Saori Obata

Saori Obata (Japanese: 小畑沙織, Obata Saori, born 23 April 1978) is a retired female tennis player from Japan.[1] She turned professional in April 1996, and in February 2004, she achieved her career-high singles ranking of 39, and on the same day she reached her career-high doubles ranking of 98.

Saori Obata
小畑沙織
Country (sports) Japan
ResidenceTokyo
Born (1978-04-23) 23 April 1978 (age 42)
Sapporo
Height1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Turned proApril 1996
RetiredJune 2006
PlaysLeft-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money$652,031
Singles
Career record281–222
Career titles0 WTA, 6 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 39 (9 February 2004)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open3R (2004)
French Open1R (2002, 2003, 2004)
Wimbledon2R (2002, 2004)
US Open3R (2003)
Doubles
Career record118–102
Career titles1 WTA, 2 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 98 (9 February 2004)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open2R (2004)
Wimbledon1R (2003, 2005)
US Open1R (2003)

BiographyEdit

She did not win a singles title on WTA Tour in her career, however did reach one singles final in Tashkent in 2003 where she lost in two sets to Virginia Ruano-Pascual. In the same year, she reached the semifinals of the WTA event in Bali, Indonesia, before losing to Chanda Rubin. She achieved a notable scalp in the opening round of the Eastbourne grass-event in 2003, when she defeated Jelena Dokić in straight sets when Dokić was ranked 11th in the world. She also defeated Ai Sugiyama in the second round of the Australian Open in 2004 when ranked No. 55, this was her only win over a top-ten player as Sugiyama was ranked No. 9 at the time.

She won a doubles title at WTA-level (Memphis 2003, with Akiko Morigami), and five ITF-level singles titles. Her final Grand Slam appearance was at the 2006 Australian Open where she lost in the opening round, having qualified, to Daniela Hantuchová in three sets. She retired from professional tennis in June 2006 because of injury.

WTA career finalsEdit

Singles (0-1)Edit

Outcome No. Date Location Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1. 12 October 2003 Tashkent, Uzbekistan Hard   Virginia Ruano Pascual 2–6, 6–7(2)

Doubles (1-0)Edit

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponent Score
Winner 1. 16 February 2003 Memphis, United States Hard (i)   Akiko Morigami   Alina Jidkova
  Bryanne Stewart
6–1, 6–1

ITF FinalsEdit

Singles (6-4)Edit

Outcome No. Date Location Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 7 April 1996 Jakarta, Indonesia Hard   Choi Young-ja 6–2, 6–2
Runner-up 2. 25 June 2000 Mont-de-Marsan, France Clay   Edith Nunes 2–6, 4–6
Runner-up 3. 13 May 2001 Fukuoka, Japan Grass   Alicia Molik 5-7, 3-6
Winner 4. 18 November 2001 Port Pirie, Australia Hard   Pavlina Nola 6–1, 6–2
Winner 5. 25 November 2001 Nuriootpa, Australia Hard   Cho Yoon-jeong 6–4, 6–1
Runner-up 6. 23 July 2002 Louisville, United States Hard   Alina Jidkova 3-6, 4-6
Runner-up 7. 5 May 2003 Gifu, Japan Hard   Shinobu Asagoe 4-6, 1-6
Winner 8. 11 May 2003 Fukuoka, Japan Clay   Maria Elena Camerin 2–6, 6–3, 6–3
Winner 9. 3 April 2005 Augusta, United States Hard   Victoria Azarenka 6–2, 6–2
Winner 10. 8 May 2005 Gifu, Japan Hard   Shiho Hisamatsu 6–1, 2–6, 6–4

Doubles (12–5)Edit

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1. 8 January 1996 San Antonio, United States Hard   Nami Urabe   Pam Nelson
  Nóra Köves
6–2, 4–6, 1–6
Winner 2. 25 March 1996 Bandung, Indonesia Hard   Nami Urabe   Chen Jingjing
  Li Li
6–3, 6–3
Winner 3. 4 May 1997 Gifu, Japan Hard   Kaoru Shibata   Shinobu Asagoe
  Yasuko Nishimata
6-3, 7-5
Runner-up 4. 30 June 1997 Mont-de-Marsan, France Hard   Nami Urabe   Katalin Marosi
  Veronica Stele
4–6, 3–6
Winner 5. 10 October 1997 Saga, Japan Grass   Danielle Jones   Surina De Beer
  Nami Urabe
6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 6. 16 March 1998 Noda, Japan Hard   Kyōko Nagatsuka   Keiko Ishida
  Keiko Nagatomi
6–3, 2–6, 3–6
Winner 7. 8 June 1998 Sochi, Russia Hard   Kaoru Shibata   Nino Louarsabishvili
  Elena Tatarkova
3–6, 6–4, 6–2
Winner 8. 14 May 2000 Seoul, South Korea Clay   Shinobu Asagoe   Li Na
  Li Ting
6–1, 6–3
Winner 9. 28 May 2000 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Hard   Cho Yoon-jeong   Li Na
  Li Ting
6–1, 6–2
Winner 10. 4 June 2000 Shenzhen, China Hard   Kim Eun-ha   Li Na
  Li Ting
6–1, 6–3
Winner 11. 26 May 2002 Tallinn, Estonia Clay   Akiko Morigami   Teryn Ashley
  Kristen Schlukebir
7-5, 7–6(2)
Winner 12. 27 April 2003 Gifu, Japan Grass   Rika Fujiwara   Shinobu Asagoe
  Nana Smith
1–6, 7–5, 6–3
Runner-up 13. 6 May 2003 Fukuoka, Japan Clay   Rika Fujiwara   Līga Dekmeijere
  Nana Smith
2–6, 6–2, 4–6
Winner 14. 9 May 2004 Fukuoka, Japan Carpet   Rika Fujiwara   Monique Adamczak
  Nicole Kriz
6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 15. 3 April 2005 Augusta, United States Hard   Rika Fujiwara   Anastasia Rodionova
  Tatiana Poutchek
6–7(3), 0–6
Winner 16. 8 May 2005 Gifu, Japan Carpet   Rika Fujiwara   Ryōko Fuda
  Seiko Okamoto
6–1, 6–2
Winner 17. 31 May 2005 Surbiton, England Grass   Rika Fujiwara   Jennifer Hopkins
  Mashona Washington
4–6, 6–4, 6–2

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit