2011 SAP Open announces wild card selections


2011 SAP Open announces wild card selections

Feb. 3, 2011TENNIS PAGE

SAN JOSE The SAP Open announced today its wild card selections for the 2011 tournament to be played February 7-13 at HP Pavilion at San Jose. Playing in the Singles Main Draw will be James Blake (USA), Milos Raonic (CAN) and Bradley Klahn (USA). Theses wild card selections join an already impressive field of players which includes 2010 SAP Open champion Fernando Verdasco (ESP), top-15 talent Gael Monfils (FRA), 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG), former SAP Open champion Lleyton Hewitt (AUS), American Sam Querrey and top-Japanese player Kei Nishikori and many more.In the Doubles Main Draw Americans Travis Rettenmaier (USA) and Robert Kendrick (USA) have accepted one wild card while Bradley Klahn (USA) and Ryan Thacher (USA) have accepted the second wild card.
RELATED: Mardy Fish withdraws from San Jose's SAP Open
James Blake returns to the 2011 SAP Open for the first time since 2009 when he reached the tournament semifinals. In his career, Blake, 31, has been ranked as high as 4 in the world and has earned more than 7 million in prize money since turning pro in 1999. He has captured 10 ATP singles titles and five doubles titles in his career including the 2004 SAP Open doubles title with partner Mardy Fish. In Davis Cup play, Blake owns a 21-12 record. He was named 2005 ATP World Tour Comeback Player of Year and was featured in People Magazines 2006-2007 Sexiest Man Alive issue. This native of Yonkers, New York who now resides in Tampa, Florida will be playing the SAP Open for the tenth time in 12 years. Coming to the SAP Open for the first time in his career is 20-year old Milos Raonic (CAN). Raonic captivated the tennis world just last month as he advanced through three rounds of qualifying to earn a spot in the main draw at the Australian Open where he advanced through to the round of 16. Along the way, Raonic defeated two top-25 players in Michael Llodra and Mikhail Youzhny before losing to world 7 David Ferrer in four sets. A native of Podgorica, Montenegro, Raonic now resides in Toronto, Canada.Also making his debut at the 2011 SAP Open is 20-year old Bradley Klahn of Poway, Calif. Klahn, a student-athlete at Stanford University, reached the Round of 16 at the Junior Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open in 2008. He won the NCAA Singles Championship as a sophomore, and reached the doubles semifinals with partner Ryan Thacher. In 2009, Klahn won the Pac-10 singles and doubles championship as a freshman. He is the two-time defending Sherwood Collegiate Cup Champion and has also represented the USA in Junior Davis Cup play in 2006. The 2011 SAP Open schedule of play for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night has been announced. The Pete Sampras vs. Gael Monfils charity exhibition singles match will be played at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 7 followed by a second main draw match to be announced. On Tuesday, February 8, Sam Querrey will play his first-round singles match at 7 p.m. followed by Juan Martin del Potros first-round singles match. On Wednesday, February 9, defending champion Fernando Verdasco will play his first-round singles match at 7 p.m. followed by Gael Monfils first-round match. Opponents for each of the featured tournament matches will be determined at the SAP Open draw event to be held Friday, February 4 at 12 noon at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose.Courtesy HP Pavilion media services

Young Warriors fan brought to tears after getting surprised with tickets


Young Warriors fan brought to tears after getting surprised with tickets

Christmas came early for one young Warriors fan. 

Posting a video to Twitter, Charles Hinkle Jr. surprised his nephew with Warriors tickets on Friday. Hinkle's Twitter location shows the family is from Hollywood, Fla.

The reaction says it all. 

And the smile confirms it: best Black Friday ever.

The Warriors play the Heat in Miami on December 3 at 4 p.m. PT. The Warriors played the Heat twice last season. They won their first contest in Oakland and then later fell in Miami.

Remember me? Raiders face Broncos with offensive architect on other sideline


Remember me? Raiders face Broncos with offensive architect on other sideline

ALAMEDA – Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing is running a system Bill Musgrave installed in 2015.

Downing has put his stamp on it since being promoted from quarterbacks coach last winter and certainly has a different play calling style, but he didn’t burn it to the ground and start fresh.

“Honestly tweak-wise, there’s not a lot of tweaks,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “Game plan wise and things, we do things a little different. We call things differently now obviously because he’s in the division. But route concept-wise and things like that, we do a lot of the same similar stuff. Any time there’s a change, a coach is always going to have their tweaks.”

Even so, Musgrave might feel like he’s looking into a mirror Sunday afternoon when the Raiders play Denver at Oakland Coliseum. He’ll watch his offense work from the other sideline, calling plays from Mike McCoy’s selections.

This odd arrangement stems from Jack Del Rio’s decision to let Musgrave’s contract expire after two years as Raiders offensive coordinator. He promoted the in-demand Downing to that post, which left Musgrave to gain employment as Denver’s quarterbacks coach. He was promoted to OC on Monday, when McCoy got fired after Denver lost its sixth straight.

Fans didn't love Musgrave when he was in Oakland. They long for him now. The Raiders ranked sixth in total offense and seventh in scoring last year. Now they're 21st and 20th, respectively, in those categories. 

Having Musgrave calling plays for the enemy adds some intrigue to the matchup, though this isn’t a mentor-protégé matchup. Count Scott Linehan and Mike Tice as Downing’s primary professors. Those influences stand out most in Downing’s style, but Musgrave’s influence as a play caller exists in a small dose.

“I think there are elements of it. I won’t say personality traits, but maybe nuances of the game that you naturally talk to through as a coordinator and quarterback coach,” Downing said. “So, those experiences are kind of lived through the other coordinator. We were together for two years. I have some other influences that probably shape my play calling more than that.”

There’s a high level of respect between the two men, and Downing certainly appreciates his time working under Musgrave.

“He’s a very detailed guy. He likes to simplify and let the guys go execute. That was certainly something that I respected about the way he went through a game plan process. If there was something that wasn’t working itself out through the course of the practice week, we’d eliminate it or not run it on Sunday. Definitely picked that up.

“He has a broad scope understanding of offense. Being a quarterback as he is, or a former quarterback as he is, he’s not just a pass game guy. He has a good understanding of the run game and a good respect for the guys upfront being able to move the line of scrimmage. Definitely something that I admire and wanted to emulate.”

Downing and Musgrave won’t face each other directly. That’ll be new Raiders play caller John Pagano.

He took over Tuesday after Ken Norton’s firing, but doesn’t mean he’s new to the matchup. Pagano was the Chargers' defensive coordinator from 2012-16, and faced Musgrave twice a year the past two seasons. Musgrave won every matchup.

Pagano might look at Denver’s scheme and Musgrave’s tendencies when trying to silence the Broncos on Sunday.

“You always have to understand what he’s about and what little things pop into my head from seeing him, but you still have to go based off of what you’re seeing right now, the film that you’re seeing, the plays you’re going off of,” Pagano said. “You have to be prepared for everything. He does a great job and he always has those guys ready to play and there is always going to be something new.”