Friday, February 5, 2021

Aoyama, Shibahara stay unbeaten, reach doubles final

   Third-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan edged second-seeded Nicole Melichar of the United States and Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands 6-7 (5), 7-5 [13-11] today in the semifinals of the Yarra Valley Classic in Melbourne.
   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, improved to 8-0 this year. They won the Abu Dhabi title last month.
   Aoyama and Shibahara will meet unseeded Anna Kalinskaya of Russia and Viktoria Kuzmova of the Slovak Republic. Kalinskaya and Kuzmova, both 22, surprised Duan Yingying and Zheng Saisai of China 0-6, 6-2 [10-5].
   In the 2019 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, Calif., Zheng won the singles title, and Melichar claimed the doubles crown with and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic. Peschke was 44 at the time.
   ATP Tour — Ben McLachlan (University of California, Berkeley, 2011-14) and Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan are scheduled to play Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos of Argentina early Saturday (PST) in Group D in the ATP Cup in Melbourne.
   McLachlan, a New Zealand native with a Japanese mother, and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany reached the doubles semifinals in the 2018 Australian Open.
   ATP Challenger Tour — Fourth-seeded Robert Galloway of Greenville, S.C., and Alex Lawson of Tempe, Ariz., topped Treat Huey, a Washington, D.C., native who plays for the Philippines, and Sem Verbeek, a former University of the Pacific standout from the Netherlands, 6-2, 6-7 (14) [10-5] in the semifinals of the €44,820 ($53,820) MTA Open in Antalya, Turkey.

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