Asia/Oceania’s Finest: Teams Qualify for ITF WJTC Girls’ Finals. Kuching, Malaysia.

No.5 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara captured their fourth team title at the 2021 Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open, defeating No.8 seeds Hayley Carter and Luisa Stefani 7-6(5) 6-4.

The Japanese duo, who first paired at the 2019 Toray Pan Pacific, capped off a successful week that began with having to save four match points to defeat Andrea Klepac and Marta Kostyuk in the first round, prevailing 4-6, 7-5, 12-10, and included a dominant win over top seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbora Krejcikova in the quarterfinals.

The win took Aoyama and Shibahara’s title tally to four, having won previously at 2019 Tianjin, 2019 Moscow, and 2020 St. Petersburg.

“Our goal is always to win a Grand Slam, but what’s important is to take it one tournament, one match at a time, and always learn from each match and achieve our goal,” Shibahara said. “Obviously, I’m really excited for the Olympics. That’s just another thing to look forward to.”

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