Sunday, January 19, 2020

Querrey ousts 25th-seeded Coric in Australian Open

Sam Querrey, a 32-year-old San Francisco native,
has a good chance to reach the third round of the
Australian Open. That would equal his best result
in Melbourne. File photo by Paul Bauman
   Sam Querrey, a 32-year-old San Francisco native, surprised 25th-seeded Borna Coric of Croatia 6-3 6-4, 6-4 today in the first round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey had 18 aces and only one double fault. He won 82 percent of the points on his first serve (41 of 50) and 65 percent on his second (17 of 26).
   Coric, 23, shocked No. 4 Dominic Thiem two weeks ago in the round-robin phase of the inaugural ATP Cup in Sydney.
   Querrey has a good chance to reach the third round in Melbourne, which would equal his best result in 14 career appearances there. He will play 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter) Ricardas Berankis, a 29-year-old Lithuanian, in the second round. Berankis defeated Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.
   Querrey, who now lives in Las Vegas, has not lost more than four games in a set in two matches against Berankis. They will meet for the first time since 2013. The winner likely will face eighth-seeded Matteo Berrettini, a U.S. Open semifinalist last September.
   Also today, 30th-seeded Daniel Evans of Great Britain topped Mackenzie McDonald, a 24-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 in a matchup of undersized players. Evans is 5-foot-9 (1.75 meters) and 165 pounds (75 kilograms); McDonald is 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters) and 160 pounds (73 kilograms).
   McDonald had right hamstring surgery in June and missed the rest of the year. He reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2018.
   On the women's side, eighth-seeded Serena Williams began her quest for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Anastasia Potapova, 18, of Russia in 58 minutes.   
   Williams, a 38-year-old part-time Silicon Valley resident, next will meet Tamara Zidansek, a 22-year-old Slovenian, for the first time. Zidansek, ranked 64th, beat wild card Na-Lae Han of South Korea 6-3, 6-3.
   Kristie Ahn, a 27-year-old Stanford graduate from Englewood Cliffs, N.J., lost to former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-1, 6-3.
   Ahn reached the fourth round of last year's U.S. Open. Wozniacki, who won her only Grand Slam title in the 2018 Australian Open, announced last month that she will retire after this year's tournament in Melbourne.
   No. 24 seed Sloane Stephens, a 26-year-old Fresno, Calif., product, is scheduled to play Zhang Shuai of China early Friday. Both players broke through in the Australian Open, with Stephens reaching the 2013 semifinals at 19 and Zhang advancing to the 2016 quarterfinals at 27.
   Zhang lost in the singles and doubles finals in Hobart last week. Stephens is 0-2 this year, falling to No. 129 Liudmila Samsonova of Russia in three sets in Brisbane and to No. 201 Arina Rodionova of Australia 6-2, 6-2 in Adelaide.

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