Can you please tell me a bit more about these All Japan Championships?? Thanks.
Shinobu withdrew from the Championships... wonder why...
All Japan Championships have been held since 1920's.
The past woman's champions are Kimiko Date(91, 92), Naoko Sawamatsu (87), Ai Sugiyama (95-97), Mana Endo (93, 97), Yone Kamio (94), Saori Obata (98, 02), Shinobu Asagoe (99), Rika Fujiwara (01), etc. Ai and Rika won the doubles last year.
I guess you could say that after becoming no.1 in Japan many of players like the one I mentioned above stepped up to the world level tennis.
Before Date's era (95 or so), the tournament was held on the second week of the US Open... Those time, no Japanese players could advance to the second week of the US open..., but Date started complaining about the tournament date, and changed to this time of the year now.
This tournament has a history.
This year's no.1 seed is Akiko Morigami. She should win this tournament sometime soon!