Sunday, January 31, 2021

McDonald ousts 14th-seeded Gasquet in Melbourne

Mackenzie McDonald, a San Francisco Bay Area
product, practices during the 2017 Challenger in
nearby Fairfield. He went on to win the title.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   For someone who's only 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters) and 160 pounds (73 kilograms), Mackenzie McDonald has an excellent serve.
   The 25-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area put on a serving clinic in his 7-6 (2), 7-5 victory over 14th-seeded Richard Gasquet of France tonight (PST) in the first round of the Murray River Open in Melbourne.
   McDonald blasted eight aces, committed no double faults, won 81 percent of the points on his first serve (42 of 52) and faced only one break point in his first career meeting against the 34-year-old Gasquet, a former top-10 player.
   McDonald, now based in Orlando, Fla., is scheduled to play Alex Bolt, a 28-year-old left-hander from Australia, on Tuesday. Bolt, the runner-up in the 2018 Fairfield (Calif.) Challenger, defeated compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
   Kokkinakis, in between his many injuries, stunned Roger Federer in 2018, won the Aptos (Calif.) Challenger later that year and was the runner-up in the 2019 Tiburon (Calif.) Challenger
   McDonald and Bolt have split two career matches, both on grass.
   The Australian Open is scheduled for Sunday through Feb. 21 in Melbourne.
   USTA Pro Circuit — Qualifier Irene Burillo Escorihuela of Spain beat unseeded American Grace Min, the runner-up to Sofia Kenin in the 2016 Sacramento, Calif., Challenger, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1 to win the $60,000 Rome, Ga., Challenger on outdoor hardcourts.
   Burillo Escorihuela, 23, won four of her five main-draw matches in three sets. She also defeated Allura Zamarripa, a University of Texas signee from Saint Helena in the Napa Valley, 10-6 in a match tiebreaker in the first round of qualifying.   
   UTR Pro Tennis Series — Second-seeded Vivian Ovrootsky, 16, of San Jose, Calif., lost to Jwany Sherif of Huntington Beach in the Los Angeles area 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals of the second-place in Newport Beach, Calif. Ovrootsky has verbally committed to Texas.
   In other semis in the $25,000 singles-only tournament:
   —Priya Nelson, 15, of Sacramento, demolished second-seeded Katie Codd, a high school junior from Carlsbad in the San Diego region, 6-1, 6-0 in the third-place playoff. 
   Nelson is scheduled to face Taylor Ng, 25, of Collingswood, N.J., on Monday. Ng, a former Dartmouth standout, defeated Skyler Grishuk of Newport Beach 5-1, retired.
   —Hind Abdelouahid of San Jose beat Misa Malkin, a South Carolina signee from Tucson, Ariz., by walkover in the fourth-place playoff.
   Abdelouahid, who starred at Saint Mary's in the Bay Area, is slated to meet Mika Ikemori, a high school sophomore from Huntington Beach, on Monday. Ikemori defeated Leyden Games, a USC signee from Irvine, Calif., by walkover.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

NorCal's Jovic falls in $60K Rome, Ga., doubles final

Jovana Jovic (formerly Jaksic) and Olga Govortsova
lost 10-8 in a match tiebreaker in the final of the
$60,000 Rome (Ga.) Challenger. 2018 photo by
Paul Bauman
   Emina Bektas of the United States and Tara Moore of Great Britain edged Olga Govortsova of Belarus and Jovana Jovic (formerly Jaksic) of Serbia 5-7, 6-2 [10-8] in a battle of unseeded teams today to win the $60,000 Rome (Ga.) Challenger.
   The tall, slender Bektas, 27, and the short, stocky Moore, 28, led 3-0, 5-1 and 9-6 in the match tiebreaker. On the pair's third championship point, Moore's topspin lob landed inside the baseline as Govortsova and Jovic watched at the net in vain.
   Bektas and Moore claimed their third and biggest ITF title together, including the $25,000 Redding, Calif., Challenger in 2019.
   Govortsova, who played for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis in 2013, and Jovic, who lives in Sacramento, were seeking their first ITF title as a team.
   Jovic is projected to soar 49 places to No. 311 in the world in doubles on Monday.
   In singles, unseeded Grace Min of the United States and qualifier Irene Burillo Escorihuela of Spain advanced to Sunday's final in contrasting fashion. 
   Min, the runner-up to Sofia Kenin in the 2016 Sacramento Challenger, routed qualifier Bektas 6-0, 6-3 in 65 minutes. Burillo Escorihuela then outlasted qualifier Ana Sofia Sanchez of Mexico 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 in 2 hours, 58 minutes.
   The singles final, scheduled for 8 a.m. PST, will be streamed live.
   UTR Pro Tennis SeriesPriya Nelson, 15, of Sacramento defeated Emma Sun, a high school junior from Newbury Park in the Los Angeles area, 6-3, 6-2 in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Nelson finished 2-2 in round-robin play in the $25,000 singles-only tournament. Sun went 0-4.

Friday, January 29, 2021

NorCal's Jovic gains doubles final in $60K Rome, Ga.

Jovana Jovic (formerly Jaksic), a 27-year-old Serbian
living in Sacramento, Calif., seeks her fifth ITF doubles
title. 2018 photo by Paul Bauman
   Belarus' Olga Govortsova and Serbia's Jovana Jovic (formerly Jaksic), both of whom have ties to Sacramento, Calif., edged Americans Catherine Harrison and Sophia Whittle 6-2, 2-6 [12-10] in a battle of unseeded teams in the semifinals of the $60,000 Rome (Ga.) Challenger. 
   The 32-year-old Govortsova, who played for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis in 2013, and the 27-year-old Jovic, who lives in Sacramento, are scheduled to face unseeded Emina Bektas of the United States and Tara Moore of Great Britain on Saturday at about noon PST. Live streaming will be available.
   Bektas and Moore, the doubles champions in the $25,000 Redding (Calif.) Challenger in 2019, beat unseeded Despina Papamichail of Greece and Katie Swan of Great Britain 6-4, 6-2.
   Jovic seeks her fifth ITF doubles title, first since $60,000 Ashland, Ky., in 2018 and first with Govortsova.
   Meanwhile, three singles qualifiers — Bektas, Irene Burillo Escorihuela of Spain and Ana Sophia Sanchez of Mexico — reached Saturday's semifinals.
   Bektas is set to meet unseeded American Grace Min, the runner-up to Sofia Kenin in the 2016 Sacramento Challenger, at 8 a.m., followed by Burillo Escorihuela against Sanchez. The matches also will be streamed live.
   UTR Pro Tennis SeriesPriya Nelson, 15, of Sacramento is slated to play Emma Sun, a high school junior from Newbury Park in the Los Angeles area, on Saturday in a round-robin finale in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Nelson is 1-2 in the $25,000 singles-only tournament, and Sun is 0-3.
   Cal women — No. 19 California blitzed visiting San Francisco 7-0 to improve to 3-1. Haley Giavara, a sopohomore All-American from San Diego, dominated Mya Bui, a senior from Canada, 6-2, 6-2 on Court 1.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

NorCal's Jovic reaches doubles semis in $60K Rome, Ga.

Jovana Jovic (formerly Jaksic), a 27-year-old Serbian,
is based in Sacramento, Calif. 2018 photo by Paul Bauman 
   Olga Govortsova of Belarus and Jovana Jovic (formerly Jaksic), a 27-year-old Serbian living in Sacramento, Calif., defeated Americans Francesca Di Lorenzo and Maria Sanchez, a 31-year-old Modesto, Calif., product, 7-6 (5), 6-4 today in a quarterfinal matchup of unseeded teams in the $60,000 Rome (Ga.) Challenger.
   Sanchez was playing in only her second doubles event since last March.
   Govortsova, 32, and Jovic are scheduled to meet unseeded Americans Catherine Harrison and Sophia Whittle on Friday. Harrison and Whittle beat top-seeded Quinn Gleason and Ingrid Neel of the United States 6-0, 7-6 (6).
   The top seed also lost in singles as four qualifiers — Emina Bektas and Robin Montgomery, 16, of the U.S.; Ana Sofia Sanchez of Mexico; and Irene Burillo Escorihuela of Spain — reached the quarterfinals. Montgomery is scheduled to face Burillo Escorihuela, 23, on Friday.
   The only remaining singles seed is No. 5 Usue (pronounced EW-sway) Arconada of the U.S.
   Bektas ousted the top-seeded Govortsova 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1, and Ana Sofia Sanchez eliminated Gabriela Talaba of Romania 6-4, 7-5 in a battle of left-handers.
   Talaba, a former All-American at Texas Tech, and Bektas, who starrred at Michigan, won the singles and doubles titles, respectively, in the $25,000 Redding (Calif.) Challenger in 2019.
   Talaba, a former Texas Tech All-American, took out second-seeded Renata Zarazua in the opening round. In last year's French Open, the 5-foot-3 (1.60-meter) Zarazua became the first Mexican woman in 20 years to win a main-draw singles match in a Grand Slam tournament.
   Bektas is set to play Katherine Sebov of Canada on Friday. Sebov dismantled Alycia Parks of Port St. Lucie, Fla., 6-1, 6-3.
   Sebov and Parks got into a brief shoving match after Sebov's victory in the second round of the $60,000 Las Vegas Challenger in November 2019. Sebov said Parks mocked the Canadian's celebration, and Sebov allegedly squeezed Parks' right thumb during the handshake.
   UTR Pro Tennis Series — Julia Rosenqvist, a senior at the University of California, Berkeley from Sweden, defeated Skyler Grishuk, playing in her hometown, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Rosenqvist improved to 1-1 in the $25,000 singles-only tournament. Grishuk fell to 1-2.
   Hind Abdelouahid (2-2), a former Saint Mary's standout from nearby San Jose, Calif., lost to Veronika Miroshnichenko (2-1), a Loyola Marymount senior from Russia, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
   Vivian Ovrootsky (3-1), 16, of San Jose fell to Anna Shkudun (3-0), a former Syracuse star from Ukraine, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.
   In a late match, 15-year-old Priya Nelson (1-2) of Sacramento lost to Megan McCray (3-0), an ex-Oklahoma State standout from Oceanside, Calif., 6-0, 6-2.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Ex-Cal star exits early after winning Istanbul doubles

Andre Goransson, above, of Sweden and David Pel of the
Netherlands narrowly fell in the first round of doubles in the
Quimper (France) Challenger. File photo by Paul Bauman 
   Americans Brandon Nakashima and Hunter Reese ousted top-seeded Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2014-17) of Sweden and David Pel of the Netherlands 3-6, 6-3 [10-5] today in the first round of the €88,520 ($107,199) Quimper (France) Challenger.
   Goransson and Pel, a 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) left-hander, won last week's €132,280 ($160,632) Istanbul Challenger.
   Nakashima, 19, of San Diego also reached the singles quarterfinals. He advanced to his first Challenger singles semifinal in Fairfield, Calif., in 2019 and won his maiden Challenger singles title last November in Orlando, Fla.
   USTA Pro Circuit — Eighth-seeded Maria Camila Osorio Serrano of Colombia beat Jovana Jovic (formerly Jaksic), a 27-year-old Serbian living in Sacramento, Calif., 7-5, 6-4 in the first round of the $60,000 Rome (Ga.) Challenger.
   Romanian left-hander Gabriela Talaba, who won the $25,000 Redding (Calif.) Challenger in 2019, knocked off second-seeded Renata Zarazua 7-6 (4),  6-1. In last year's French Open, the 5-foot-3 (1.60-meter) Zarazua became the first Mexican woman in 20 years to win a main-draw singles match in a Grand Slam tournament.
   Lucky loser Maria Sanchez, a 31-year-old product of Modesto, Calif., lost to Katherine Sebov of Canada 6-4, 7-5. Sanchez, ranked No. 407 in singles and No. 99 in doubles, played in her first singles event since last March.
   Sebov is scheduled to play wild card Alycia Parks of Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Thursday. They got into a brief shoving match after Sebov's victory in the second round of the $60,000 Las Vegas Challenger in November 2019. After the match, Sebov accused Parks of mocking her, and Parks accused Sebov of squeezing her right thumb during their handshake.
   Jovic and Olga Govortsova of Belarus are set to meet Francesca Di Lorenzo of the United States and Sanchez in the doubles quarterfinals on Thursday.
   UTR Pro Tennis Series — Megan McCray, a former Oklahoma State star from Oceanside, Calif., defeated Hind Abdelouahid of San Jose, Calif., 6-4, 6-2 in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Abdelouahid, a former standout at Saint Mary's in the San Francisco Bay Area, fell to 2-1 in the round-robin phase of the $25,000 singles-only tournament. 
   Vivian Ovrootsky (3-0), 16, of San Jose beat Skyler Grishuk (1-1) of Newport Beach 7-6, 7-6 (2) in a late match. Ovrootsky has verbally committed to the University of Texas.
   Julia Rosenqvist (0-1), a Cal senior from Sweden, and Priya Nelson (1-1), 15, of Sacramento are off today.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

NorCal players endure rough day in $60K Rome, Ga.

   If you think Katie Volynets and Maria Sanchez suffered tough losses today in the $60,000 Rome (Ga.) Challenger, consider Allura and Maribella Zamarripa
   The third-seeded Volynets, a 19-year-old professional from Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area, fell to Kimmi Hance, a UCLA signee from nearby Torrance, Calif., 7-6 (3), 3-6 [10-6] in the second and final round of qualifying.
   The ninth-seeded Sanchez, a 31-year-old product of Modesto, Calif., lost to wild card Sarah Hamner, a South Carolina signee from Boca Raton, Fla., 3-6, 6-1 [10-4] in the last round of qualifying. It was Sanchez's second singles match since last March.
   Meanwhile, the 18-year-old Zamarripa twins, University of Texas signees from Saint Helena in the Napa Valley, succumbed to Americans Catherine Harrison and Sophia Whittle 5-7, 6-3 [18-16] in the first round of the doubles main draw.
   Francesca Di Lorenzo of the United States and Sanchez are scheduled to meet Olga Govortsova of Belarus and Jovana Jovic (formerly Jaksic), a 27-year-old Serbian living in Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday in the quarterfinals.
   Di Lorenzo and Sanchez eliminated third-seeded Usue Arconada of the United States and Conny Perrin of Switzerland 6-2, 6-2. Govortsova and Jovic topped Americans Hailey Baptiste and Maria Mateas 7-6 (5), 7-5. 
   UTR Pro Tennis Series — Two players from San Jose improved to 2-0 in round-robin play in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Vivian Ovrootsky, 16, routed Julia Rosenqvist, a 6-foot-1 (1.85-meter) senior at the University of California, Berkeley from Sweden, 6-0, 6-3 in the $25,000 singles-only tournament.
   Hind Abdelouahid, a former Saint Mary's standout, defeated Priya Nelson, 15, of Sacramento 1-6, 6-2, 6-2. Nelson fell to 1-1. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Nelson, 15, stuns college senior in $25K Newport Beach

   Priya Nelson, 15, of Sacramento, Calif., shocked Veronika Miroshnichenko, a senior at Loyola Marymount University from Russia, 6-3, 6-4 today in a round-robin opener in the UTR Pro Tennis Series in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Two players from San Jose, Calif., also won their openers in the $25,000 singles-only tournament. Hind Abdelouahid, 21, defeated Emma Sun, a high school junior from Newbury Park in the Los Angeles region, 7-5, 6-2. Vivian Ovrootsky, 16, topped Leyden Games, a USC signee from Irvine, Calif., 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Ovrootsky has verbally committed to the University of Texas.
   ITF Women's Tour — Ninth-seeded Maria Sanchez, a 31-year-old product of Modesto, Calif., dominated Ayaka Okuno of Japan 6-2, 6-2 in the first round of qualifying in a $60,000 tournament on outdoor hardcourts in Rome, Ga. 
   It was Sanchez's first singles match and second of any kind since last March. 
   Third-seeded Katie Volynets, a 19-year-old professional from Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area, routed Elizabeth Coleman, 17, of Midland, Mich., 6-1, 6-1. 
   Sanchez and Volynets are scheduled to play separate matches for main-draw berths on Tuesday.
   Allura Zamarripa, a Texas signee from Saint Helena in the Napa Valley, lost to fifth-seeded Irene Burillo Escorihuela of Spain 7-6 (2), 2-6 [10-6]. 
   Colleges — In consolation matches on ITA Kickoff Weekend, Ben Draper lifted the Cal men to a 4-3 victory over UNLV at USC, and the No. 19 Cal women beat Washington State 4-1 at UCLA.
   Draper, a senior from England, defeated Eric Samuelsson 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3. 
   Both Cal teams improved to 2-1. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

AO lead-in week adjusted to aid players in lockdown

Roger Federer, near court, warms up before his fourth-round match against Bernard
Tomic at Rod Laver Arena in the 2012 Australian Open. Photo by Paul Bauman
   The Australian Open lead-in week has been altered to help the 72 players in a 14-day lockdown, tournament officials announced today.
   The players — including doubles specialist Rajeev Ram, a volunteer assistant coach at the University of California, Berkeley — have been unable to leave their hotel rooms because of COVID cases on their flights to Melbourne.
   A third WTA tournament, for players who have been unable to train, will be held Feb. 3-7.
   The two ATP events and the ATP Cup were pushed back one day — to Feb. 1 and Feb. 2, respectively. Also, the singles main draws of the two ATP events were increased to 56 players each. 
  The Australian Open is scheduled for Feb. 8-21.
  Colleges — The No. 19 University of California, Berkeley, women lost at No. 2 UCLA 4-0 today in an ITA Kickoff Weekend opener postponed one day by rain.
   No. 7 Abbey Forbes of UCLA defeated No. 18 Haley Giavara 6-1, 6-3 on Court 1.
   The Bears (1-1) are scheduled to play Washington State in a consolation match on Monday at 10:30 a.m. PST. Live streaming will be available.
   The Cal men (1-1) are set to meet UNLV in an ITA Kickoff Weekend consolation match on Monday at 11 a.m. at USC (live scoring).
   UTR Pro Tennis Series — Madison Weekley, a high school junior from Alamo in the San Francisco Bay Area, fell to Skyler Grishuk, playing in her hometown, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-5 in the fourth-place final in a $25,000 tournament in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Weekley has verbally committed to Saint Mary's in the Bay Area. 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Ex-Cal star Goransson grabs Istanbul doubles title

Andre Goransson claimed his sixth Challenger doubles title
and first with David Pel. File photo by Paul Bauman
   Second-seeded Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2014-17) of Sweden and David Pel of the Netherlands edged unseeded Lloyd Glasspool of Great Britain and Harri Heliovaara of Finland 4-6, 6-3 [10-8] on an indoor hardcourt today to win the €132,280 ($160,632) Istanbul Challenger.
   Goransson and Pel, a 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) left-hander, split €7,780 ($9,469). Glasspool and Heliovaara shared €4,570 ($5,562).
   Goransson, 26, claimed his sixth Challenger doubles title and first with Pel, 29. Goransson owns one ATP doubles crown, in Pune (India) with Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia last February. 
   Goransson will rise nine places in the world doubles rankings to No. 82, two spots off his career high, on Monday. He and Pel are seeded first in next week's €88,520 ($107,741) Challenger in Quimper, France.
   Colleges — The Cal men lost to No. 18 UCLA 4-0 in a rain-delayed match at USC on ITA Kickoff Weekend.
   No. 10 Keegan Smith of the Bruins clinched the victory with a 6-3, 6-4 decision over No. 42 Yuta Kikuchi on Court 1.
   The Bears' Paul Barretto, a resident of Tiburon, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area who's ranked No. 63, led Ben Goldberg 7-5, 4-1 on Court 2 when the match was abandoned. 
   Cal (1-1) will play the loser of Sunday's postponed clash between No. 1 USC and UNLV in a consolation match on Monday at 9 a.m. PST.
   The No. 19 Cal women's match at No. 2 UCLA was postponed by rain. The contest was rescheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Goransson in doubles final; Murray out of Aussie Open

Andre Goransson seeks his sixth Challenger doubles title. The
26-year-old Swede owns one ATP doubles crown. File photo by
Paul Bauman
   Second-seeded Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2014-17) of Sweden and David Pel of the Netherlands beat unseeded Americans Robert Galloway and Alex Lawson 7-6 (4), 6-1 on an indoor hardcourt today in the semifinals of the €132,280 ($160,632) Istanbul Challenger.
   Goransson and Pel, a 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) left-hander, are scheduled to meet unseeded Lloyd Glasspool of Great Britain and Harri Heliovaara of Finland on Saturday. 
   Glasspool and Heliovaara eliminated top-seeded Jonathan Erlich, 43, of Israel and Andrei Vasilevski of Belarus 7-6 (5), 6-3. Erlich won the 2008 Australian Open doubles title with countryman Andy Ram.
   Goransson, 26, seeks his sixth Challenger doubles title and first with Pel. Goransson owns one ATP doubles crown; he and Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia edged Erlich and Vasilevski 6-2, 3-6 [10-8] in the Pune (India) final last February.
   Australian Open — Former world No. 1 Andy Murray, who won the first two of his 46 tour-level singles titles in San Jose, Calif., withdrew from the year's first Grand Slam tournament after recently testing positive for COVID-19.
   Murray, a three-time Grand Slam singles champion, is 0-5 in Australian Open finals. The tournament is scheduled for Feb. 8-21 in Melbourne.
   UTR Pro Tennis Series — Cal All-American Haley Giavara, a sophomore from San Diego, withdrew from the semifinals of the second-place playoff in Newport Beach, Calif. 
   Madison Weekley, a high school junior from Alamo in the San Francisco Bay Area, is slated to play Skyler Grishuk of Newport Beach in the semifinals of the fourth-place playoff on Sunday in the $25,000 singles-only tournament.
   Weekley, who has verbally committed to Saint Mary's in the Bay Area, lost to Rebecca Lynn, a high school junior from Newport Beach, 7-6 (4), 6-1 today to finish 1-3 in round-robin play.
   Colleges — The Cal men (1-0) and women (1-0) are slated to face UCLA on Saturday in Los Angeles on ITA Kickoff Weekend.
   The men's match against the No. 18 Bruins at USC will be streamed live at 1 p.m. The No. 19 women's contest at No. 2 UCLA will be streamed live at 4 p.m.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Ex-Cal star Goransson reaches Istanbul doubles semis

   Second-seeded Andre Goransson (Cal, 2014-17) of Sweden and David Pel of the Netherlands topped unseeded Frenchmen Antoine Hoang and Albano Olivetti 6-7 (5), 6-4 [10-5] on an indoor hardcourt today in the quarterfinals of the €132,280 ($160,632) Istanbul Challenger.
   Goransson and Pel, a 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) left-hander, are scheduled to play unseeded Americans Robert Galloway and Alex Lawson on Friday.
   Galloway and Lawson edged Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia and Emilio Gomez of Ecuador 6-3, 6-7 (5) [10-6]. Gomez's father, Andres, won the 1990 French Open singles title.
   In the other doubles semifinal, top-seeded Jonathan Erlich, 43, of Israel and Andrei Vasilevski of Belarus are slated to meet unseeded Lloyd Glasspool of Great Britain and Harri Heliovaara of Finland. Erlich won 2008 Australian Open doubles crown with countryman Andy Ram.
   UTR Pro Tennis Series — Madison Weekley of Alamo, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area defeated Camille Kiss of Redlands, Calif., by walkover in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Weekley, a high school junior who has verbally committed to Saint Mary's in the Bay Area, improved to 1-2 in round-robin play in the $25,000 singles-only tournament. Kiss, a freshman at UC Santa Barbara, fell to 0-4, including two walkovers.  
   Weekley is scheduled to complete round-robin play on Friday against Rebecca Lynn, a high school junior from Newport Beach.
   Cal All-American Haley Giavara, a sophomore from San Diego, withdrew from her round-robin finale on Friday against Taylor Ng, 25, of Collingswood, N.J. Giavara dropped to 2-2, including two walkovers.
   Cal women — No. 19 Cal, playing for the first time in nine months, beat visiting Saint Mary's 6-1. The match was closed to the public.
   The Bears are set to compete Saturday and Sunday in the ITA Kickoff Weekend at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Cal star Giavara loses by walkover in UTR $25K

   Tsehay Driscoll, a high school sophomore from Pacific Palisades in the Los Angeles area, defeated Haley Giavara, an All-American at the University of California, Berkeley, by walkover today in the $25,000 UTR Pro Tennis Series in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Driscoll improved to 1-1 in the round-robin phase of the singles-only tournament, and Giavara fell to 2-1. After a day off on Thursday, Giavara is scheduled to play her round-robin finale on Friday against Taylor Ng (2-0), 25, of Collingswood, N.J.
    Bridget Stammel (2-1) of Dallas routed Madison Weekley (0-2) of Alamo in the San Francisco Bay Area 6-0, 6-2 in a matchup of high school juniors. They have verbally committed to Saint Mary's in the Bay Area and Vanderbilt, respectively, in 2022.
   Weekley is slated to play Camille Kiss (0-3), a freshman at UC Santa Barbara from Redlands, Calif., on Thursday. Rebecca Lynn, a high school junior from Newport Beach, beat Kiss by walkover.
   ATP Challenger Tour — Second-seeded Andre Goransson (Cal, 2014-17) of Sweden and David Pel, a 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) left-hander from the Netherlands, topped wild cards Marsel Ilhan, an Uzbekistan native who plays for Turkey, and Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 7-6 (2), 7-5 on an indoor hardcourt in the first round of the €132,280 ($160,632) Istanbul Challenger.
   ATP Tour — The U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships, originally scheduled for April 5-11, in Houston have been canceled.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Cal star Giavara improves to 2-0 in UTR $25K

   Haley Giavara, an All-American at the University of California, Berkeley, defeated Leyden Games, a high school senior from Irvine, Calif., headed to USC, 6-4, 6-3 today in the $25,000 UTR Pro Tennis Series in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Giavara, a sophomore from San Diego, improved to 2-0 in the round-robin phase of the singles-only tournament. She is scheduled to play Tsehay Driscoll (0-1), a high school sophomore from Pacific Palisades in the Los Angelea area, on Wednesday.
   Madison Weekley (0-1) of Alamo in the San Francisco Bay Area is slated to meet Bridget Stammel (1-1) of Dallas in a clash of high school juniors. They have verbally committed to attend Saint Mary's in the Bay Area and Vanderbilt, respectively, in 2022. 
   ATP Challenger Tour — Second-seeded Andre Goransson (Cal, 2014-17) of Sweden and David Pel, a 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) left-hander from the Netherlands, are set to play wild cards Marsel Ilhan, an Uzbekistan native who plays for Turkey, and Malek Jaziri of Tunisia on Wednesday on an indoor hardcourt in the first round of the €132,280 ($160,632) Istanbul Challenger. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Cal star Giavara wins opener in $25K Newport Beach

   Haley Giavara, an All-American at the University of California, Berkeley, defeated Skyler Grishuk of Newport Beach, Calif., 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-1 today in a round-robin opener in the $25,000 UTR Pro Tennis Series in Newport Beach.
   Also, Anne-Christine Lutkemeyer of Irvine, Calif., routed Madison Weekley of Alamo in the San Francisco Bay Area 6-1, 6-1 in a matchup of high school juniors. 
   Lutkemeyer was the runner-up in the second-place playoff in last week's $25,000 UTR tournament in Newport Beach. Weekley has verbally committed to attend Saint Mary's in the Bay Area.
   Giavara, a sophomore from San Diego, is scheduled to meet Leyden Games, a USC signee from Irvine, Calif., on Tuesday. Games did not play today.
   Weekley is slated to face Bridget Stammel, a high school junior from Dallas, on Wednesday. Stammel, who's headed to Vanderbilt in 2022, topped Camille Kiss, a UC Santa Barbara freshman from Redlands, Calif., 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-4.
   Cal men — The Bears, playing their first dual match in nine months, beat visiting Saint Mary's 5-2. Cal's Paul Barretto, a senior from Tiburon, Calif., in the Bay Area, won at No. 1 singles and doubles. 
   Fans were not allowed at the dual match because of health protocols. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

More players confined to hotels; Cal commit falls in final

   The number of players confined to their Melbourne hotel rooms has increased from 47 to 72, The Associated Press reported today.
   The players may not leave their rooms, even to practice, for 14 days. The Australian Open remains scheduled for Feb. 8-21.
   A COVID-19 case was reported from a third flight, which had carried 58 passengers from Doha, Qatar, where Australian Open men's qualifying was held. Twenty-five players were on board, but the passenger, who tested negative before the flight, is not a player, according to the AP. 
   Other than the 72 players, competitors must quarantine for 14 days but may leave their hotels for five hours a day to train. Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said Tennis Australia might alter the lead-up tournaments to help players unable to train. 
   UTR Pro Tennis Series — Second-seeded Hanna Chang, a 22-year-old professional from Fontana in the Los Angeles region, outlasted Jessica Luisa Alsola, a high school senior from Fresno, Calif., 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in the final of the first-place playoff in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Alsola, a University of California, Berkeley signee, led 3-0 in the third set in the $25,000 singles-only tournament. She defeated top-seeded Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area in the semifinals.
   Chang collected $4,000.
   In other finals:
   —Second-seeded Kimberly Hance, a high school senior, beat Anne-Christine Lutkemeyer, a high school junior, 7-6 (tiebreaker score not available), 2-6, 6-3 in a matchup of Southern Californians in the second-place playoff. Hance has verbally committed to UCLA; Lutkemeyer is uncommitted.
   —Jwany Sherif of Huntington Beach in the L.A. region defeated Tomi Main, a high school junior from Seaside, Calif., in the Monterey area, 6-3, 6-4 in the third-place playoff. Main has verbally committed to Texas Tech for 2022.
   Another $25,000 tournament in Newport Beach will begin Monday. Entries include Cal All-American Haley Giavara, a sophomore from San Diego, and Madison Weekley, a high school junior from Alamo in the Bay Area. Weekley has verbally committed to Saint Mary's in the Bay Area. 
   Weekley is scheduled to face Lutkemeyer in a round-robin match on Monday, followed by Giavara against Skyler Grishuk of Newport Beach. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Many players placed in strict Melbourne quarantine

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria
Azarenka reportedly is among 47 players con-
fined to their Melbourne hotel room for 14 days.
File photo by Paul Bauman
   The Australian Open is three weeks away, but the coronavirus already is causing problems.
   Three coronavirus cases have been detected on charter flights carrying players from Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi to Melbourne, The Associated Press reported today. None of the cases were players.
   Forty-seven players on the flights may not leave their hotel rooms, even to practice, for 14 days. Reportedly among them are 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu, two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori.
   The Australian Open is scheduled for Feb. 8-21.
   Meanwhile, 16th-ranked Madison Keys has tested positive for COVID-19 and is doubtful for the Australian Open. Keys won the last Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2017.
   UTR Pro Tennis Series — In a semifinal between Northern California teenagers, Jessica Luisa Alsola stunned top-seeded Katie Volynets 6-2, 7-6 (8) in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Volynets, a 19-year-old professional ranked No. 316 in the world, served for the second set at 6-5 in the $25,000 singles-only tournament. She double-faulted for 30-30, lost the next point and was broken after mis-hitting a forehand off a deep return of a second serve. 
   Alsola, a high school senior headed to the University of California, Berkeley, had three match points at 6-3 in the tiebreaker, but Volynets leveled at 6-6 when Alsola netted a forehand putaway. Alsola recovered to claim the set and match.
   Alsola is set to meet Hanna Chang, a 22-year-old pro from Fontana, Calif., on Sunday at 9 a.m. PST. The final will be streamed live.
   Chang, ranked No. 300, beat Megan McCray, a former Oklahoma State star from Oceanside, Calif., 6-3, 7-6 (4). 
   In the semifinals of the third-place playoff, Tomi Main, a high school junior from Seaside, Calif., in the Monterey area defeated Maya Pitts, a high school senior from Los Angeles, 7-5, 6-4. 
   Main, who has verbally committed to Texas Tech for 2022, is slated to play Jwany Sherif of Huntington Beach, Calif., on live stream Sunday at about 11 a.m. 
   Sherif crushed Filippa Bruu-Syversen, a high school senior from Chatham, N.J., 6-2, 6-0. Bruu-Syversen has verbally committed to UC Santa Barbara.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Murray tests positive; Main advances in UTR $25K

Andy Murray could miss the Australian Open, in which
he is a five-time runner-up. File photo by Paul Bauman
   Andy Murray, who won the first two of his 46 tour-level singles titles in San Jose, Calif., reportedly has tested positive for the coronavirus. 
   The former world No. 1 could miss the Australian Open, which has been postponed three weeks to Feb. 8-21 in Melbourne. The tournament requires a two-week quarantine beforehand and a negative virus test before departing. 
   Murray, 33, reportedly has no symptoms of COVID-19. The three-time Grand Slam singles champion, who played only four tournaments last year because of the five-month COVID break and lingering hip problems, has tumbled to No. 123 in the world. He underwent a second operation on his right hip in January 2019 and missed five months.
   Murray received a wild card in this year's Australian Open, in which he is a five-time runner-up.
   Six-time champion Roger Federer, 39, also will miss the tournament after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee twice in the first half of 2020.  
   UTR Pro Tennis Series — Tomi Main, a high school junior from Seaside, Calif., in the Monterey area, defeated Isabella Chhiv, a high school sophomore from Irvine, Calif., 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the third-place playoff in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Main, who has verbally committed to play at Texas Tech, led 5-1 in the third set in the $25,000 tournament. She is scheduled to play top-seeded Maya Pitts, a high school senior from Los Angeles, on Saturday at about 11 a.m. PST. Live streaming is available. 
   Pitts routed Misa Malkin, a University of South Carolina signee from Tucson, Ariz., 6-1, 6-2.
   Top-seeded Katie Volynets, a 19-year-old pro from Walnut Creek, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area, is slated to meet Jessica Luisa Alsola, a University of California, Berkeley signee from Fresno, Calif., on Saturday at 9 a.m. in the semifinals of the first-place playoff. The match will be streamed live.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Stanford women, men ranked high; Volynets in semis

   The Stanford women, who have won the last two NCAA titles and three of the last four, are fourth in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association preseason team rankings released today.
   Ranked ahead of the Cardinal are, in order, North Carolina, UCLA and Texas. California is 19th. 
   The Stanford men are ranked fifth behind, in order, USC, North Carolina, Ohio State and Michigan. Cal did not crack the top 25.
   UTR Pro Tennis Series — In a battle of San Francisco Bay Area teenagers, top-seeded Katie Volynets outlasted Vivian Ovrootsky 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the first-place playoff in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Volynets, a 19-year-old pro from Walnut Creek, is scheduled to meet Jessica Luisa Alsola of Fresno, Calif., on Saturday in the $25,000 tournament. Alsola, who's headed to Cal in the fall, defeated Camille Kiss, a UC Santa Barbara freshman from Redlands, Calif., 6-1, retired.
   Ovrootsky, 16, of San Jose has verbally committed to the University of Texas for 2022.
   In the quarterfinals of the third-place playoff, Filippa Bruu-Syversen of Chatham, N.J. beat Priya Nelson, 15, of Sacramento, Calif., by walkover. Bruu-Syversen plans to enroll at UCSB in the fall. 
   Tomi Main, a high school junior from Seaside, Calif., planning to attend Texas Tech in 2022, is slated to play Isabella Chhiv, a high school sophomore from Irvine, Calif., on Friday at 9 a.m. in the quarters of the third-place playoff. Live streaming is available.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Stanford's Rotsaert ranked third in preseason singles

   Alexandre Rotsaert, a Stanford junior from Boca Raton, Fla., is third in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association men's preseason rankings released today.
   Rotsaert trails, in order, Daniel Cukierman of USC and William Blumberg of North Carolina.
   Sam Riffice, a Florida junior who grew up in the Sacramento, Calif., suburb of Roseville, is rated eighth. 
   The Cardinal's Arthur Fery and Tristan Boyer are first and fourth, respectively, among the top 10 men's newcomers.
   On the women's side, Stanford senior Michaela Gordon of nearby Saratoga, Calif., is ranked 10th in singles. Ashley Lahey of Pepperdine heads the rankings.
   Other rankings:
Men's singles
   20. Axel Geller, Stanford
   23. Damon Kesaris, Saint Mary's
   42. Yuta Kikuchi, California
   44. Jack Molloy, California
   63. Paul Barretto (Tiburon, Calif.), California
   75. Sangeet Sridhar, Stanford
   79. Ryder Jackson (Nicasio, Calif.), USC
   94. Arthur Fery, Stanford
   97. Philip Hjorth, California
   119. Tristan Boyer, Stanford
Men's doubles
   11. Axel Geller/Neel Rajesh, Stanford
   31. Marcus McDaniel (Vacaville, Calif.)/Pablo Schelcher, Georgia Tech
   36. Paul Barretto (Tiburon, Calif.)/Can Kaya, California
   45. Sam Riffice (grew up in Roseville, Calif.)/Duarte Vale, Florida
Women's singles
   17. Mariia Kozyreva, Saint Mary's
   18. Haley Giavara, California
   21. Carolyn Campana (Hillsborough, Calif.), Wake Forest
   26. Valentina Ivanov, California
   43. Julia Rosenqvist, California
   58. Angelica Blake, Stanford
   63. Emily Arbuthnott, Stanford
   70. Klara Kosan (Carmichael, Calif.), Pacific
   114. Janice Shin, Stanford
Women's doubles
   9. Emily Arbuthnott/Angelica Blake, Stanford
   32. Sara Choy (Palo Alto, Calif.)/Emma Higuchi, Stanford
   33. Elvena Gevargiz/Maddie Pothoff, Santa Clara
   40. Haley Giavara/Valentina Ivanov, California
   53. Anna Bright/Julia Rosenqvist, California

Bay Area native, partner win fourth WTA doubles title

   Doubles pair Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara, who barely survived the first round, earned their fourth WTA title today.
   The fifth seeds from Japan topped eighth-seeded Hayley Carter of Hilton Head Island, S.C., and Luisa Stefani of Brazil 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the Abu Dhabi WTA Women's Tennis Open in the United Arab Emirates.
   The 5-foot-1 (1.54-meter) Aoyama, 33, and Shibahara, a 22-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, escaped four match points in their 4-6, 7-5 [12-10] victory over Andrea Klepac of Slovenia and 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine in the opening round. 
   Aoyama and Shibahara also ousted top-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei and Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. Hsieh and Krejcikova are ranked first and seventh, respectively, in doubles.
   "It was definitely a roller coaster," Shibahara, the 2016 U.S. Open girls doubles champion with ex-UCLA teammate Jada Hart, said of the march through the draw on wtatennis.com. "There were some match points to save in our first match, and I think that really helped us through our next rounds. Even if we're down, we can come back. Even playing Su-Wei and Barbora, they're such high-level players, so we just had to take it one point at a time, and I think that really helped us.
   "For me, today was definitely tough because (Carter and Stefani) are probably my closest friends on tour, and Hayley is like my family."
   Aoyama and Shibahara, who also teamed to win St. Petersburg last year and Tianjin and Moscow in 2019, split $20,890. Carter and Stefani — former All-Americans at North Carolina and Pepperdine, respectively — shared $13,370.
   Aoyama and Shibahara will attain career highs of No. 18 (up four places) and No. 20 (up three spots), respectively.
   Fourth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus dominated unseeded Veronika Kudermetova of Russia 6-2, 6-2 in 65 minutes for her third consecutive singles title. Sabalenka, formerly coached by longtime Northern California resident Dmitry Tursunov, ended 2020 by winning Ostrava (Czech Republic) and Linz (Austria).
   Sabalenka, 22, will improve three notches to a career-high No. 7.
   Australian Open qualifying — No. 16 seed Mayar Sherif (Fresno State, 2015-16) of Egypt routed Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 6-1, 6-2 in 68 minutes to advance to the main draw.
   Sherif, 24, earned her second main-draw berth in a Grand Slam tournament. She also qualified for the French Open last fall and lost in the opening round to second-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4 in the third set.
   The Australian Open is scheduled for Feb. 8-21, three weeks later than usual, at its traditional home in Melbourne.
   UTR Pro Tennis SeriesVivian Ovrootsky of San Jose, Calif., defeated Emma Sun of Newbury Park in the Los Angeles area 6-1, 6-3 in a matchup of high school juniors in a $25,000 tournament in Newport Beach, Calif. Ovrootsky, who has verbally committed to the University of Texas for 2022, finished 3-0 in Group E.
   Priya Nelson, 15, of Sacramento, Calif., beat Erica Ekstrand of Santa Monica, Calif., 5-7, 6-1, 6-0 to end up 1-2 in Group F.  Madison Weekley, a high school junior from Alamo in the the Bay Area headed to Saint Mary's in 2022 — lost to Jenna Defalco of Tustin, Calif., in the L.A. region 6-1, 6-1 to finish 0-3 in Group H.
   Katie Volynets, a 19-year-old pro from Walnut Creek in the Bay Area, is scheduled to meet Ovrootsky in the quarterfinals of the first-place playoff on Thursday. Nelson and Tomi Main (1-2) of Seaside, Calif., advanced to the quarterfinals of the third-place playoff. Weekley was eliminated.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Bay Area native, partner reach Abu Dhabi doubles final

   Fifth-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan beat unseeded Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia 6-4, 6-3 today in the semifinals of the Abu Dhabi WTA Women's Tennis Open in the United Arab Emirates.
   The 5-foot-1 (1.54-meter) Aoyama, 33, and Shibahara, a 22-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, will seek their fourth WTA doubles title together when meet eighth-seeded Hayley Carter of Hilton Head Island, S.C., and Luisa Stefani of Brazil on Wednesday. 
   Carter and Stefani — former All-Americans at North Carolina and Pepperdine, respectively — edged unseeded Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva — the reigning U.S. Open champions from Germany and Russia, respectively — 7-5, 1-6 [10-8].
   In Wednesday's singles final, fourth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus is slated to play unseeded Veronika Kudermetova of Russia. Sabalenka outclassed ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-3, 6-2, and Kudermetova downed 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine 7-6 (8), 6-4.
   ATP Tour —Ariel Behar of Uruguay and Gonzalo Escobar of Ecuador beat Mackenzie McDonald, a 25-year-old product of Piedmont in the Bay Area, and Tommy Paul of Delray Beach, Fla., 6-1, 5-7 [10-1] in the semifinals of the Delray Beach Open.
   Australian Open qualifying — No. 16 seed Mayar Sherif (Fresno State, 2015-16) of Egypt topped Grace Min of Lake Nona, Fla., 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 in the second round of Australian Open qualifying in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
   Sherif is set to face Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 winner over Daniela Seguel of Chile, on Wednesday in the final round of qualifying.
   Sherif, 24, seeks her second main-draw berth in a Grand Slam tournament. She qualified for the French Open last fall and lost in the first round to second-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4 in the third set.
   The Australian Open is scheduled for Feb. 8-21, three weeks later than usual, at its traditional home in Melbourne.  
   UTR Pro Tennis SeriesKatie Volynets, a 19-year-old pro from Walnut Creek in the Bay Area, defeated Tomi Main, a high school junior from Seaside, Calif., 6-3, 6-4 to finish round-robin play at 3-0 in Group A of a $25,000 tournament in Newport Beach, Calif. Main, who has verbally committed to Texas Tech, went 1-2.
   Vivian Ovrootsky, a high school junior from San Jose, Calif., headed to the University of Texas in 2022, blitzed Chui Kei Leung of Newport Coast, Calif., 6-0, 6-0 to improve to 2-0 in Group E.
   Tsehay Driscoll (2-0) of Pacific Palisades in the Los Angeles area beat Priya Nelson (0-2) of Sacramento, Calif., 6-3, 6-1 in Group F.
   Kimberly Hance (1-1), a high school senior from the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, dominated Madison Weekley (0-2), a Saint Mary's commit for 2022 from Alamo in the Bay Area, 6-3, 6-0 in Group H. Hance has verbally committed to UCLA.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Bay Area native helps oust top seeds in Abu Dhabi

   Fifth-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan ousted top-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei and Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1 today in the quarterfinals of the Abu Dhabi WTA Women's Tennis Open in the United Arab Emirates.
   Hsieh and Krejcikova are ranked No. 1 and No. 7, respectively, in women's doubles.
   The 5-foot-1 (1.54-meter) Aoyama, 33, and Shibahara, a 22-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, are scheduled to play unseeded Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia on Tuesday. 
   Kenin and Tomljanovic — who were born in Russia and Croatia, respectively — beat unseeded Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands and Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 6-4, 6-4.
   In singles, ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece knocked out the top-seeded Kenin 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Sakkari is slated to face fourth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus. In the other semifinal, 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine is set to play Veronika Kudermetova of Russia in a clash of unseeded players.  
   Australian Open qualifying — No. 16 seed Mayar Sherif (Fresno State, 2015-16) of Egypt overwhelmed Akiko Omae of Japan 6-0, 6-1 in 50 minutes in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
   Sherif is scheduled to play Grace Min of Lake Nona, Fla., on Tuesday. Min topped Harriet Dart of Great Britain 7-5, 6-2.
   The Australian Open is scheduled for Feb. 8-21, three weeks later than usual, at its traditional home in Melbourne. 
   UTR Pro Tennis SeriesKatie Volynets, a 19-year-old pro from Walnut Creek in the Bay Area, defeated Brandy Walker of Brea, Calif., in the Los Angeles area 6-0, 7-5 to improve to 2-0 in Group A in a $25,000 tournament in Newport Beach, Calif. 
   Volynets is slated to meet Tomi Main, a high school junior from Seaside, Calif., headed to Texas Tech in 2022, on Tuesday. Main lost to Leyden Games, a USC signee for the fall from Irvine, Calif., 6-4, 6-3 to fall to 1-1.
   In round-robin openers:
   —Vivian Ovrootsky, a high school junior from San Jose, Calif., headed to the University of Texas in 2022, dominated Katie Codd, a high school junior from Carlsbad, Calif., in the San Diego region, 6-3, 6-1 in Group E.
   —Skyler Grishuk, 18, of Newport Beach outlasted Priya Nelson, 15, of Sacramento 7-6 (6), 0-6, 7-5 in Group F.
   —Filippa Bruu-Syversen, a UC Santa Barbara commit for the fall from Chatham, N.J., routed Madison Weekley, a Saint Mary's commit for 2022 from Alamo in the Bay Area, 6-1, 6-1 in Group H.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Brooksby romps to title in first tournament as pro

Before this week, Jenson Brooksby had not played a 
match in 14 months. 2018 photo by Paul Bauman 
   Jenson Brooksby dominated in his first week as a professional, even after a long layoff.
   The 20-year-old resident of Carmichael, Calif., in the Sacramento area bulldozed Brandon Holt of Rolling Hills in the Los Angeles region 6-1, 6-3 today to win the $25,000 UTR Pro Tennis Series in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Brooksby did not lose a set in six matches, surrendered more than three games in a set only once and evened his record against Holt, the son of International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, at 1-1.
   Before this week, Brooksby had not played a match since November 2019 — shortly after stunning 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych to reach the second round of the U.S. Open as a qualifier — because of injuries and COVID-19 ending the collegiate season in mid-March. He turned pro last month, never having played a match in his two months as a Baylor University freshman.
   Brooksby pocketed $4,000 in the singles-only UTR tournament, and Holt earned $2,200. The bad news is that the non-sanctioned tournament does not affect their world rankings of No. 310 and No. 577, respectively.
   Meanwhile, Joshua Ortlip of Irvine, near Los Angeles, defeated Eric Hadigian, a Gonzaga University sophomore from Sacramento, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-3 in the final of the second-place playoff.
   Timothy Sah, a Stanford senior from San Diego, routed Miles Jones of Marina Del Rey in the L.A. region 6-3, 6-0 in the final of the third-place playoff.
   UTR Pro WomenKatie Volynets, a 19-year-old pro from Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area, outclassed Leyden Games, a USC signee from Irvine, 6-2, 6-2 in a round-robin opener in the $25,000 UTR Pro Tennis Series in Newport Beach.
    Scheduled to begin play on Monday are Bay Area residents Vivan Ovrootsky and Madison Weekley — who are headed to the University of Texas and Saint Mary's, respectively, in 2022 — and Priya Nelson, a high school sophomore from Sacramento.
   Australian Open qualifying — Lu Jia-Jing of China overwhelmed Jovana Jovic, a Sacramento resident from Serbia, 6-1, 6-2 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
   No. 16 seed Mayar Sherif (Fresno State, 2015-16) of Egypt is slated to play Akiko Omae of Japan in a qualifying opener on Monday. 
   The Australian Open is scheduled for Feb. 8-21, three weeks later than usual, at its traditional home in Melbourne. 
   ATP TourMackenzie McDonald, a 25-year-old product of Piedmont in the Bay Area, and Tommy Paul beat Nicholas Monroe and Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-1 in an all-American quarterfinal in the Delray Beach (Fla.) Open.
   McDonald and Paul are set to face Ariel Behar of Uruguay and Gonzalo Escobar of Ecuador on Tuesday. Both teams are unseeded.
   Andres Molteni of Argentina and Hugo Nys of Monaco eliminated Austin Krajicek of Plano, Texas, and Sam Querrey, a 33-year-old San Francisco native, 6-3, 6-4.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

NorCal's Brooksby breezes into final of UTR $25K

Jenson Brooksby is scheduled to play Brandon Holt,
Tracy Austin's son, for the title in Newport Beach,
Calif. 2018 photo by Paul Bauman 
   Jenson Brooksby will play for the title in the $25,000 UTR Pro Tennis Series in Newport Beach, Calif.
   The 20-year-old resident of Carmichael, Calif., in the Sacramento area crushed Tristan Boyer, a Stanford freshman from Altadena in the Los Angeles region, 6-1, 6-1 today in the semifinals of the first-place playoff.
   Brooksby has won all 10 of his sets in the tournament, his first as a professional. He is scheduled to play Brandon Holt of Rolling Hills in the L.A. region on Sunday.
   Holt, the 22-year-old son of International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, defeated Govind Nanda, a UCLA junior from Redlands in Southern California, 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.
   Brooksby and Holt will meet for the second time. Holt prevailed 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals of a $25,000 tournament in Los Angeles last January.
   Meanwhile, Eric Hadigian of Sacramento is slated to play Joshua Ortlip of Irvine in the L.A. region in the final of the second-place playoff. Hadigian, a Gonzaga sophomore, beat Daniel De Jonge, a Pepperdine junior from the Netherlands, 6-4, 6-1. 
   In the final of the third-place playoff, Stanford senior Timothy Sah of San Diego is set to face Miles Jones of Marina Del Rey, an L.A. suburb. Sah defeated Robert Shelton, a Pepperdine sophomore from Lancaster, Pa., by walkover.  
   ATP Tour — Gianluca Mager of Italy eliminated sixth-seeded Sam Querrey, a 33-year-old San Francisco native, 7-6 (8), 6-1 in the second round of the Delray Beach (Fla.) Open. Querrey, the 2016 champion, fell to 1-5 in singles since last January.
   In the first round of doubles, Austin Krajicek of Plano, Texas, and Querrey defeated wild cards Bjorn Fratangelo of Orlando, Fla., and Dennis Novikov of San Jose, Calif., 7-6 (4), 6-3. 
   Querrey is playing in his first tournament since the ATP handed him a suspended fine of $20,000 for breaching the COVID-19 protocol in Russia last October. 
   WTA Tour — Fifth-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan beat Karolina Muchova and Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic by walkover to reach the quarterfinals of the Abu Dhabi WTA Women's Tennis Open in the United Arab Emirates.
   Aoyama and Shibahara, a 22-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, are scheduled to face top-seeded Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei and Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic on Monday.
   Hsieh, ranked No. 1 in women's doubles, and Krejcikova, ranked seventh, edged Sharon Fichman of Canada and Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the Bay Area, 6-2, 5-7 [12-10].

Friday, January 8, 2021

Hadigian wins all-Sacramento-area match in UTR $25K

   Eric Hadigian, a Gonzaga sophomore from Sacramento, Calif., defeated Keenan Mayo, a Loyola Marymount junior from Roseville in the Sacramento area, 6-4, 6-2 today in the second-place playoff quarterfinals of the $25,000 UTR Pro Tennis Series in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Hadigian is set to meet Daniel De Jonge, a Pepperdine junior from the Netherlands, on Saturday. De Jonge eliminated Alafia Ayeni, a Cornell senior from San Diego, 6-1, 6-3.
   In Saturday's other second-place playoff semifinal, Mousheg Hovhannisyan of Los Angeles will play Joshua Ortlip of Irvine in the L.A. region. Hovhannisyan, 29, edged Aidan Mayo, Keenan's 17-year-old brother, 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (6). 
   In a first-place playoff semifinal on Saturday, Jenson Brooksby, 20, of Carmichael, Calif., in the Sacramento region is scheduled to play Stanford freshman Tristan Boyer of Altadena in the Los Angeles area. Brooksby defeated Boyer 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to win the 2018 Easter Bowl in Indian Wells, Calif.
   Also Saturday, Stanford senior Timothy Sah of San Diego will play Pepperdine sophomore Robert Shelton of Lancaster, Pa., in a third-place playoff semifinal.
   ATP TourMackenzie McDonald, a 25-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Tommy Paul, 23, of Delray Beach, Fla., topped Cristian Garin of Chile and Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2014-17) of Sweden 6-4, 6-7 (4) [10-4] in the first round of the Delray Beach Open.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

NorCal's Brooksby reaches semifinals in UTR $25K

Jenson Brooksby has won all eight of his sets in his first
tournament as a professional. 2018 photo by Paul Bauman
   Jenson Brooksby of Carmichael, Calif., in the Sacramento area outclassed Dusty Boyer of Ham Lake, Min., 6-2, 6-3 today in the first-place playoff quarterfinals of the $25,000 UTR Pro Tennis Series in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Brooksby, 20, has won all eight of his sets in his first tournament as a professional. He is scheduled to play Tristan Boyer, a Stanford freshman from Altadena in the Los Angeles region. Brooksby defeated Boyer 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to win the 2018 Easter Bowl in Indian Wells, Calif.
   In the other semifinal, former USC star Brandon Holt will meet UCLA junior Govind Nanda in a matchup of L.A.-area products.
   Holt, the son of International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, routed qualifier Karl Lee, a UCLA signee from Sacramento, 6-2, 6-0. Nanda eliminated Nicolas Barrientos, a 33-year-old Colombian, 6-2, 6-3.
   In the second-place playoff quarterfinals, Keenan Mayo is slated to play Eric Hadigian on Friday in a clash of Sacramento-area players. Aidan Mayo, Keenan's younger brother, will take on Mousheg Hovhannisyan of Los Angeles.
   Meanwhile, Stanford senior Timothy Sah of San Diego beat qualifier Luke Casper, a Texas A&M signee from Santa Cruz, Calif., by walkover in a third-place playoff quarterfinal.
   ATP Tour — In a matchup of San Francisco Bay Area natives, sixth-seeded Sam Querrey beat Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of the Delray Beach (Fla.) Open.
   It was Querrey's first match since the ATP handed him a suspended fine of $20,000 for breaching the COVID-19 protocol in Russia in October, the first victory in singles or doubles since last January and first match against McDonald.
   Both the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey and the 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) McDonald have starred in Delray Beach. Querrey won the 2016 title and reached the 2008 semifinals. McDonald advanced to his first ATP semifinal in Delray Beach in 2019, stunning 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in the quarterfinals for his only victory over a top-10 player.
   Querrey, ranked No. 56 after climbing to a career-high No. 11 in 2018, will meet Italy's Gianluca Mager, a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 winner over U.S. wild card Ryan Harrison.
   WTA Tour — Fifth-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan edged Andreja Klepac of Slovenia and Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine 4-6, 7-5 [12-10] in the first round of the $565,530 Abu Dhabi WTA Women's Tennis Open. Shibahara, 22, was born in Mountain View in the Bay Area.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

NorCal trio advance to first-place playoff in UTR $25K

Jenson Brooksby won all six of his sets in round-robin play
in Newport Beach, Calif., losing only 13 games. 2018 photo
by Paul Bauman
   Three Northern California players are among eight men to reach the first-place playoff in the $25,000 UTR Pro Tennis Series in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Advancing with 3-0 records in round-robin play today were 20-year-old Jenson Brooksby of Carmichael, Calif., in the Sacramento area, Stanford freshman Tristan Boyer of Altadena in the Los Angeles region and qualifier Karl Lee, a UCLA signee from Sacramento.
   Brooksby, playing in his first tournament as a pro, defeated Alafia Ayeni, a Cornell senior from San Diego, 6-2, 7-5. Boyer routed Alec Adamson, a former UC Davis standout from Corona Del Mar near Newport Beach, 6-2, 6-1. Lee topped Mousheg Hovhannisyan, 29, of Los Angeles 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-3.
   Brooksby and Boyer won all six of their sets in round-robin play, losing only 13 and 15 games, respectively.
   Brothers Keenan Mayo, 20, and Aidan Mayo, 17, of Roseville in the Sacramento area advanced to the second-place playoff with 2-1 records, as did Eric Hadigian, a Gonzaga sophomore from Sacramento.
   Timothy Sah, a Stanford senior from San Diego, and qualifier Luke Casper, a Texas A&M signee from Santa Cruz, Calif., reached the third-place playoff with 1-2 records.
   Adamson and Ethan Quinn of Fresno, Calif., were eliminated with 0-3 marks. He won the Orange Bowl 16-and-under doubles title last month.
   Each playoff consists of an eight-player draw and a single-elimination format. 
   WTA TourCarol Zhao (Stanford, 2014-16) of Canada and Ena Shibahara, a native of Mountain View, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area, lost in the second and final round of qualifying in the $565,530 Abu Dhabi Women's Tennis Open.
   Lucie Hradecka, a two-time Grand Slam champion in women's doubles from the Czech Republic, beat Zhao, playing in her first tournament since September 2019, 7-6 (7), 6-1. No. 12 seed Anastasia Gasanova of Russia topped Shibahara 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
   In the first round of doubles, Sharon Fichman of Canada and Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the Bay Area who plays for Mexico, beat Kaitlyn Christian, a native of Orange, Calif., and Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine 6-4, 7-6 (3). Olmos and Christian were USC teammates in 2013 and 2014. 
   Fichman and Olmos are scheduled to face top-seeded Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei and Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic on Friday. Hsieh and Krejcikova, received a first-round bye, are ranked No. 1 and No. 7, respectively, in doubles.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Brooksby rolls to another win in $25K Newport Beach

Jenson Brooksby has lost only six games in two
matches in the $25,000 UTR Pro Tennis Series in
Newport Beach, Calif. 2018 photo by Paul Bauman
   Jenson Brooksby continued to dominate in the $25,000 UTR Pro Tennis Series in Newport Beach, Calif.
   In a matchup of 20-year-olds, Brooksby of Carmichael, Calif., in the Sacramento area routed qualifier Miles Jones of Marina Del Rey in the Los Angeles region 6-1, 6-2 today in round-robin play.
   Brooksby has lost only six games in two matches in his first tournament as a pro. He set up a showdown against Alafia Ayeni (2-0), a Cornell senior from San Diego, on Wednesday in a round-robin finale in Group A. Ayeni defeated 30-year-old Alex Sarkissian (0-2) of Glendale in the L.A. area 7-6 (4), 6-3.
   In other matches involving Northern California players:
   —Qualifier Karl Lee (2-0), a UCLA signee from Sacramento, topped former Bruins standout Gage Brymer (0-2) of Irvine, Calif., 6-3, 0-6, 6-3 in Group E.
   —Govind Nanda (3-0), a UCLA junior from Redlands in the L.A. region, beat Keenan Mayo (2-1), a Loyola Marymount junior from Roseville in the Sacramento area, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 in Group D.
   —Timothy Sah (1-2), a Stanford senior from San Diego, outplayed Kris Van Wyk (0-3), a Weber State senior from South Africa, 6-4, 6-4 in Group B.
   —Aidan Mayo (1-1), a high school senior and Keenan's brother, defeated Ethan Quinn (0-2), a high school junior from Fresno, Calif., 7-6 (8), 6-3 in Group H. Quinn won the Orange Bowl 16-and-under doubles title last month.
   —Nicolas Barrientos (2-0), a 33-year-old Colombian, beat Luke Casper (1-1), a Texas A&M signee from Santa Cruz, Calif., 3-0, retired.
   —Group F players had the day off. They include Tristan Boyer (2-0), a Stanford freshman from Altadena in the L.A. area; Eric Hadigian (1-1), a Gonzaga sophomore from Sacramento; and Alec Adamson (0-2), a former UC Davis star from Corona Del Mar near Newport Beach. 
   WTA Tour — Carol Zhao, a former Stanford star from Canada, and Ena Shibahara, a native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area who plays for Japan, won their first-round qualifying matches in the $565,530 Abu Dhabi Women's Tennis Open.
   Zhao, playing her first match since September 2019, beat 16th-seeded Mirjam Bjorklund of Sweden 6-0, 2-6, 6-2, and Shibahara defeated alternate Makoto Ninomiya of Japan 6-1, 6-4.
   Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the Bay Area who plays for Mexico, lost to 12th-seeded Anastasia Gasanova of Russia 7-5, 6-3.
   Players must win two qualifying matches to advance to the main draw.

Monday, January 4, 2021

NorCal's Brooksby ends long layoff, breezes in pro debut

Jenson Brooksby, 20, dominated in his first
match since November 2019. 2018 photo
by Paul Bauman
   Jenson Brooksby, making his professional debut, routed Alex Sarkissian 6-0, 6-3 today in the round-robin phase of the $25,000 UTR Pro Tennis Series in Newport Beach, Calif.
   Brooksby, a 20-year-old resident of Carmichael, Calif., in the Sacramento area, and Sarkissian, 30, of Glendale in the Los Angeles region met for the first time.
   Because of injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic, it was Brooksby's first match since a three-set loss to Marcos Giron in the third round of the $162,480 Houston Challenger in November 2019.
   Brooksby won the 2018 USTA 18-and-under national championship in Kalamazoo, Mich., and reached the second round of the 2019 U.S. Open as a qualifier, shocking 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych.
   Sarkissian is ranked No. 432 after climbing to a career-high No. 157 in 2016. The former Pepperdine star advanced to the 2014 NCAA singles final, falling to UCLA's Giron.
   Brooksby is scheduled to play Miles Jones, a 20-year-old qualifier from Marina Del Rey in the L.A. area, on Tuesday in the second of three round-robin rounds.
   Jones lost to Alafia Ayeni, a Cornell senior from San Diego, 7-5, 6-1.
   Keenan Mayo, a Loyola Marymount junior from Roseville in the Sacramento area, and Tristan Boyer, a Stanford freshman from Altadena in the L.A. region, improved to 2-0 in round-robin play.
   Mayo outplayed Martin Redlicki, a former UCLA star who won NCAA doubles titles in 2016 and 2018, 6-3, 6-3. Boyer beat Spencer Johnson, a UCLA signee from Ladera in the San Francisco Bay Area, 6-4, 6-2.
   Eric Hadigian, a Gonzaga sophomore from Sacramento, improved to 1-1 with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Alec Adamson, a former UC Davis standout from Corona Del Mar near Newport Beach. Adamson fell to 0-2.
   Qualifier Luke Casper, a Texas A&M signee from Santa Cruz, Calif., opened with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 win over Ethan Quinn of Fresno, Calif. Quinn won the Orange Bowl 16-and-under doubles title last month.
   In another opener, Nicolas Barrientos, a 33-year-old Colombian, topped Aidan Mayo, a high school senior and Keenan's brother, 6-2, 6-4.
   Timothy Sah, a Stanford senior from San Diego, lost to Daniel De Jonge, a Pepperdine junior from the Netherlands, 6-1, 7-6 (1) to fall to 0-2.
   Qualifier Karl Lee, a UCLA signee from Sacramento, was scheduled to play Humberto Lopez of Mexico in a late match. 
   ATP Tour — Bay Area natives Sam Querrey, 33, and Mackenzie McDonald, 25, are slated to open their 2021 seasons against each other in the Delray Beach (Fla.) Open this week. It will be their first career meeting.
   Both the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey and the 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) McDonald have starred in Delray Beach. Querrey won the 2016 title and reached the 2008 semifinals. McDonald advanced to his first ATP semifinal in Delray Beach in 2019, stunning Juan Martin del Potro in the quarterfinals for his only victory over a top-10 player.
    In an interview posted on si.com today, Querrey discussed why he, his wife and their 8-month-old son fled Russia in October after testing positive for COVID-19. Ten weeks later, the ATP handed Querrey a suspended fine of $20,000 for what it called "a serious breach of protocol."
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