinal's 4-2 win over Cal on Feb. 24. Both dual matches were at Stanford.
   Geller ended 2017 as the No. 1 junior in the world.
   The Cardinal (9-2) remained No. 7, and Cal (2-5), previously No. 40, dropped out of the 50-team rankings.
   In the women's team rankings, Stanford (6-1) stayed No. 4, and Cal (5-3) fell four notches to No. 20.
   BNP Paribas Open -- No. 10 seed Zarina Diyas, a Kazakh who reached a career-high No. 31 in 2015, defeated Nicole Gibbs (Stanford, 2011-13) 7-6 (4), 7-5 in the second (final) round of qualifying in Indian Wells.
   Gibbs, who turned 26 on Sunday, has not won a main-draw match in Indian Wells since reaching the fourth round as a qualifier in 2016.
(Top 10 plus Northern California; previous ranking in parentheses)
Men's team
1. Ohio State (1)
2. Wake Forest (2)
3. Texas (3)
4. Virginia (4)
5. Baylor (7)
6. North Carolina (6)
7. Stanford (5)
8. Columbia (9)
9. Florida (10)
10. Mississippi State (8)
Men's singles
1. JJ Wolf, Ohio State (1)
2. Petros Chrysochos, Wake Forest (2)
3. Nuno Borges, Mississippi State (3)
4. Christian Sigsgaard, Texas (8)
5. Thomas Laurent, Oregon (7)
6. Daniel Cukierman, USC (11)
7. Alex Rybakov, TCU (6)
8. Axel Geller, Stanford (13)
9. Yuya Ito, Texas (12)
10. Jan Zielinski, Georgia (5)
31. Victor Pham (Saratoga), Columbia (65)
32. Alexandre Rotsaert, Stanford (39)
35. Sameer Kumar, Stanford (31)
48. Sam Riffice (Roseville), Florida (46)
56. William Genesen, Stanford (60)
105. Zdenek Derkas, Fresno State (NR)
Men's doubles
1. Henry Patten and Oli Nolan, UNC Ashville (1)
2. Sven Lah and Jimmy Bendeck, Baylor (2)
3. Niclas Braun and Giovanni Oradini, Mississippi State (6)
4. Constant De La Bassetiere and Gabriel Nemeth, Penn State (7)
5. Fabian Fallert and Finn Reynolds, Mississippi (4)
6. Parker Wynn and Bjorn Thomson, Texas Tech (8)
7. Nuno Borges and Strahinja Rakic, Mississippi State (11)
8. Kyle Seelig and Alex Kobelt, Ohio State (3)
9. Johannes Ingildsen and Brian Berdusco, Florida (14)
10. Jack Lin and William Matheson, Columbia (5)
11. Yuta Kikuchi and Jacob Brumm, Cal (13)
27. Sam Riffice (Roseville) and Andy Andrade, Florida (16)
33. Paul Barretto (Tiburon) and Can Kaya, Cal (31)
70. Axel Geller and Alexandre Rotsaert, Stanford (NR)
Women's team
1. North Carolina (1)
2. Georgia (2)
3. Duke (3)
4. Stanford (4)
5. Vanderbilt (6)
6. UCLA (5)
7. Washington (22)
8. Oklahoma State (8)
9. South Carolina (10)
10. Ohio State (14)
20. Cal (16)
Women's singles
1. Katarina Jokic, Georgia (1)
2. Estela Perez-Somarriba, Miami (Fla.) (7)
3. Fernanda Contreras, Vanderbilt 3)
4. Kate Fahey, Michigan (8)
5. Makenna Jones, North Carolina (2)
6. Alexa Graham, North Carolina (5)
7. Sophie Whittle, Gonzaga (4)
8. Christina Rosca, Vanderbilt (9)
9. Ingrid Gamarra Martins, South Carolina (10)
10. Elysia Bolton, UCLA (11)
17. Emily Arbuthnott, Stanford (19)
22. Michaela Gordon, Stanford (16)
24. Olivia Hauger, Cal (20)
25. Julia Rosenqvist, Cal (45)
41. Melissa Lord, Stanford (49)
49. Paige Cline (Kentfield), South Carolina (38)
51. Caroline Lampl, Stanford (59)
55. Janice Shin, Stanford (58)
63. Emma Higuchi, Stanford (63)
74. Anna Bright, Cal (69)
94. Sara Choy (Palo Alto), Stanford (76)
106. Niluka Madurawe (Sunnyvale), Stanford (78)
107. Mariia Kozyreva, Saint Mary's (93)
115. Katerina Stloukalova, Cal (NR)
Women's doubles
1. Ashley Lahey and Evgeniya Levashova, Pepperdine (5)
2. Janet Koch and Nina Khmelnitckaia, Kansas (3)
3. Jessica Golovin and Eden Richardson, LSU (11)
4. Fernanda Navarro and Marie Leduc, Clemson (1)
5. Cameron Morra and Makenna Jones, North Carolina (4)
6. Lauryn John-Baptiste and Ilze Hattingh, Arizona State (6)
7. Mia Horvit and Ingrid Gamarra Martins, South Carolina (2)
8. Kaitlin Staines and Sadie Hammond, Tennessee (9)
9. Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham, North Carolina (16)
10. Gabby Andrews and Ayan Broomfield, UCLA (8)
11. Kimberly Yee and Caroline Lampl, Stanford (12)
20. Emily Arbuthnott and Michaela Gordon, Stanford (15)
23. Anna Bright and Jasie Dunk, Cal (23)
26. Hana Mraz and Julia Rosenqvist, Cal (28)
27. Kimberly Yee and Niluka Madurawe (Sunnyvale), Stanford (29)
36. Melissa Lord and Niluka Madurawe (Sunnyvale), Stanford (40)
48. Abi Altick and Alaina Miller (Saratoga), UCLA (38)
50. Katerina Stloukalova and Hana Mraz, Cal (NR)

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Roundup: Federer wins 100th title, Kenin falls, etc.

Roger Federer, playing in Indian Wells in 2017, beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4
in Dubai for his 100th tour-level title. Photo by Mal Taam
   By winning the Dubai title on Saturday, Roger Federer joined Jimmy Connors as the only male members of the Century Club.
   The second-seeded Federer, 37, beat fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, 20, of Greece 6-4, 6-4 for his 100th tour-level singles title. Connors, now 66, won 109. Ivan Lendl ranks third with 94.
   "It's been a long, wonderful journey. ... I have loved every minute," Federer, who won the tournament for the eighth time, told reporters. "It's been tough, but the sacrifice has been very, very worthwhile, and we'll see how much more I've got left in the tank. Reaching 100 is an absolute dream come true for me."
   The milestone came almost exactly one year after Federer made his Northern California debut in a San Jose exhibition.
   Three women have won at least 100 titles in the Open era, which began in 1968: Martina Navratilova (167), Chris Evert (154) and Steffi Graf (107).
   Federer played in only his second tournament of the year. He avenged a 6-7 (11), 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (5) loss to Tsitsipas, will become the first Greek to crack the top 10 on Monday, in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January.
   In the Dubai doubles final, fourth-seeded Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain topped unseeded Ben McLachlan (Cal, 2011-14) and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 7-6 (4), 6-3.
   Abierto Mexicano Telcel -- Entering Saturday's final in Acapulco, Sofia Kenin seemed to have the advantage against Wang Yafan.
   Kenin -- who won Northern California Challengers in 2016, 2017 and last year -- was ranked 30 spots higher at No. 35 and captured the Hobart title in January in her first WTA final. Wang, meanwhile, was playing in her maiden WTA title match.
   But once Wang overcame her nerves, she was the fresher player. The unseeded Chinese player outlasted the fifth-seeded Kenin, from Pembroke Pines, Fla., 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in 2 hours, 10 minutes. Wang, 24, trailed 2-0 in the second set.
   It was Wang's second consecutive victory in which she lost the first set 6-2 and the 20-year-old Kenin's third straight match that went to 7-5 in the third set.
   Wang cracked the top 50 for the first time at No. 49, and Kenin rose to a career-high No. 33. 
   In the men's final, unseeded Nick Kyrgios of Australia beat second-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-3, 6-4. It marked the first time that the mercurial Kyrgios, 23, defeated two top-three players (No. 2 Rafael Nadal and No. 3 Zverev) and three top-10 opponents (also including No. 9 John Isner) in one tournament.
   Wang's compatriot Zheng Saisai won the doubles title with Victoria Azarenka. The unseeded pair clobbered third-seeded Desirae Krawczyk, from Palm Desert, Calif., and Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area who plays for Mexico, 6-1, 6-2 in 55 minutes.
   Pacific Coast Doubles -- Govind Nanda, a UCLA freshman and Johannes de Villiers, a Bruins assistant coach, edged USC's Brandon Holt, the son of International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, and Riley Smith 7-6 (0), 4-6 [10-4] today for the title in the Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championship in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla. Both teams were seeded first.
   Nanda and de Villiers, playing in their first tournament together, throttled ninth-seeded Jack Barber and William Genesen of Stanford 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals.
   Stanford women -- The No. 4 Cardinal's home match against No. 9 Texas on Saturday was canceled because of rain.
   Stanford defeated the Longhorns 4-3 in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships three weeks ago in Seattle.
   The Cardinal (6-1) is scheduled to open Pacific-12 Conference play on March 10 at Oregon.

Friday, March 1, 2019

NorCal Challenger star eyes second career WTA title

Sofia Kenin, shown en route to the Berkeley title last July, will play
Wang Yafan of China on Saturday for the Acapulco title on the WTA
tour. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Sofia Kenin will play for her second WTA tour singles title this year and of her career.
   The 20-year-old American, seeded fifth, outlasted unseeded Bianca Andreescu, an 18-year-old Canadian, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in 2 hours, 14 minutes tonight in the semifinals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.
   Andreescu, ranked No. 71, lost her serve in the last game on a backhand long to fall to 21-3 in singles this year. Kenin, a great fighter ranked 35th, also defeated former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka 7-5 in the third set in the quarterfinals.
   Kenin, who won Hobart in January, is scheduled to play unseeded Wang Yafan of China for the first time on Saturday at 4 p.m. California time (Tennis Channel).
   The 24-year-old Wang, ranked No. 65, beat third-seeded Donna Vekic of Croatia 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 to reach her first WTA final.
   Kenin dominated Northern California Challengers, winning Sacramento in 2016, Stockton in 2017 and Berkeley last year.
   In the Acapulco men's final, second-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany will face unseeded Nick Kyrgios of Australia on Saturday not before 7 p.m. (Tennis Channel).
   Zverev beat unseeded Cameron Norrie of Great Britain 7-6 (0), 6-3. Norrie won back-to-back Challengers in Tiburon, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, and Stockton in 2017.
   Kyrgios topped third-seeded John Isner 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (7) in 2 hours, 21 minutes in a match that ended at 1:05 a.m. Saturday Acapulco time.
   Kyrgios also ousted top-seeded Rafael Nadal, the Acapulco champion in 2005 and 2013, in the second round and three-time Grand Slam singles champion Stan Wawrinka, who's rebounding from knee surgery, in the quarterfinals.
   Giuliana Olmos, a 25-year-old product of Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area who plays for Mexico, reached the Acapulco doubles final. Third-seeded Desirae Krawczyk, from Palm Desert, Calif., and Olmos will meet unseeded Azarenka of Belarus and Zheng Saisai of China.
   Azarenka and Zheng edged unseeded Sharon Fichman of Canada and Maria Sanchez, who was born and raised in Modesto, 6-7 (3), 6-2 [13-11]. When Sanchez was 10, she lived in Guadalajara, Mexico, for a year with her family.
   Krawczyk and Olmos won the $60,000 Sacramento Challenger in 2017.
   Women's Challenger -- Nicole Gibbs' singles winning streak ended at eight matches.
   The ex-Stanford star lost to fellow American Jennifer Brady 7-5, 6-0 in a quarterfinal matchup of unseeded players in the $162,480 Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells.
   Gibbs, who will turn 26 on Sunday, won last week's $25,000 Shoebacca Women's Open in the San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe.
   Gibbs also lost in the Indian Wells doubles semifinals with countrywoman Asia Muhammad. They fell to Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic and Evgeniya Rodina of Russia 7-5, 6-3 in a clash of unseeded teams.
   Gibbs and Muhammad won the inaugural $60,000 Berkeley Tennis Club Challenge last July.