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Japan Tennis Association director Koji Watanabe on Tuesday urged Japanese ace Ai Sugiyama to reconsider her decision not to compete at this year’s Athens Olympics.

News photoAkiko Morigami is all concentration during her second-round loss to Nicole Pratt at the Australian Open. Pratt won 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Sugiyama, who is currently ninth in the WTA singles rankings, has indicated she will opt out of the Olympics, citing conflicts in this year’s season tour schedule.

Watanabe will continue to press Sugiyama to compete, however, as her current ranking would virtually guarantee her a spot on the national team.

Qualifiers for the Olympics will be decided based on their rankings as of June 14.

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