Join Date: Sep 2002
From Sports Hochi
15 year-old, Morita wins the first match as a pro- Tennis Kangaroo Cup Day 1
15 year-old, Ayumi Morita (Palm International TA) won her first match as a pro. On the first round, she defeated the world ranked 246th and the tournament's no. 8th seed, Sophie Fergason (19, AUS) with three setters of the score 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. She is guranteed to receive her first prize money of $760 at this $50,000 WTA-challenger tournament.
This 15 year-old pro suddenly faced a rough test.
In the final set, it was 3-5 after the eighth game. If she lost one more game, she would've been a loser of the game. She never gave up. "The opponent must be tired. Let's avoid easy errors." After three deuce points, she attacked the left side by a forehand, and stepped forward to the net and hit the overhead. Then, she won the next four straight games.
"I used to lose control when I started playing poorly before. Now, I am playing in front of audience, so I can't play badly." The 15 year-old had a comment like a professional.
For 2 months after the announcement of her professional status, she left her hometown in Gunma, and stayed at her grandparents' in Yokohama. Now she trains at Palm International TA. Her mother, Hiromi (39) says with laughing, "Nothing really has been changed (since she became a pro). When she plays mini-tennis with her brother (Kazuhiro, 13), she could lose for her brother, but she always desperates to win."
After this tournament, her name will be appeared on WTA ranking list for the very first time. After the 2 hour 7 minute game, she'll receive 79,800yen, which is easily surpassed her this New Year's monetary gift by her father, Tomohiro (48) of 10,000yen. "maybe (I am going to) save it." For now, her goal is "I play at grandslam tournaments by the age of 17 or 18, and I'd like to get into top 10 someday." This 15 year-old's goal is really big.
(sorry for the rough translation)