07 Aug 2012

Presence in Japan continues to grow


NEWS ARTICLE

By  Nick Fishpool

Photo: Giampiero SpositoKotaro Aizawa and Naoaki Yamamoto

Beach tennis continues to increase in popularity in Japan with a further six tournaments due to take place over the next three months.

Publicity for the sport will also be boosted by a G1 event in Tokyo which will be played on site at the ATP 500 tournament over the course of the final weekend.

The addition of these six tournaments to the 2012 calendar sees the total for the year reach 15 surpassing the 2011 total by three. 

Growth in Japan has increased each year since 2009, when the first beach tennis tournament came to the nation, and with interest now also coming from China, who will be staging their first-ever tournament in September, the popularity of the sport appears to be set for take-off in Asia.

In 2008 the year-end rankings of the first ITF Beach Tennis Tour featured just three Japanese men but 52 weeks later this number had jumped to 71. At the end of 2009 there were 51 Japanese women in the rankings.

These numbers have risen steadily and in the latest rankings, released on 30 July, there were 120 Japanese men and 104 Japanese women.

The leading Japanese players currently occupy positions within the Top 50. Heading the rankings for the men are Kotaro Aizawa and Naoaki Yamamoto who jointly hold 32nd position and, at No. 22, Tomomi Takahashi is currently Japan's highest ranked woman.

 

Upcoming Japanese Tournaments in 2012

18 August
Fujisawa Kanagawa

25 August
Fukuoka

23 September
Hiratsuka

05 October
Tokyo

13 October
Fujisawa Kanagawa

27 October
Miyazaki

 

Year-end Ranking of Top Japanese Players

 

Year

Men

Women

 2008

114= Takahari Sugita
114= Takehito Hamada
114= Takahashi Toshiya

N/A 

 2009

29= Kenichi Ohno
29= Kiyotaka Shimomura 

21 Kasumi Aiko

 2010

45= Kotaro Aizawa

28= Yukiko Nakamura
28= Tomomi Takahashi

 2011

26 Naoaki Yamamoto

18= Tomomi Takahashi

 2012*

32= Kotaro Aizawa
32= Naoaki Yamamoto

22= Tomomi Takahashi


* as at 30 July 2012



Photos

  • Kotaro Aizawa and Naoaki YamamotoAizawa and Yamamoto at BTWC 2011
  • Aizawa and Yamamoto at BTWC 2011Aizawa and Yamamoto at BTWC 2011
  • Oiso, Japan - 2011Oiso, Japan - 2011
  • Oiso, Japan - 2011Oiso, Japan - 2011
  • Oiso, Japan - 2011Oiso, Japan - 2011

JAPANESE TOURNAMENT GROWTH

2008
0 tournaments held
2009
6 tournaments held
2010
10 tournaments held
2011
12 tournaments held
2012 (to date)
15 tournaments held

JAPANESE YEAR-END RANKED PLAYERS

2008
3 male 0 female
2009
71 male 51 female
2010
82 male 70 female
2011
108 male 84 female
2012 (to date)
120 male 104 female

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