OARAI, JAPAN: The first visit by the ITF Pro Circuit to this Japanese town saw unseeded Sho Katayama emerge as the champion.
The 23-year old took the title with a straight sets 76(4) 63 defeat of his fellow countryman Hiroki Kondo. Kondo, seeded two, was the second seed to fall to Katayama following his opening round win against the sixth seed Arata Onozawa.
With only four non-Japanese players in the 32-draw singles main event a Japanese winner was always going to be the favourite outcome and this became guaranteed when Korea’s Jung-Woong Na was eliminated at the quarterfinal stage.
Katayama’s triumph in the final brought him his first career singles title, having previously never progressed beyond the quarterfinal stage in singles play, and followed on from his first ever ITF Pro Circuit title win which came in the doubles event the previous week in Kashiwa.