Friday, April 2, 2021

Bay Area native Shibahara reaches Miami doubles final

   Fifth-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan beat unseeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands of Phoenix and Iga Swiatek of Poland 3-6, 7-6 (4) [10-2] today to reach the Miami Open final.
   Aoyama, 33, and Shibahara, a 23-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area, were winless in their three previous tournaments after beginning the year with 13 consecutive victories and two titles. Mattek-Sands won the Miami doubles title in 2016 with since-retired Lucie Safarova.  
   Aoyama, only 5-foot-1 (1.54 meters), and Shibahara are scheduled to play eighth-seeded Hayley Carter, a native of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Luisa Stefani of Brazil on Sunday.
   Carter and Stefani — former All-Americans at North Carolina and Pepperdine, respectively — edged unseeded Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and "Rudy" Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the Bay Area who plays for Mexico, 2-6, 6-3 [10-8]. Dabrowski won the 2017 title with "San Diego" Xu Yifan.
   Colleges — The Stanford women, who have won the last two NCAA titles and three of the last four, suffered a rare home loss.
   Lisa Zaar of No. 7 Pepperdine (12-2) edged Sara Choy, a junior from Palo Alto, Calif., 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6) on Court 5 to give the Waves a 4-3 victory over the No. 25 Cardinal (10-1).
   Stanford lost for only the fifth time in its last 81 home matches. 
   Meanwhile, Hannah Viller Moeller of the No. 19 California women bested Uxia Martinez Moral of No. 46 Oregon 6-4, 7-6 (2) to lift the visiting Bears (13-3, 6-1 Pacific-12 Conference) over the Ducks (11-5, 4-3) 4-3. 
   The host Stanford men (5-3, 2-0) edged No. 23 Arizona State (13-6, 2-3) 4-3 as freshman Arthur Fery prevailed 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (2) against Makey Rakotomalala on Court 2 in the deciding match. 
   Juniors — Seventh-seeded Aidan "Pass The" Mayo of Roseville, Calif., in the Sacramento area and unseeded Ethan Quinn of Fresno, Calif., reached the Easter Bowl 18-and-under semifinals in San Diego.
   Mayo defeated Nicolas Kotzen of Short Hills, N.J., 6-2, 6-3, and Quinn beat wild card Kyle Kang of Fullerton, Calif., in the Los Angeles region 6-4, 6-2.
   In the girls 18 quarterfinals, sixth-seeded Alexis Blokhina of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., eliminated second-seeded Alexandra Yepifanova, a Stanford signee from Lake Worth, Fla., 6-2, 6-4.
   Quinn and Yepifanova won the 18-and-under singles titles in last week's International Open of Southern California in San Diego.
   A Sacramento-area player will reach the boys 16 doubles final.
   Unseeded Ethan Schiffman of Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego region and Emon van Loben Sels of Sacramento ousted top-seeded Alexander Aney of New York and Jason Shuler of Scarsdale, N.Y., 1-6, 6-1 [10-6] in the quarterfinals.
   Eighth-seeded Alex Cairo of Las Vegas and Dylan Tsoi of El Dorado Hills in the Sacramento region topped unseeded Dylan Charlap and Learner Tien — from the Los Angeles suburbs of Palos Verdes Estates and Irvine, respectively — 6-1, 6-7 (7) [10-8].

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