Ben McLachlan Named To Japan’s Olympic Team
BERKELEY – Ben McLachlan is making plenty of news this week.
The California men's tennis alumnus was named to Japan's Olympic team on Tuesday, one day before he starts play in Wimbledon. The former Cal star will pair with Kei Nishikori in doubles in the Summer Games, after he partners with South Africa's Raven Klaasen in doubles in London.
"We're incredibly excited and proud of Ben to be playing in the Olympics in Tokyo," said Peter Wright, Cal's Director of Men's Tennis. "He's been an amazing representative of our team on the pro tour, and he's had some of his best moments on the biggest stage in tennis – the Grand Slams. Playing in the Olympics and being a Cal Olympian are two of the things he dreamed of during his time on the Cal tennis team."
McLachlan will be competing in his first Olympics, with men's tennis kicking off on July 24 and men's doubles concluding with the medal matches on July 30 at Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo. He is coached by former Cal assistant coach Lan Bale and by his brother and fellow Cal men's tennis alum, Riki McLachlan.
Japan's Olympic tennis team includes men's player Yoshihito Nishioka and women's players Naomi Osaka, Misaki Doi, Ena Shibahara – an occasional mixed doubles partner of McLachlan's – and Shuko Aoyama.
Currently the 47th-ranked doubles player in the world, McLachlan had a career-best ranking of 18th in 2019. The duo of McLachlan and Klaasen – seeded 14th at Wimbledon – is ranked 20th in the latest ATP poll.
McLachlan has competed in all four Grand Slams in doubles and in 2021 has played in the Australian Open and French Open. His best Grand Slam finish came in his first major, with the erstwhile Bear teaming with Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff to reach the semifinals of the 2018 Australian Open. McLachlan's best Wimbledon finish also came in 2018, with Struff and McLachlan advancing to the quarterfinals.
McLachlan previously represented New Zealand – where he, Riki and his father, Craig, were born. Ben began competing for Japan in international competition in 2017 to take advantage of greater opportunities in the native country of his mother, Yuriko.
A stalwart for the Golden Bears from 2011-14, McLachlan claimed All-America singles honors and a spot on the All-Pac-12 first team as a senior, when he competed in the NCAA Singles Championship for the third consecutive season. He shared some of his earlier success at Cal with Riki, as the two captured the ITA Northwest Regional doubles title in 2012, when Ben also won the singles title at regionals. Ben paired with Carlos Cueto to win the regional doubles crown in 2011.