Do you know, I've never liked Sugiyama much, and I admit it's because of the problems she's caused Mary over the years. I've never been able to undestand why she's beaten Mary so much, but has such a very poor record against all the other Big Babes. (Thankfully with Mary's vagueness about her head-to-heads against any given player her 4-6 H2H against Ai shouldn't be a factor tonight!!)
When Ai beat Mary at San Diego in 1999 it was Mary's first match since Wimbledon whereas Sugiyama had 'warmed up' playing 2 or 3 qualifying matches, so that one wasn't such an upset -and it was three sets anyway.
I'm heartened by the fact that in their topsy-turvy 10-match rivalry, neither player has ever won three consecutive matches against the other, and as Sugiyama won the last two, it's Mary's turn!