Prefers hard courts ... Father’s name is Noriyuki; mother’s name is Masako; has two older sisters, Mayumi and Miyo ... Most memorable experience was winning first pro tournament ... In the tennis community, admires former coach Kimiyo Hatanaka and Steffi Graf ... Favorite tournament is Wimbledon ... Enjoys karaoke ... Favorite actor is Kevin Costner.Official Web site: www.saori-obata.com
• In juniors, reached doubles SF at 1994 Wimbledon and was doubles finalist at 1995 Australian Open.
SINGLESWinner: 2005 - ITF/Augusta, GA-USA, ITF/Gifu-JPN; 2003 - ITF/Fukuoka-JPN; 2001- ITF/Port Pirie-AUS; 1996 - ITF/Jakarta-INA.Finalist (1): 2003 - Tashkent.Semifinalist (1): 2003 - Bali.Quarterfinalist (6): 2004 - Birmingham; 2003 - Memphis, Pattaya City; 2002 - Bali; 2001 - Tokyo [Japan Open]; 2000 - Shanghai.DOUBLESWinner (1): 2005 - ITF/Gifu-JPN, ITF/Surbiton-GBR (both w/Fujiwara); 2003 - Memphis (w/Morigami).Semifinalist (2): 2004 - Tokyo [Japan Open] (w/Fujiwara); 2003 - Pattaya City (w/Tanasugarn).ADDITIONALJapan Fed Cup Team 1999, 2001-05. Japan Olympic Team 2004.
1992 - Debuted at ITF/Bangkok-THA.1993 - Played first Tour qualifying at Tokyo [Japan Open] and Sapporo.1994 - Reached qualifying 2r of Tokyo [Nichirei].1995 - Reached two ITF Circuit QF.1996 - Qualified for first Tour events at Beijing and Pattaya City; won first singles title at ITF/Jakarta-INA.1997 - Qualified for Surabaya; finalist at ITF/Mont-de-Marsan-FRA.1998 - WC at Tokyo [Japan Open] (l. 1r).1999 - At Tokyo [Japan Open], reached third Tour doubles QF (w/Asagoe).2000 - Reached first Tour QF at Shanghai as qualifier.2001 - QF at Tokyo [Japan Open] (l. to Tanasugarn); won two straight ITF Circuit titles in Australia to end season; broke into Top 100 on December 3 at No.96.2002 - Debuted at all four Grand Slams and won first Grand Slam match at Wimbledon (d. No.29 Stevenson in 1r; l. 2r to Daniilidou); reached first QF of 2002 and third of career at Bali (l. to Sánchez-Vicario in 3s).2003 - Best season to date, reaching first Tour singles final at Tashkent (l. to Ruano Pascual) and earlier, first Tour SF at Bali (l. to Rubin); best Grand Slam finish at US Open, reaching 3r (l. to eventual championHenin-Hardenne); QF at Memphis (won career-first Tour doubles title there w/Morigami); on October 28, broke into Top 50 at No.50; won ITF/Fukuoka-JPN.2004 - Notched career-first Top 10 victory at Australian Open (d. No.9 Sugiyama in 2r, then l. in 3r to Dechy to equal best Grand Slam performance); QF at Birmingham (l. to Schnyder); l. in 2r at Wimbledon to No.12 seed Zvonareva 61 64 (led 4-2 second set); at Olympics, l. 1r in singles and 2r in doubles (w/Morigami); after 2r appearance at Tokyo [Pan Pacific], reached career-high No.39 in singles (February 9).2005 - Season highlighted by five 2r finishes, incl. Tokyo [Pan Pacific] (l. to No.1 Davenport 64 63), Tokyo [Japan Open] (l. to Golovin) and Bangkok (l. to Petrova); 1r at Australian Open, Wimbledon (as qualifier), and fell in qualifying at Roland Garros and US Open; captured fifth and sixth career ITF Circuit singles titles at $25K ITF/Augusta, GA-USA and $50K ITF/Gifu-JPN, also collecting 11th and 12th career ITF Circuit doubles titles; in Fed Cup play, was 0-1 in Japan’s 3-2 loss to Czech Republic in 1r action.
JANUARY - Fell 1r at Australian Open (l. to No.17 seed Hantuchova in 3s), then reached 2r at Tokyo [Pan Pacific] (as qualifier, d. Peschke in 1r before falling to No.5 seed Vaidisova).MARCH - Fell 1r at Indian Wells (l. to qualifier Pin).
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