Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Bay Area native, partner reach Abu Dhabi doubles final

   Fifth-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan beat unseeded Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia 6-4, 6-3 today in the semifinals of the Abu Dhabi WTA Women's Tennis Open in the United Arab Emirates.
   The 5-foot-1 (1.54-meter) Aoyama, 33, and Shibahara, a 22-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, will seek their fourth WTA doubles title together when meet eighth-seeded Hayley Carter of Hilton Head Island, S.C., and Luisa Stefani of Brazil on Wednesday. 
   Carter and Stefani — former All-Americans at North Carolina and Pepperdine, respectively — edged unseeded Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva — the reigning U.S. Open champions from Germany and Russia, respectively — 7-5, 1-6 [10-8].
   In Wednesday's singles final, fourth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus is slated to play unseeded Veronika Kudermetova of Russia. Sabalenka outclassed ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-3, 6-2, and Kudermetova downed 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine 7-6 (8), 6-4.
   ATP Tour —Ariel Behar of Uruguay and Gonzalo Escobar of Ecuador beat Mackenzie McDonald, a 25-year-old product of Piedmont in the Bay Area, and Tommy Paul of Delray Beach, Fla., 6-1, 5-7 [10-1] in the semifinals of the Delray Beach Open.
   Australian Open qualifying — No. 16 seed Mayar Sherif (Fresno State, 2015-16) of Egypt topped Grace Min of Lake Nona, Fla., 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 in the second round of Australian Open qualifying in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
   Sherif is set to face Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 winner over Daniela Seguel of Chile, on Wednesday in the final round of qualifying.
   Sherif, 24, seeks her second main-draw berth in a Grand Slam tournament. She qualified for the French Open last fall and lost in the first round to second-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4 in the third set.
   The Australian Open is scheduled for Feb. 8-21, three weeks later than usual, at its traditional home in Melbourne.  
   UTR Pro Tennis SeriesKatie Volynets, a 19-year-old pro from Walnut Creek in the Bay Area, defeated Tomi Main, a high school junior from Seaside, Calif., 6-3, 6-4 to finish round-robin play at 3-0 in Group A of a $25,000 tournament in Newport Beach, Calif. Main, who has verbally committed to Texas Tech, went 1-2.
   Vivian Ovrootsky, a high school junior from San Jose, Calif., headed to the University of Texas in 2022, blitzed Chui Kei Leung of Newport Coast, Calif., 6-0, 6-0 to improve to 2-0 in Group E.
   Tsehay Driscoll (2-0) of Pacific Palisades in the Los Angeles area beat Priya Nelson (0-2) of Sacramento, Calif., 6-3, 6-1 in Group F.
   Kimberly Hance (1-1), a high school senior from the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, dominated Madison Weekley (0-2), a Saint Mary's commit for 2022 from Alamo in the Bay Area, 6-3, 6-0 in Group H. Hance has verbally committed to UCLA.

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