Thursday, March 25, 2021

Bay Area native ends skid with Miami doubles victory

Hayley Carter, left, and Ena Shibahara pose after winning
the doubles title in the 2018 Stockton (Calif.) Challenger.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Fifth-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan ended their losing streak today, stopping Andreja Klepac and Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 6-7 (2), 6-1 [10-6] in the first round of the Miami Open.
   Aoyama, 33, and Shibahara, a 23-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, had lost four straight after starting the year 13-0 with two WTA titles.
   Also today, Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and "Rudy" Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the Bay Area who plays for Mexico, edged seventh-seeded Alexa Guarachi of Chile and Desirae Krawczyk, a native of Palm Desert, Calif., 6-3, 4-6 [10-7]. 
   Guarachi and Krawczyk reached the French Open final last October, losing to defending champions Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic. Dabrowski won the 2017 Miami title with "San Diego" Xu Yifan of China. 
   Krawczyk and Olmos advanced to the Guadalajara final two weeks ago, falling to Ellen Perez and "Houston" Astra Sharma of Australia.
   In another contest decided by a match tiebreaker, sixth-seeded Xu and compatriot Zhang Shuai held off Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Sloane "Ranger" Stephens, who grew up in Fresno, Calif., 4-6, 6-3 [10-8].
   Zhang and Samantha Stosur reached the 2019 Miami final, losing to Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka.
   Juniors — Top-seeded Alexandra Yepifanova, a Stanford signee from Lake Worth, Fla., and wild card Ethan Quinn of Fresno reached the girls and boys 18 semifinals, respectively, in the ITF Grade 1 International Open of Southern California in San Diego.
   Yepifanova dispatched ninth-seeded Clervie Ngounoue of Washington, D.C., 6-2, 6-3. Quinn, playing in his first ITF Grade 1 tournament, beat Great Britain's Jack Pinnington Jones, seeded second and ranked seventh in the world, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.
   Nicholas Godsick, the son of former top-five singles and doubles player Mary Joe Fernandez, and Quinn will meet Nathan Cox and Sebastian Gorzny in a matchup of unseeded American teams for the boys doubles title.

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