It seems she is improving a lot recently. But I have never seen her play. Can anybody tell me her strength? How old is she? She can be the next Ai Sugiyama or more likely to be the next Asagoe?
Feb 7th, 2003, 09:02 AM
Yea, good luck Akiko in your semi today!!
I THINK she plays double handed both sides, but I'm not entirely sure about that. She has been playing well. She won the Asian Champs last year (not the Asian Games) and at OZ open won her first round, then almost beat Panova :(
Go Akiko!!! :D
Feb 7th, 2003, 09:15 AM
You're right, I Love Chanda. She's two-fisted on both sides.
She gave Tammy a tough match in Pattaya last November.
Maybe jirobkk can elaborate more on her style...I can't remember exactly what her strengths were, but I know there were some really good rallies.
Feb 7th, 2003, 09:53 AM
Saw Akiko win the Asian Championships. She had a tough match against Liu Jing-Jing (CHN) but except that, it was quite a smooth tourney for her.
She does play two-handed both sides. Good footwork. She does not commit many mistakes. Hits flat.
The thing is she can suddenly hit a killer during a rally at a moment you would not expect it. Her two-handed shots allow her to find good angles. However, I seem to remember she prefers to hit inside-out shots.
Her serve did not strike me, though it was regular. She can progress in this field :) .
Feb 8th, 2003, 02:53 AM
When I worked in Florida, she trained there at Palmer or something.
She should be 21 or 22 now...
I dunno if she could be the next Sugiyama or Asagoe...
After Kimiko Date retired from tennis, there are not many hopes in Japanese tennis...
so $$$ to play there!! Indoors? over $120/hr!! yeee haaaw!!
Feb 8th, 2003, 03:00 AM
I met her and Asagoe, Obata, in Pattaya last year. She is very nice when I asked for the pics. At welcome party the Japanese players enjoyed Thai dance very much.
Akiko has consistent ground stroke and does not make error, she can hit good angle winner shot when she has chance. I think she ready to be number 2 now.
Feb 8th, 2003, 04:52 AM
I saw her beat Kandar at adidas quallies, she went on to beat Iva Majoli in the next round. I think she moved very well, had good anticipation, LOVES pace, keeps depth and doesnt miss much.
As some of you have said, she hits with deceptive feorcity and can finish a rally when you least expect it. She has top 50 potential atleast..
Feb 8th, 2003, 08:13 AM
Thanks everyone! Some of your comments remind me of Sawamatsu for some reason.
Maybe Akiko would not like clay like other Japanese players, but hope she will continuously give us some surprises this year. I am really looking forward to seeing her on TV soon!
Feb 8th, 2003, 08:55 AM
Yea, I'm really looking forward to seeing Akiko play as well, she's really been making headway recently, esp. as this time last year I'd never even heard of her!
I also really hope that Rika and Saori climb up the rankings too. I saw Rika play at DFS and definitely think she is better than where she's ranked now (about 175 or something)
Good luck to all the Japanese girls! :D