Saturday, February 6, 2021

Bay Area native wins Melbourne doubles, moves to 9-0

   Third-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan dismissed unseeded Anna Kalinskaya of Russia  and Viktoria Kuzmova of the Slovak Republic 6-3, 6-4 in 65 minutes today to win the Yarra River Classic in Melbourne.
   The 5-foot-1 Aoyama, 33, and Shibahara, a 22-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, improved to 9-0 this year. They won the Abu Dhabi title last month.
   Top-seeded Ashleigh Barty of Australia beat sixth-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain 7-6 (3), 6-4 for the singles title.
   Muguruza has won two Grand Slam singles titles and Barty one. Neither has won the Australian Open; noth lost to Sofia Kenin in last year's tournament, Barty in the semifinals and Muguruza in the final. 
   The Australian Open, the year's first major tournament, is scheduled to begin Sunday at 4 p.m. (ESPN in the United States). 
   Aoyama and Shibahara lost to American teenagers Coco Gauff and Caty McNally in the third round of last year's Australian Open. It was Aoyama's eighth appearance in the tournament and Shibahara's first.
   ATP Tour — Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos of Argentina dominated 42-year-old Toshihide Matsui and Ben McLachlan (University of California, Berkeley, 2011-14) of Japan 6-2, 6-2 in the ATP Cup in Melbourne. Argentina blanked Japan 3-0 in the Group D match.
   McLachlan, a New Zealand native with a Japanese mother, and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany reached the doubles semifinals in the 2018 Australian Open in McLachlan's tournament debut. A doubles specialist, McLachlan is 0-2 in the Australian Open since then.

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