Friday, June 28, 2019

NorCal players have hard Wimby draws; Mayo moves

   All five players with Northern California connections received difficult draws for Wimbledon today.
    Especially Serena Williams, a part-time Silicon Valley resident.
    The tournament begins innocuously enough for the 11th seed and seven-time Wimbledon champion. Williams, 37, will open against Italy's Giulia Gatto-Monticone, a qualifier ranked No. 162, on Monday or Tuesday.
   Assuming Williams wins, she could face fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber in the fourth round in a rematch of last year's Wimbledon final.
   Williams also could meet top-ranked Ashleigh Barty in the quarterfnals, sixth-seed and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the semifinals and second-seeded Naomi Osaka, who stunned Williams in last year's tumultuous U.S. Open final, in the title match.
   Williams hopes to tie Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.
   Ninth-seeded Sloane Stephens, a 26-year-old Fresno product, will play Timea Bacsinszky, 30, of Switzerland in a rematch of former Wimbledon quarterfinalists. Looming are 19th seed and British favorite Johanna Konta in the third round and Kvitova or 25th seed Amanda Anisimova of Aventura, Fla., in the fourth round.
   Anisimova, 17, stunned defending champion Simona Halep three weeks ago to become the youngest American in the French Open semifinals since 14-year-old Jennifer Capriati in 1990.
   The other three players with NorCal ties drew seeds in the first round. However, grass is the seeds' weakest surface.
   Qualifier Kristie Ahn, a 27-year-old Stanford graduate, will make her Wimbledon main-draw debut against 12th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia. Sevastova is 1-6 at the All England Club.
   On the men's side, Sam Querrey, a 31-year-old San Francisco native, will take on fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem, who has reached the last two French Open finals but never has advanced to the quarterfinals in five Wimbledon appearances.
   Querrey reached the Wimbledon quarters in 2016 and semis in 2017, ousting the defending champion each time. He will meet countryman Taylor Fritz in Saturday's Nature Valley International final in Eastbourne.
   Stanford grad Bradley Klahn will play 21st-seeded David Goffin of Belgium in a clash of 28-year-olds. Goffin advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2015 and 2016, his best results in six appearances there.
   Mayo transfers -- Keenan Mayo, who grew up in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville and trains at the USTA Training Center – West in Carson, will transfer from Illinois to Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. He will be eligible for the 2019-20 season, according to LMU's website.
   Mayo went 9-11 in singles, primarily at No. 4 and No. 5, and 8-10 in doubles, mainly at No. 2, as an Illini freshman last season.

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