Fitness has been key to Soichiro Moritani’s success in professional tennis, as the 22-year-old from Tokyo, Japan achieved his best world ranking to date, No.770, earlier this week while by winning matches at King’s Guam Futures 2017, an ITF. Pro Circuit event presented by Docomo Pacific and Hilton Guam Resort & Spa.
In Thursday’s second round of the singles main draw, Moritani played his second straight-set game in as many days to stop Korea’s Kwon Oh-Hee 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
Moritani led to 5-1 in the third set and served for the game, but fatigue started to set in and he lost the next two games, he said. Seeing the game start to slip away, Moritani put the pressure on himself to quickly gain points at the net instead of continuing to engage in long grassroots rallies.
âAt this level, all players should at least have strong, consistent groundstrokes – in many games I’ve played I’ve had to back and forth to the baseline a few times just to win a point, âMoritani said after his second-round singles. meet. âEspecially for Japanese tennis players, we usually don’t have a big build, so being consistent in the rally is very important against bigger players with more power, but sometimes it’s not enough to win.
âMy opponent was also very consistent in long rallies and I was not winning the points I needed. Several times during the game I had to create opportunities to go to the net and hit volleys to gain points, including in the last game to finally win the game, âadded Moritani.
Moritani is remembered by many Guam tennis fans in 2013, when the 18-year-old hit the headlines after beating former world No.12 Dominik Hrbaty, a special guest at the tournament that year, for earn their very first professional point. Moritani needed to win the draw that year to earn a place in the main draw. Now Moritani is the No.4 seed in this year’s tournament.
Next for Moritani is No.5 Jake Delaney, a 6-3, 6-4 winner against Japan’s Kazuma Kawachi. Delaney are also Moritani’s doubles partner in this tournament and the pair are expected to play against number 4 Masaki Sasai and Shunrou Takeshima in the semi-finals. Both teams clinched victories in the doubles quarter-finals on Thursday.
Takeshima is also still in the singles draw with a surprise win over No.6 Connor Farren, 6-3, 6-1.
In the day’s other singles matches, No.1 Hiroyasu Ehara advanced to the singles quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-2 win over New Zealand wildcard Alex Hunt. No.3 Yuichi Ito defeated Masaki Osafune 6-2, 6-4 and No.8 Moon Ju-Hae of the Republic of Korea defeated Keisuke Numajiri of Japan 6-3, 6-3. The unclassified players still in the draw are Ken Onoda, winner 6-4, 6-2 over Naru Shirafuji and Japan’s Takao Suzuki, winner 6-3, 6-2 over Switzerland’s Luca Castelnuovo.
In doubles, No.2s Yuichi Ito and Ken Onoda beat Masaki Osafune and Naru Shirafuji 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the semi-finals against No.3 Connor Farren and Bernardo Saraiva. Farren / Saraiva won 6-3, 6-2 over Nicholas Kamisar and Joseph van Meter.
The singles quarter-finals and doubles semi-finals will be played on the Hilton tennis courts on Friday starting at 10 a.m.
For more information on the tournament and match schedules, visit www.itftennis.com/procircuit/tournaments/men’s-tournament/info.aspx
This article originally appeared on Pacific Daily News: Guam’s Thermal Factors in the Pro’s Tennis Game