Monday, February 22, 2021

Top seeds Aoyama, Shibahara fall in Adelaide doubles

   Now Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara are on a losing streak.
   The top seeds, representing Japan, fell to Xu Yifan and Yang Zhaoxuan of China 6-4, 3-6 [10-6] today in the first round of the Adelaide International.
   After starting the year 12-0 with two titles, Aoyama, 33, and Shibahara, a 23-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, have dropped two consecutive matches. They reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, losing to eventual champions Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and Elise Mertens of Belgium.
   Sabalenka, the singles runner-up in San Jose, Calif., in 2019, and Mertens rose to No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in doubles on Monday.
   ATP Tour — Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2011-14) of Sweden and David Pel, a 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) left-hander from the Netherlands, edged wild cards David Goffin of Belgium and Lucas Pouille of France 7-6 (6), 3-6 [10-8] in the opening round of the Open Sud de France in Montpellier. 
   Both Goffin, 30, and Pouille, 26, have been ranked in the top 10 in singles.
   Goransson and Pel are set to play Jonathan Erlich, 43, of Israel and Andrei Vasilevski of Belarus on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
   Erlich won the Australian Open in 2008 with countryman Andy Ram and the Aptos (Calif.) Challenger in 2013 with Ram and 2017 with Neal Skupski of Great Britain.
   ITF Women's Tour — No. 13 seed Katie Volynets, 19, of Walnut Creek in the Bay Area nipped Maria Lourdes Carle of Argentina 4-6, 7-5 [12-10] in the first round of qualifying for a $25,000 hardcourt tournament in Boca Raton, Fla. 
   Volynets, a quarterfinalist as a qualifier in last week's $25,000 tourney in Orlando, Fla., is scheduled to play eighth-seeded Marcela Zacarias of Mexico on Tuesday for a main-draw berth. 
   ITF Men's Tour — Dennis Novikov, 27, of San Jose topped 12th-seeded Jordi Arconada of the United States 4-6, 6-3 [10-4] in the opening round of qualifying for a $25,000 clay-court tournament in Naples, Fla.
   Novikov, who has tumbled from a career-high No. 119 in 2016 to No. 770, is set to meet 13th-seeded Benjamin Dhoe of Belgium on Tuesday for a spot in the main draw.

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