14 Aug 2013

Tournament action hots up in Asia

News Article

By Nick Fishpool

Photo: Giampiero SpositoUmeda and Kamada at BTWC 2011

The Beach Tennis Tour in Asia is gathering pace over the next three months.

Having already hosted a Grade 4 tournament in Yokohama in late July, this coming weekend (17-18 August) will see Japan hosting a Grade 2 tournament in Fukuoka which will be immediately followed up with a Grade 3 tournament in Miyazaki the following weekend.

The Fukuoka tournament will mark a first return to the city for the ITF Beach Tennis Tour since a Grade 1 event last August which was won by Luca Cramarossa & Paolo Tronci in the men’s event whilst the women’s title went to Pauline Bourdet & Tomomi Takahashi who is currently the highest ranked female Japanese player (12) and who was a member of Japan’s 2013 World Team Championship squad.

Miyazaki staged two tournaments during 2012. First up was a Grade 2 early in the year during March which saw Michele Folegatti & Massimo Mattei and Federica Bacchetta & Silvia Zanuttini claim the titles.

A second visit to Miyazaki came in late October for a Grade 3 tournament where the title winners included Hideki Iwasaka who competed at the 2013 World Championships and is a current Top 30 ranked player & Susumu Kawashima, who, at 20, is Japan’s highest ranked male player.  Mayumi Umeda, who was seeded seventh at the 2013 World Championships in Italy & Kaori Yanase, a member of Japan’s 2013 World Team Championship squad took the women’s titles.

Interest in these tournaments is expected to be high following Japan’s sixth place finish in their debut appearance at the World Team Championship in Moscow, Russia just over a month ago and also with a number of the nation’s players riding high in the current rankings.

The action does not stop there. During September the ITF Beach Tennis Tour will visit Sanya, China for a Grade 3 tournament before returning to Japan for Grade 1 and Grade 4 tournaments in Tokyo and Fujisawa respectively, over consecutive weekends.