Saturday, February 13, 2021

Bay Area native reaches doubles quarters, stays perfect

     Seventh-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan outclassed 12th-seeded Hayley Carter, a native of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Luisa Stefani of Brazil 6-2, 6-4 today to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
   The 5-foot-1 (1.54-meter) Aoyama, 33, Shibahara, a 22-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, improved to 12-0 this year and advanced to their second Grand Slam quarterfinal. Aoyama also reached the Wimbledon semifinals in 2013 with Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa.
   Aoyama and Shibahara will face either second-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus or 16th-seeded Laura Siegemund of Germany and Vera Zvonareva of Russia.
   In the first round of mixed doubles, sixth-seeded Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic and Rajeev Ram, a volunteer assistant coach at the University of California, Berkeley, beat Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan and Henri Kontinen of Finland 7-6 (6), 7-5.
   Krejcikova and Ram will meet Shibahara and Ben McLachlan (Cal, 2011-14), a New Zealand native who plays for his mother's native Japan. 
   Top-ranked Novak Djokovic, playing with an injured abdominal muscle, beat 14th-seeded Milos Raonic 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to improve to 12-0 against the hard-serving Canadian. Djokovic seeks his third consecutive Australian Open singles title and ninth overall.

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