• Kyodo

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Ai Sugiyama, who snared the women’s doubles title with her Belgian partner Kim Clijsters at the Wimbledon championships Sunday, made a triumphant return to Japan on Tuesday.

Speaking at a news conference at Narita airport, Sugiyama said with a broad smile, “My soul searching, if you will, over the past few years has finally culminated into bringing a tangible form.”

The Japanese-Belgian pair downed Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain and Paola Suarez of Argentina 6-4, 6-4 in the final, becoming the first Japanese player to win the Grand Slam since Kazuko Sawamatsu and American Ann Kiyomura won the women’s doubles at Wimbledon in 1975.

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