Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Bay Area native improves to 10-0 in doubles this year

   Seventh-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan topped Asia Muhammad of Las Vegas and Jessica Pegula of Boca Raton, Fla., 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 today in the first round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   The 5-foot-1 (1.55-meter) Aoyama, 33, and Shibahara, a 22-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, improved to 10-0 this year. They won titles in Abu Dhabi last month and Melbourne last week
   In the opening round of men's doubles, wild cards Ji Sung Nam and Min-Kyu Song of South Korea defeated Ben McLachlan, a New Zealand native who plays for his mother's native Japan, and 40-year-old Rohan Bopanna of India 6-4, 7-6 (0). 
   Second-seeded Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic of Croatia beat Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei and Sam Querrey, a 33-year-old San Francisco native, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
   Mackenzie McDonald, a 25-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Tommy Paul of Boca Raton, Fla., outlasted wild cards Petros Tsitsipas and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Paul won the singles title in the 2019 Tiburon, Calif., Challenger.
   Meanwhile, three Grand Slam champions lost in singles.
   Hsieh Su-Wei, ranked No. 1 in doubles, of Chinese Taipei dismissed eighth-seeded Bianca Andreescu of Canada 6-3, 6-2. Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open champion, had not played in a tournament since the fall of 2019 after suffering a knee injury.
   Sorana Cirstea of Romania eliminated ninth-seeded Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion and the Australian Open runner-up in 2019, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1.
   Sara Errani, a 33-year-old qualifier from Italy, routed 40-year-old Venus Williams 6-1, 6-0. Williams, a seven-time major singles champion and two-time Australian Open runner-up, hurt her right ankle and left knee late in the first set.
   Marton Fucsovics of Hungary saved three match points in his 7-5, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6 (9) victory over Stan Wawrinka in 3 hours, 59 minutes. Wawrinka won the first of his three Grand Slam singles crowns in the 2014 Australian Open

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