Thursday, July 29, 2021

Rybakina, entered in San Jose, falls in Olympic semis

   No. 9 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland defeated No. 15 seed Elena Rybakina, a Russia native who represents Kazakhstan, 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-3 today in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics.
   Ryabakina, who's entered in next week's Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at San Jose State University, led 2-0 in the third set and blew a forehand putaway that would have given her a 4-1 advantage. 
   Bencic, 24, is scheduled to play unseeded Marketa Vondrousova, a 22-year-old left-hander from the Czech Republic, for the gold medal. Vondrousova, the runner-up in the 2019 French Open at 19, routed No. 4 seed Elena Svitolina of Ukraine 6-3, 6-1 in 64 minutes.
   Svitolina reached the semifinals of the 2015 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. The tournament moved to San Jose, Calif., in 2018 under new sponsorship.
   Rybankina and Svitolina are set to meet for the bronze medal.
   In the men's semifinals, top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia will face No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany, and No. 6 seed Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain will play No. 12 seed Karen Khachanov of Russia. Carreno Busta upset No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia 6-2, 7-6 (5).
   Djokovic aims to become the first man to win all four majors and a gold medal in a calendar year. Steffi Graf accomplished the feat in 1988. The Olympics dropped tennis from 1924 until 1988.
   In the mixed doubles quarterfinals, No. 4 seeds Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev of Russia edged Ena Shibahara, a San Francisco Bay Area native, and Ben McLachlan (University of California, Berkeley, 2011-14) 7-5, 6-7 (0) [10-8].
   Pavlyuchenkova played for the Sacramento Capitals of World TeamTennis at 15 in 2006. The Capitals announced in 2014 that they were moving to Las Vegas after 28 years but folded four weeks later.
   Rublev lost to former world No. 2 Tommy Haas in the first round of the 2015 Aptos (Calif.) Challenger at 17. 
   ATP Tour — In the doubles quarterfinals of the $52,080 Lexington (Ky.) Challenger, No. 3 seeds Christian Harrison of Bradenton, Fla., and Dennis Novikov of San Jose beat unseeded Roberto Cid Subervi of the Dominican Republic and Wu Tung-Lin of Chinese Taipei 7-5, 6-3.
   Harrison and Novikov won the doubles title in last week's $52,080 Cary (N.C.) Challenger.
   WTA Tour — In the opening round of doubles in the $115,000 LTP Women's Open on clay in Charleston, S.C., Liang En-Shuo of Chinese Taipei and Rebecca Marino of Canada edged No. 4 seeds Catherine Harrison of Germantown, Tenn., and Maria Sanchez, a 31-year-old product of Modesto, Calif., 4-6, 7-5 [10-8].

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