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Old Feb 26th, 2003, 02:59 AM   #1
kku
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Why are Japanese tennis players so inconsistent?

IMO, Japan has so far produced the most successful and probably the most talented tennis players (although, maybe not in the men).

But why is it that when Japanese tennis players post such impressive results and are about to launch a North Korea on the tennis world then they plummet (like the Japanese economy) and lose in early rounds.

Clearly, the main problem with Japanese tennis players are their inconsistency. Even though Ai Sugiyama boasts big wins over players such as Jennifer Capriati, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, etc, she has lost many, many times to players ranked a good distance below her. Take the year 2000 for an example. Ai reached AO quarters and RG fourth round. Then basically it was a spectacular roller coaster ride down the rankings until mid 2002.

Kimiko Date's another good example. She's the most talented and succesful Asian tennis player so far. But her inconsistency astounds me! She's had so many early round exits that it's easy to forget that she was once ranked 4th in the world. Believe me, if she was consistent as Martina Hingis, Date would've captured either the AO or Wimbledon and won more than a measely 7 singles titles.

Anyway, what are the Japanese/Asian fans' POV? Even though tennis is so immensely popular in Japan, I don't think the JTA is doing enough to push intensive training or international competition on it's youngsters.

Love to hear from you guys
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Old Mar 1st, 2003, 05:24 PM   #2
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Japanese players enjoy playing tennis and having fun. When they have bad mood, they could lose easily.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 03:28 AM   #3
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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.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2003, 06:56 PM   #4
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Well Ai just won her Semi-Final match
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 02:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gogomaggie
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.
Interesting points

Remember Kimiko's year in 1994 when she won in Sydney and Tokyo and reached the Semis at the AO and Quarters at UO? Just by looking at those results, she should've been ranked at least #6. But because she had a poor clay season and didn't play much indoor tennis leading up to Chase, she was "only" #9. I was so disappointed....I really thought after AO that Kimiko was going to be top 5 that year.

I understand what you mean about Kimiko being a fighter. I'm still amazed at the determination and fighting spirit of the Japanese players. IMO Kimiko's win over Graf at the 1995 Fed Cup Semi Final in Tokyo (7-6, 3-6, 12-10) and Ai's 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 6-3 victory over Davenport are probably the best examples of Japanese determination.

What annoys me is that just when Ai or Kimiko are about to do really well, they post many early exits later on and as a result, their year ending rankings don't reflect their talent.

BTW, Is the Princess Cup really gone? OMG What and when did this happen?
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 05:09 AM   #6
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kku good topic! I think there are two reasons. One is the height disadvantage. Date, Sugiyama, Basuki and Sawamatsu were crafty enough to find other ways to beat the top players but the rest don't have the weapons nor the self-confidence. The other reason is the Japanese are taught to play only one way, the Chris Evert style of measured baseline rallying as Martina Navratilova called it when referring to the Japanese's uniform style of tennis. Kimiko was the exception and is the reason she made it to the top 5. Yayuk could've been top 20 had she been mentally tougher. I have high hopes for Angie that she takes after Kimiko and Yayuk's attacking style.
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 07:20 AM   #7
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ProudtobeAsian...I am curious, you wrote - Basuki could've been top 20 had she been mentally tougher...What do you mean? You mean that she had to be in top 20 for at least 1 year or 5 years in a row? I checked in wtatour.com - it is written that Basuki highest ranking was 19th (the week of October 6-12, 1997), so she managed to crack in to top 20!!! And since 1991 until 1997, she maintained to be in top 50!!! Not bad for an Indonesian!
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 11:22 PM   #8
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ProudtobeAsian...I am curious, you wrote - Basuki could've been top 20 had she been mentally tougher...What do you mean? You mean that she had to be in top 20 for at least 1 year or 5 years in a row? I checked in wtatour.com - it is written that Basuki highest ranking was 19th (the week of October 6-12, 1997), so she managed to crack in to top 20!!! And since 1991 until 1997, she maintained to be in top 50!!! Not bad for an Indonesian!
Lokomaya sorry I forgot that Yayuk was in the top 20 briefly. I think Yayuk could've been a consistent top 20 player for several years if she wasn't mentally fragile. Yayuk was very dangerous especially indoors and on grass and always was close to beating many of the top players but she could never close it out. I remember one match at the US Open where she could've beaten Steffi but Yayuk got scared. That was the difference between Yayuk and Kimiko. Yayuk had more weapons (big serve, slice backhand) but Kimiko was more self-confident and resilient. Yayuk was better than Sawamatsu in every way but just didn't have Kimiko's determination.
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Old Mar 12th, 2003, 07:55 AM   #9
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Curtis F...Got your point now! I met Yayuk Basuki twice last week and today I met her bubby, Suharyadi!
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 05:43 AM   #10
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Curtis F...Got your point now! I met Yayuk Basuki twice last week and today I met her bubby, Suharyadi!
Does Yayuk do any coaching for the Indonesian Tennis Federation? I hope so because she would be a terrific coach and would teach Asian players to be more aggressive and have all court games.
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 07:10 AM   #11
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Curtis F...Yayuk, as far as I recall, she was coaching Indonesian Fed Cup 2001 when Angie for the 1st time was in the team...But after that, she has never been called for such assignment anymore...She is busy coaching junior players as well as Liza and Wukir to certain extent...She gives motivational and strategy tips once in a while to Angie via SMS! She managed to get a big sponsor from private national pharmaceutical company to hold junior tennis circuit last week and the 2nd leg will be in June and the masters series will be in September...The winners will be sent to any international junior tournament abroad or even GS junior if the ranking is allowed!
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 07:27 AM   #12
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for how long?
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 07:36 AM   #13
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I think, it is only one tournament...It is quite okay lach...It is a good start for troubling nation like Indonesia! I will check Yayuk when I see her again!
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 07:45 AM   #14
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thanks Can u answer my qun in indonesian tennis thread
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 08:06 AM   #15
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No problemo, bon jorno pronto!
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