Fifteen-year-old Ayumi Morita came from one set down to beat Tomoko Yonemura in the final Saturday to become the third youngest player to win the women’s singles title at the national championships.
Ninth-seed Morita dropped the first set and then rebounded from a 4-1 deficit in the second by winning five straight games on trademark two-handed winners on her way to a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over No. 8 seed Yonemura at Ariake Colosseum.
Morita won the national title at 15 years and eight months.
Akiko Kijimuta achieved the same feat at 15 years and four months in 1983, and Naoko Sawamatsu did it at 15 years and six months in 1988.
“I’m very happy with this victory, and I can’t really find any other words to describe my feeling right now,” said Morita, who claimed her first title since becoming the youngest-ever Japanese pro in women’s tennis in April.
This year’s national championships missed four of the five Japanese players placed in the world’s top 100, including Ai Sugiyama, who is 30th, and 38th-ranked Shinobu Asagoe.
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