SAPPORO, Japan – California alumnus and New Zealand product Ben McLachlan is finding success playing in futures tournaments on the professional tennis circuit in Japan, his mother’s homeland. The former Golden Bear reached the doubles final and singles semifinals of the recent Showanomori Open Tennis Tournament in Akishima and is currently playing singles in a tournament in Sapporo.
On the outdoor courts at the Showanomori Tennis Center in Akishima, a Tokyo suburb, McLachlan won three matches in the singles main draw before falling to eventual champion Yuuya Kibi of Japan, 7-6(3), 7-6(3), in the June 21 semis. McLachlan earlier defeated Japan’s Masato Chiga, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, in the round of 32, Masaki Sasai in the round of 16, 6-3, 6-4, and Gengo Kikuchi in the quarterfinals, 7-6(6), 7-6(5).
McLachlan had already won three times in the qualifying draw, beating Tsubasa Oyama, 6-0, 6-2, in the first round, Haru Inouye, 6-1, 6-4, in the second round and Yusuke Yoshikawa, 6-0, 6-1, in the third round.
In doubles in Akishima, McLachlan partnered with Japan’s Keisuke Watanuki to beat Katsuki Nagao/Hiromasa Oku, 6-3, 7-6(4), in the opening round of 16, Shuuto Kaji/Issei Okamura in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-2, and fourth-seeded Sasai/Koichi Sano in the semis, 7-5, 6-3. Despite winning the first set in the championship match, McLachlan and Watanuki ultimately lost to the top-seeded tandem of Sho Katayama and Arata Onozawa, 6-7(4), 6-3, 10-4, also on June 21.
The Cal alum moved on to play in Sapporo International Open Tennis 2014 on clay at Nakajima Park on the northern island of Hokkaido. In singles qualifying, McLachlan beat Australia’s fifth-seeded David Barclay, 6-4, 6-4, in the June 21 first round and Japan’s Akinori Uchiumi, 6-3, 6-1, in the June 22 second round to advance to the singles main draw slated to run Tuesday through Sunday.
McLachlan and his brother and fellow former Bear, Riki, are the sons of Japanese immigrant Yuriko and New Zealand native Craig McLachlan. Ben McLachlan completed his Cal career in May in the NCAA Singles Championships. The Bears’ No. 1 singles player fell in the quarterfinals at NCAAs, after leading Cal to the round of 16 in the NCAA team tournament. He earned a No. 42 ranking in the final ITA singles poll of 2013-14 and garnered All-America honors as well as All-Pac-12 first-team selection in his last season as a Bear.