It seems to me that Fang Li had some ups and downs due to injury in the middle of the 90ies, same as Yi-Yang Yi who forced Hingis into a great match at Wimbledon once.
When the world got to know Na Li she also disappeared after a promising start and it seems to me she won´t return as well.
Can somebody from Asia inform me why they did so ?
And can some Japanese tell me about Date´s ambition to repeat her appearance in doubles after last year´s start in Tokyo ? Anybody knowing about Nagatsuka, Sawamatsu what they are up to ? Saeki returned but is injured again, right ?
Feb 13th, 2003, 12:25 AM
With the Japanese players, their sponsorship deals required them to play in league events in Japan. This was in addition to playing a full schedule on the WTA Tour. So, not only were they playing a lot of tennis, it was compacted into a short period of time. The players were simply being ground down. About 7 years ago, you couldn't go more than a dozen spots in the rankings without finding another Japanese player. Date, Sawamatsu, Sugiyama, Nagatsuka, Kamio, Endo, Hiraki, Kijimuta, etc. Several players achieved top 50 rankings at some point, and even top 30.
It may have changed in the last couple of years. Perhaps someone from Japan can elaborate?
As for the Chinese players, I wonder if the situation isn't similar. But instead of sponsors making demands on them, perhaps it's the government/federation that's pushing them, and perhaps causing them to overplay. They, too, may have to compete in leagues in China, or events in Asia, in addition to a full pro tour schedule. Perhaps someone from China can fill us in? (Where's Allison when we need her? :))
Feb 13th, 2003, 04:04 AM
Hmm, ya I've been watching Na after she won the 75K last year. She supposidly has tons of talent. Didn't she fall to illness? Something serious I believe. Maybe China is doing the same thing with gymnastics, figure skating and diving...
Feb 13th, 2003, 08:37 AM
I know that education is very important to the Japanese and I think that could be a factor in their short careers.