Thursday, April 18, 2019

Brooksby, 18, falls to No. 8 seed Polansky in thriller

   Eighth-seeded Peter Polansky of Canada edged Jenson Brooksby, an 18-year-old wild card from Carmichael in the Sacramento area, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (6) today to reach the quarterfinals of the Sarasota (Fla.) Open.
   Polansky, ranked No. 128, had 10 aces and no double faults in the 2-hour, 27-minute battle on Har-Tru (green clay) in 89-degree (31.7 Celsius) heat and 50 percent humidity.
   Brooksby, last year's USTA boys 18 national champion, had been 0-2 in Challenger main draws before this week. He dispatched American wild card Jared Hiltzik 6-1, 6-2 in the first round and Australian Marc Polmans, the 10th seed and runner-up in the $100,000 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger last October, 6-3, 6-0 in the second round.
  Polansky, who won the $100,000 Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger in 2013, was severely injured in a three-story fall from his hotel room in Mexico almost exactly 12 years ago.

Brooksby, 18, shocks 10th-seeded Polmans in Challenger

Jenson Brooksby, practicing in Sacramento last May, beat
Marc Polmans, the runner-up in the $100,000 Stockton
(Calif.) Challenger last October, today in the second round
of the $108,320 Sarasota (Fla.) Open. Photo by Paul Bauman 
   Jenson Brooksby earned the biggest victory of his promising career on Wednesday.
   And it wasn't close.
   The 18-year-old wild card, from Carmichael in the Sacramento area, stunned 10th-seeded Marc Polmans 6-3, 6-0 on Har-Tru in the second round of the $108,320 Sarasota (Fla.) Open.
   Polmans, instantly recognizable by his legionnaire's cap, reached the final of the $100,000 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger last October. At No. 163, the 21-year-old Australian is by far the highest-ranked player Brooksby has beaten. Brooksby routed top-seeded Dmitry Popko, then ranked No. 351, in the quarterfinals of a $25,000 tournament in Los Angeles in January for his best previous win.
   Brooksby, ranked No. 636, also surrendered only three games in his first-round victory over American Jared Hiltzik, a 24-year-old wild card and NCAA singles quarterfinalist in 2015 from the University of Illinois.
  Brooksby, who had been 0-2 in Challenger main draws before this week, is scheduled to play eighth-seeded Peter Polansky, a 30-year-old Canadian ranked No. 128, today for a quarterfinal berth.
   Polansky, who won the $100,000 Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger in 2013, defeated Brooksby's comrade from the JMG Tennis Academy in Sacramento, Collin Altamirano, 6-1, 6-4 on Tuesday in the second round.
   Both Brooksby (2018) and Altamirano (2013) won the USTA Boys 18 National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., to earn an automatic wild card in the main draw of the U.S. Open.
   Brooksby lost to Australian veteran John Millman 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 in oppressive humidity in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., in the opening 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, April 15, 2019

Anisimova, 17, tops Aussie for first WTA title

Amanda Anisimova, shown en route to the Sacramento Challenger title
in 2017, defeated Astra Sharma 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in Sunday's Bogota final
on the WTA tour. Photo by Rob Vomund
   In 2017, Amanda Anisimova won her first professional singles title in the $60,000 Sacramento Challenger at 15.
   On Sunday, the 17-year-old American earned her first WTA singles crown.
   The sixth-seeded Anisimova, considered a future Grand Slam champion, beat unseeded Astra Sharma of Australia 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 on clay in the Claro Open Colsanitas in Bogota.
   Sharma, a 23-year-old former Vanderbilt star, led by a service break at 3-2 in the second set. However, Anisimova broke right back with the help of three double faults.
   "I think this was a pretty big goal because I overcame so many challenges this week," Anisimova, who reached her first WTA singles final last year in Hiroshima (losing to Hsieh Su-wei), told wtatennis.com. "I'm really happy and proud of myself for how I got through them, and winning my first WTA title means so much."
   Four of Anisimova's five matches, including her last three, went to three sets in Bogota's altitude of 8,660 feet (2,640 meters).
   Anisimova soared 22 places to a career-high No. 54. She is the youngest player in the top 100, exactly three months younger than Iga Swiatek. The 17-year-old Pole jumped to No. 88 after losing to Polona Hercog of Slovenia in the Lugano final on Sunday.
   Sharma, who played No. 1 singles and doubles on the Vanderbilt team that lost to Stanford 4-3 in last year's NCAA final, catapulted 36 spots to No. 102 after her first WTA final.
   Sharma did win a title Sunday, though, as she and compatriot Zoe Hives teamed for their first WTA crown.
   College -- William Genesen defeated Jack Molloy 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Court 2 to give No. 12 Stanford (14-5, 3-3 Pacific-12 Conference) a 4-3 victory over No. 41 Cal (11-10, 3-3) on Saturday in Berkeley.
   The Cardinal played without its star, 13th-ranked Axel Geller, for the second consecutive match. Stanford did not disclose the reason.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Stanford grad Ahn falls to 17-year-old in Bogota

   Maria Camila Osorio Serrano, a 17-year-old wild card playing in her home country, defeated lucky loser Kristie Ahn, a 26-year-old Stanford graduate, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 tonight in the second round of the Claro Open Colsanitas on clay in Bogota, Colombia.
   Osorio Serrano, ranked No. 438, overcame eight double faults in the 2-hour, 24-minute match played at 8,660 feet (2,640 meters).
   Ahn, ranked No. 205, saved two match points in a victory over top-seeded Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, on Tuesday.

Stanford grad Ahn stuns top seed Ostapenko in Bogota

Kristie Ahn, playing in the $60,000 Stockton (Calif.)
Challenger last October, saved two match points in her
2-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 win over Jelena Ostapenko on Tuesday.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Kristie Ahn, a 26-year-old Stanford graduate, scored the biggest victory of her career on Tuesday.
   The lucky loser from Upper Saddle River, N.J., saved two match points in a 2-6 7-6 (5), 7-5 victory over top-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in the first round of the Claro Open Colsanitas on clay in Bogota, Colombia.
   Ahn, ranked No. 205, trailed 3-0 and 4-2 in the second set of her first WTA main-draw match of the year.
   Ostapenko finished with 26 winners to Ahn's 11 but committed 56 unforced errors and 16 double faults. Ostapenko, who won the 2017 French Open two days after turning 20, has tumbled from a career-high No. 5 in March last year to No. 29.
   "It was a really tense match," the 5-foot-5 (1.68-meter) Ahn told reporters after the 2-hour, 31-minute battle at 8,660 feet (2,640 meters). "Obviously, playing in altitude is really difficult for both of us, but I was just really happy to come out with the win and fight for every point."
   Ahn is scheduled to face 17-year-old wild card Maria Camila Osorio Serrano of Colombia today. Osorio Serrano defeated Conny Perrin of Switzerland 6-4, 6-4 on Monday for her first WTA main-draw in.
   "Obviously, she's an incredible competitor," Ahn said. "The Colombian girls play so well here, they know the courts better than anyone, and having the home crowd behind her ... I think it will be a fun match."

Monday, April 8, 2019

Sanchez wins WTA doubles title; Gibbs, Ma fall in finals

Modesto product Maria Sanchez, playing singles in Berkeley
last July, won the Monterrey doubles title with Asia Muhammad
on Sunday. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Maria Sanchez, a 29-year-old Modesto product, won her fourth WTA doubles title and second in a row on Sunday.
   The third-seeded team of Asia Muhammad of Las Vegas and Sanchez beat unseeded Australians Monique Adamczak and Jessica Moore 7-6 (2), 6-4 to win the Abierto GNP Seguros in Monterrey, Mexico. Muhammad, 28, and Sanchez did not lose a set in their four matches.
   Sanchez, who also won a $115,000 tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico, with Fanny Stollar of Hungary last month, rose 16 places to a career-high No. 53 in doubles.
   When Sanchez was 10, she lived in Guadalajara for a year with her family.
   ITF World Tennis Tour -- Fifth-seeded Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic crushed top-seeded former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs 6-0, 6-1 in the final of the $80,000 Innisbrook Open on clay in Palm Harbor, Fla. Gibbs, 26, improved 11 spots to No. 113.
   USTA International Spring Championships -- Top-seeded Hurricane Tyra Black, 18, of Boca Raton, Fla., outlasted Connie Ma, a 15-year-old wild card from Dublin in the San Francisco Bay Area, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 for the girls 18 title in Carson, Calif.
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