Sports

Of local note: Gordon advances in tennis, golfers finish second

 
Asia Muhammad topped Stanford sophomore Emma Higuchi in Saturday's Bank of the West Classic qualifying draw. Photo by Harjanto Sumali.

Incoming Stanford freshman Michaela Gordon upset what had been an uneventful day one of the Bank of the West Classic qualifying tournament Saturday at Stanford.

Heading into the day’s final match, all seeded players recorded straight set wins. The final match of the day, however, between Jacqueline Cako and Gordon put a twist into the script.


Cako, ranked No. 217 in the world and seeded ninth in qualifying, was the clear favorite heading into the match against Gordon, who was a late wildcard entry.

Gordon came out strong and took the first set 7-5. Cako bounced back to win the second set 6-2. The final set was a back and forth affair and Gordon came out on the right side of a 6-4 victory.

Gordon will face the seventh-seeded qualifier Marina Erakovic on Sunday in the third match on the stadium court.

Stanford sophomore Emma Higuchi dropped a tough 6-3, 6-1 set to third-seeded Asia Muhammad, who qualified for the Bank of the West last year and lost in the first round.

Muhammad owns seven ITF singles titles and a pair of WTA doubles titles in 10 years as a professional. The 26-year-old is currently ranked No. 133.

Higuchi was a consistent winner for the Stanford women's tennis team that reached the NCAA championship match against Florida in the spring.

Other winners on Saturday included Veronica Cepede Royg, Sachia Vickery, Lizette Cabrera and Caroline Dolehide.

Play begins at 10 am and is open to the public. The four winners of Sunday’s matches move into the Bank of the West Classic main draw.

Maria Sharapova will meet American Jennifer Brady in the featured match on Monday night at 7 p.m.

The second match of the night will feature former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs against the reigning Wimbledon Junior Champion Claire Lui.

Atherton resident CiCi Bellis, the tournament's eighth seed, will play France's Alize Cornet on Tuesday night.

In another first-round matches, Stanford grad Kirstie Ahn faces a qualifier.

The Bank of the West Classic, a Premier WTA event, features a 28-player singles draw as well as a 16-team doubles draw. The event is owned and operated by IMG and serves as the opening women's event of the US Open Series.

Women's golf

Stanford sophomore Albane Valenzuela finished second at the European Ladies Amateur Championships at Lausanne Golf Club on Saturday, shooting a four-round 7-under 281 to finish a stroke behind winner Agathe Laisne, who shot a 67 o the final day to overtake Valenzuela.

Laisne will be attending Texas in the fall.

Brooke Riley, on her way to Northwestern, never trailed in edging Stanford sophomore Ziyi Wang for the championship of the California Women's Amateur Championship at the Quail Lodge golf club in Carmel on Saturday.

Riley won the first hole with a birdie and eventually built a 4up lead by the 12th hole. Wang won the 13th and 15th holes but matched bogeys with Riley on the 16th to lose her best chance of going all square.

Men's water polo

Menlo School's Jack Bowen was named National High School Coach of the Year by USA Water Polo.

Bowen was honored July 26 with the Bill Barnett Distinguished Men's Coaching Award at a reception at the Junior Olympics in Irvine.

Established in 2010, the annual awards have each been named in honor of a person or persons who have made an extraordinary contribution to the sport of water polo. Winners were chosen through a zone nomination process and then reviewed by a national selection panel.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Bank of the West Classic

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