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.

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