Sunday, December 10, 2017

Bank of the West Classic to leave Stanford

As it turned out, the Bank of the West Classic ended a 21-year run at Stanford
with an indelible image as Madison Keys sat on CoCo Vandeweghe's lap after
beating her close friend for the title in August. Photo by Mal Taam 
   The San Francisco Bay Area stop on the WTA tour has no site and no sponsor.
   Other than that, the tournament is in great shape.
   All that's known at this point is that Stanford University no longer will host a WTA tournament.
   IMG, which runs the event, tweeted Friday: "After 21 years of partnering with Stanford University, IMG has been notified by the University that its policy of hosting corporate sponsored events on campus has changed and Stanford no longer will be able to host a WTA event at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium. IMG's highest priority is to keep the event in the Bay Area and we are working on a plan to do so."
   Stanford's decision is odd for several reasons:
   --No commercialism is very admirable, but what's that swoosh on the uniforms of Stanford athletes, including tennis players? Will the athletic department terminate its lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike, too? Stop laughing uncontrollably.
   --The campus is very quiet during the summer tournament. What, the junior lacrosse camp causes gridlock?
   --Not that Stanford, which is wealthier than Bahrain, needs the money, but it received rent for hosting the tournament.
   --Nor, apparently, is the university interested in free national television exposure. Who knows, even Heisman Trophy voters in the East might notice eventually.
   --With Venus and Serena Williams approaching retirement, the tournament is throwing away a heaven-sent gate attraction for the next 15 years. Eighteen-year-old phenom CiCi Bellis grew up five minutes away from Stanford in affluent Atherton, and her parents still have a house there. Of course, Bellis would have had to win a Grand Slam singles title or three to draw casual fans.
   So what now? Playing the tournament indoors in its slot during the outdoor hard-court season leading up to the U.S. Open reportedly is not an option. That rules out San Jose's SAP Arena, the site of the now-defunct SAP Open on the men's tour, and Oakland's Oracle Arena, the home of the Golden State Warriors and site of the WTA tournament from 1979 through 1996.
   Inside Tennis reported that IMG has had talks with San Jose State and Silicon Valley and East Bay clubs as well as sites in the eastern United States, including North Carolina.
   Maybe Larry Ellison, the multi-billionaire who lives near Stanford in Woodside and owns the wildly popular BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, will save the WTA tournament.
   Tradition, though, doesn't seem to count for much these days. Founded in 1971, the WTA tournament in the Bay Area is the oldest women's tennis event in the world. It was sponsored by Bank of the West from 1992 through this year and held at Stanford since 1997. Past champions include Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Margaret Smith Court, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams and Venus Williams.
   The SAP Open moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2014 after 125 years in Northern California. After 28 seasons in Sacramento, the Capitals of World TeamTennis announced in early 2014 that they were moving to Las Vegas. The franchise folded one month later when owner Deepal Wannakuwatte was charged with orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme involving his medical supply business. He is serving a 20-year prison sentence.
   As Inside Tennis reported, only eight years ago, California had six ATP and WTA tournaments: Indian Wells, Los Angeles, San Jose, Stanford, Carlsbad and Carson. Now the state that has produced Don Budge, Jack Kramer, Pancho Gonzalez, Pete Sampras, King, Davenport, Helen Wills Moody, Tracy Austin and many other legends might be down to one.
   You don't have to be Nick Bolliettieri to figure out what's going on here. The United States hasn't had a men's Grand Slam singles champion since Andy Roddick in 2003. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic never played in the SAP Open. Andy Murray never returned to San Jose after winning his second straight title there at age 19. Venus Williams won the last of her seven major singles crowns in 2008, announcing in 2011 that she had been diagnosed with a debilitating autoimmune disease. Serena Williams played in the Bank of the West once since 2012, and that was three years ago. Maria Sharapova returned to the tournament this year for the first time since 2011.
   Barring injury, Bellis would have played every year. Guaranteed.   

Friday, December 8, 2017

Keenan Mayo's doubles winning streak snapped

   Keenan Mayo's doubles winning streak ended today at seven matches. 
   Barely.
   The 17-year-old product of Roseville in the Sacramento area and Tomas Kopczynski of Delray Beach, Fla., lost to Daniil Glinka of Estonia and Sumit Sarkar of New York 6-1, 1-6 [10-8] today in a battle of unseeded teams in the boys 18 quarterfinals at the Orange Bowl on clay in Plantation, Fla.
   Mayo won last week's Eddie Herr title in Bradenton, Fla., with Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria. Mayo's brother, Aidan, reached the singles semifinals in the Eddie Herr 14s.
   Keenan Mayo has signed a letter of intent to play at Illinois next fall.
   The Orange Bowl was founded by Eddie Herr in 1947. It was played on clay until 1998, then on hardcourts until 2011. It has been contested on clay again since then.
   Past singles winners of the Orange Bowl 18s include Chris Evert (1969-70), Bjorn Borg 1972), John McEnroe (1976), Ivan Lendl (1977), Gabriela Sabatini (1984), Mary Joe Fernandez (1985), Jim Courier (1987) and Anna Kournikova (1995).
   Singles winners of the tournament on hardcourts include Roger Federer (1998), Elena Dementieva (1998), Andy Roddick (1999), Vera Zvonareva (2000 and 2001), Marcos Baghdatis (2003) and Caroline Wozniacki (2005).
   

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Keenan Mayo reaches Orange Bowl doubles quarters

   Keenan Mayo of Roseville in the Sacramento area extended his doubles winning streak to seven matches today. 
   Tomas Kopczynski of Delray Beach, Fla., and Mayo topped Allan Deschamps and Hugo Gaston of France 2-6, 7-6 (7) [10-6] in a matchup of unseeded teams to reach the boys 18 quarterfinals in the Orange Bowl on clay in Plantation, Fla.
   Mayo won last week's Eddie Herr title in Bradenton, Fla., with Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria. Mayo's brother, Aidan, reached the singles semifinals in the Eddie Herr 14s.
   Kopczynski and Mayo, who will enroll at the University of Illinois next fall, will play unseeded Daniil Glinka of Estonia and Sumit Sarkar of New York. Glinka and Sarkar beat unseeded Justin Schlageter and Leopold Zima of Germany 1-6, 7-6 (3) [10-8].
   In the second round of girls 18 doubles, top-seeded Caty McNally of Cincinnati and Whitney Osuigwe of Bradenton dominated unseeded Niluka Madurawe of Sunnyvale in the San Francisco Bay Area and Luba Vasilyuk of Frisco, Texas, 6-3, 6-1. Madurawe has verbally committed to Stanford.
   Osuigwe turned 15 in April and two months later became the first American to win the French Open girls singles title since Jennifer Capriati in 1989.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Future Stanford players retire in Orange Bowl

   Both Alexandre Rotsaert and Niluka Madurawe are headed to Stanford next fall.
   And both retired from their second-round matches today in the Orange Bowl on clay in Plantation, Fla. In fact, all singles players with Northern California ties have been eliminated from the prestigious tournament.
  Daniel Michalski of Poland ousted the seventh-seeded Rotsaert, from Boca Raton, Fla., 7-5, 0-0, retired in the boys 18s. Rotsaert reached the quarterfinals of last week's Eddie Herr International Championships on clay in Bradenton, Fla.
   Sixth-seeded Nika Radisic of Slovenia downed Madurawe -- from Sunnyvale, 10 miles (16.1 kilometers) southeast of Stanford in the San Francisco Bay Area -- 6-4, 1-0, retired in the girls 18s.
   Meanwhile, Northern Californians Aidan Mayo and Marcus McDaniel lost to higher seeds in the third round of the boys 16s.
   No. 7 seed Roi Ginat of Israel defeated No. 9 Mayo, from Roseville, 6-3, 6-4. No. 1 Nini Gabriel Dica of Romania beat No. 13 McDaniel, from Vacaville, 7-5, 6-0. Mayo advanced to the semifinals in the Eddie Herr 14s last week. Dica and Ginat will meet in the quarterfinals.
   Keenan Mayo, Aidan's older brother, and Madurawe remain alive in doubles.
   Tomas Kopczynski of Delray Beach, Fla., and Mayo ousted sixth-seeded Thomas Bosancic of Austria and Sangeet Sridhar of Glendale, Ariz., 7-6 (3), 7-5 in the first round. Mayo and Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria won the Eddie Herr 18s.
   Madurawe and Luba Vasilyuk of Frisco, Texas, beat Tanisha Kashyap of India and Alexandra Vagramov of Canada 6-3, 6-3 in the opening round. Madurawe and Vasilyuk will face top-seeded Caty McNally of Cincinnati and Whitney Osuigwe of Bradenton.
   In the boys 16 doubles quarterfinals, top-seeded Cezar Cretu of Romania and Dica edged fifth-seeded Alexander Lee of Oak Brook, Ill., and McDaniel 6-2, 6-7 (4) [10-7].

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Aidan Mayo, McDaniel gain 3rd round of Orange Bowl

   Northern Californians Aidan Mayo and Marcus McDaniel won their second-round matches today in the boys 16s at the rain-delayed Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship on clay in Plantation, Fla.
   The ninth-seeded Mayo, from Roseville, beat Harrison Gold of Aventura, Fla., 6-2, 7-6 (3). The 13th-seeded McDaniel, from Vacaville, eliminated James Tracy of Hilton Head Island, S.C., 6-4, 6-3.
   Mayo, a semifinalist in the Eddie Herr 14s last week, will face seventh-seeded Roi Ginat of Israel. Ginat defeated Ryder Jackson of Nicasio 7-5, 7-5.
   McDaniel will take on top-seeded Nini Gabriel Dica of Romania. Dica dispatched Martin Maldonado of Ecuador 6-2, 6-0. Dica has lost only three games in two matches.
   Fifth-seeded Alexander Lee of Oak Brook, Ill., and McDaniel reached the doubles quarterfinals with a 6-2, 7-6 (3) victory over Juan Bianchi of Ocoee, Fla., and Angel Guerrero Melgar of Spain. Keshav Chopra of Marietta, Ga., and Brandon McKinney of Marietta, Ga., defeated Zachery Lim of Fairfield and Russell Berdusco of Bradenton, Fla., 6-3, 6-4.
   In the first round of the girls 18s, Niluka Madurawe of Sunnyvale routed qualifier Chen Yao of China 6-1, 6-2. Madurawe will play sixth-seeded Nika Radisic of Slovenia.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Stanford commit Rotsaert advances in Orange Bowl

   Stanford-bound Alexandre Rotsaert, seeded seventh from Boca Raton, Fla., beat Tomas Descarrega of Argentina 6-4, 7-6 (4) today in the first round of the Orange Bowl boys 18s on clay in Plantation, Fla.
   Rotsaert, a quarterfinalist in last week's Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla., will play Daniel Michalski of Poland. Michalski held off Philip Henning of South Africa 6-2, 0-6, 7-5.
   No. 14 seed Aidan McHugh of Great Britain defeated Keenan Mayo of Roseville in the Sacramento area 6-4, 7-6 (2). Mayo, who will enroll at the University of Illinois next year, won the Eddie Herr doubles title with Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria.
   Mayo's younger brother, Aidan, and Marcus McDaniel of Vacaville won in the first round of the boys 16s. Ninth-seeded Aidan Mayo, a semifinalist in the Eddie Herr 14s, routed Daniel Milavsky of Needham, Mass., 6-2, 6-1. McDaniel downed Yuan Zihao of China 6-2, 6-1. Daiki Yoshimura of Japan beat Zachery Lim of Fairfield 6-4, 6-3.
   In the girls 18s, Clara Tauson of Denmark routed Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek 6-1, 6-0. Tauson will turn 15 on Dec. 21 and Volynets 16 on Dec. 31. Niluka Madurawe of Sunnyvale will meet qualifier Chen Yao of China.
   San Jose's Vivian Ovrootsky, who won the Eddie Herr girls 14s, lost to Ziva Falkner of Slovenia 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 in the 16s.
   The Orange Bowl was founded by Eddie Herr in 1947. It was played on clay until 1998, then on hardcourts until 2011. It has been contested on clay again since then.
   Past winners of the Orange Bowl 18s include Chris Evert (1969-70), Bjorn Borg 1972), John McEnroe (1976), Ivan Lendl (1977), Gabriela Sabatini (1984), Mary Joe Fernandez (1985), Jim Courier (1987) and Anna Kournikova (1995).
   Winners of the tournament on hardcourts include Roger Federer (1998), Elena Dementieva (1998), Andy Roddick (1999), Vera Zvonareva (2000 and 2001), Marcos Baghdatis (2003) and Caroline Wozniacki (2005).
   
ORANGE BOWL
In Plantation, Fla.
Doubles
First round
Boys 16
   Alexander Lee, Oak Brook, Ill., and Marcus McDaniel (5), Vacaville, def. Martin Maldonado, Ecuador, and Aidan Mayo, Roseville, Calif., 6-1, 7-6 (5).
   Russell Berdusco, Bradenton, Fla., and Zachery Lim, Fairfield, Calif., def. Armin Rostami, Iran, and Yuan Zihao (8), China, 6-4, 6-4.
Girls 16
   Catherine Broerman, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Alisia Manolescu 6), Canada, def. Jenna DeFalco, Tustin, Calif., and Vivian Ovrootsky, San Jose, 5-7, 7-6 (4) [11-9].

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Bay Area's Greenwald repeats in National 40s

Jeff Greenwald defeated David McNamara 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
to win the USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships
 in La Jolla, Calif. Photo courtesy of JFS Communications
   Not even David McNamara's hard serving could prevent Jeff Greenwald from winning the USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships for the second straight year and third time overall.
   The third-seeded Greenwald, from San Anselmo in the San Francisco Bay Area, beat the top-seeded McNamara, from Delray Beach, Fla., 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in two hours, 13 minutes today in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla.
   "I haven't seen a first serve like that in a long, long time," Greenwald, 51, said in a news release. "Adjusting to that and finding a way to manage that was very, very difficult. It put a lot of pressure on me, and it forced me to go for more on my first serve. I served well, and that made the difference for me today."
   In Saturday's women's final, top-seeded Hiromi Sasano of La Mesa in the San Diego area beat second-seeded Dina McBride of Valencia, near Los Angeles, for the second consecutive year, 7-5, 6-1.