Photo: Akio Matsumoto$25,000 Karuizawa - singles champion Natsumi Hamamura
Once ranked as high as 203 in the WTA singles rankings, she recently added to her sole ITF Pro Circuit singles title, won back in 2004, by claiming two titles during May 2010.
Recently the ITF Pro Circuit was able to put the following questions to the 25-year old.
ITF Pro Circuit : Can you tell us where you were born and how you got started in tennis?
Natsumi Hamamura : I was born in the city of Kagoshima in Japan and I started playing at the age of 10. This was mainly due to tennis being a hobby of my parents but, after playing for a year, becoming a professional player was all I wanted to become.
ITF Pro Circuit : Apart from your parents playing tennis, do you have any other members of your family who play sport?
Natsumi Hamamura : My brother, along with my father, plays baseball.
ITF Pro Circuit : Are you currently working with a coach?
Natsumi Hamamura : Presently, I am being coached by Shunsuke Ogata. When I first started, my father was my coach before Daisuke Watanabe took over.
ITF Pro Circuit : Who were/are your tennis idols?
Natsumi Hamamura : My tennis idol is Belgium’s Kim Clijsters.
ITF Pro Circuit : What is your greatest tennis memory of your playing career so far?
Natsumi Hamamura : Definitely when I competed for the first time in a Grand Slam qualifying event* and when I won last year's All-Japan Championships in the doubles event.
* Natsumi has, to date, competed in the qualifying events for the 2008 Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
ITF Pro Circuit : Can you tell us a bit about your experiences of playing on the ITF Pro Circuit?
Natsumi Hamamura : Playing on the ITF Pro Circuit has given me the opportunity of visiting various countries and experience new languages and also to make new friends all over the world.
ITF Pro Circuit : In your personal opinion, what would you say are the best and worst aspects of being a professional tennis player?
Natsumi Hamamura : The joy of the winning is the best. This joy never changes! The feeling after having lost a game you felt you should have won is the worst.
ITF Pro Circuit : So, had you not become a tennis player what would you have liked to do?
Natsumi Hamamura : Having decided at an early age to become a tennis pro, I have never really given any thought to having any other career, it’s always been tennis.
ITF Pro Circuit : Finally, apart from tennis do you have any other interests?
Natsumi Hamamura : Shopping and I enjoy singing.
ITF Pro Circuit : Thanks for your time Natsumi.