17 Oct 2017

Italians among Tokyo winners

News Article

By Nick Fishpool

Photo: Aoi KobayashiMikael Alessi and Andrea Stuto (ITA)

TOKYO, JAPAN: The opening week of October saw the Beach Tennis Tour arrive in the Japanese capital for two tournaments which were being staged alongside an ATP Tour tournament as part of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships.

Being held at the venue for the upcoming 2020 Olympics – Ariake Tennis Park – these Championships represent the pinnacle of the beach tennis season in Japan amongst the home nations players with one being quoted as stating: "All the players in Japan have been playing many tournaments to earn points to make the Rakuten."

The first of this beach tennis double-header in Tokyo was a $2,500 tournament which saw the top seeds in each of the men’s and women’s events emerging victorious in close finals having made steady progress through each of the preceding rounds.

Misa Miyasaka and Tomomi Takahashi, seed two, lost out 75 63 to the Misa Miyasaka and Tomomi Takahashi (JPN)French pair Pauline Bourdet and Julia Coll but there was home-grown success in the men’s final as Susumu Kawashima, partnered with Greece’s Ioannis Dimopoulos, came from behind to win 57 75 64.

A $10,000 tournament followed over the remainder of the week. This saw a repeat of the previous tournament’s women’s final with Bourdet and Coll this time running out comfortable 62 61 winners.

There was to be no repeat winners in the men’s event though with Dimopoulos and Kawashima falling at the semifinal stage in straight sets to Italians Mikael Alessi and Andrea Stuto who would go on to take the title.

In winning this $10,000 title, Alessi added to his 2016 triumph, then playing alongside Brazilian Thales Santos.

The beach tennis event also attracted the attention of players from the ATP Tour including France’s Adrian Mannarino, the world number 29 and runner-up here in the ATP singles event, who stopped by to take in some of action.