Top 9 Japanese tennis players of all time

Kei Nishikori
Kei Nishikori

The Japan Tennis Association was originally founded in 1922 as the Nihon Teikyu Kyoukai, a voluntary organization. Since the introduction of Western-style tennis there, the desire of the Japanese people to interact internationally and to venture onto the global stage has steadily grown stronger.

In 1920, Zenzo Shimizu, who was working at the Kolkata Branch Office of Mitsui & Co. Ltd., went to Wimbledon alone and reached the All Comers’ finals (the semi-finals in the current system). Later that year, at the Antwerp Olympics in August, Ichiya Kumagai, then working at the New York Branch Office of Mitsubishi Goshi Kaisha (Mitsubishi Company), won the silver medal in both singles and doubles matches, partnering with Seiichiro Kashio in the latter.

These were the first medals won by Japanese athletes in Olympic history.

With tennis gaining popularity around the world and especially in Asia, it isn't surprising that the recently concluded US Open saw two Japanese athletes reach the semifinal stage - and one of them would go on to make history by winning the title.

Here, we take a look at the nine best Japanese tennis players of all time:

#9 Ryuki Miki

Ryuki Miki was the first ever Japanese player to win a Grand Slam title. He did so at the Wimbledon Championships of 1934 in the mixed doubles category, partnering Dorothy Round.

While being employed overseas in London by a private firm, Miki took part in amateur tennis tournaments and picked up the game quite well. He participated in the Wimbledon singles competition between 1929 and 1934 and made the third round on three occasions between 1930 to 1933.

He also made the French Open third round once, and was a noted Davis Cup player too.

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Edited by Musab Abid

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