Originally Posted by B_KABAN
Japanese players enjoy playing tennis and having fun. When they have bad mood, they could lose easily.
Well, kku. Tennis is NOT immensely popular here in Japan. Nobody watches tennis on tv here.. I mean, the tv of tennis broadcast are always worse than tragic. Part of the reason for Princess Cup being gone is the decline of the crowd attendance and drop in the TV rates. Baseball and soccer are far more popular than tennis, sorry to admit.
As for the Japanese tennis players, Kimiko wasn't so inconsistent as you stated she was. She didnt have too many early round losses. plus she didnt play many years on the tour. Of course she could have been more consistent but if she was inconsistent, pretty much everyong on the tour gotta be incosistent.
the problem Japanese players has is lack of power. they are mostly good counter punchers but quite unable to match big girls in the power department. when their opponents are overpowering them, there is no way they win the matches. Kimiko was the only exception. She could compete with power players as her records against the big girls indicate. But still had she been more powerful and bigger, she surely would have won some more big titles. But she was mentally one of the strongest players out there. How many matches did she win fighting back from match point down? She was a real fighter without a doubt.
Ai.. she got no.1 junior ranking at 16 or so and was really hyped when she made her pro debut. She actually did well in the first few years on the tour and climed up the ranking ladder rather rapidly. I think tennis wise she's pretty much as talented as Kimiko but the difference between them is mental strength. Ai always has trouble closing out a set or a match. She every now and then lets a 5-2, 5-3 lead slip. Even this year already she has done it in many matches (against Monica, Amelie)
it seems she's about to take another step. I mean she's been playing really well so far and she really suprised me with her win over Davenport, a player she had never beaten before. it's more notable that she did in the fashion she did. She managed to win a close set which she would have lost in the past. So guess she must have worked on the mental department during the off season. the more top players she beats, the higher her confidence goes up for sure. and she has already beaten a handlful of top 10 players this season. I have a feeling that this can be her carrer best season if she keeps it up which I think she will with her determination toward the game.