Saori Obata (Japanese: 小畑沙織, Obata Saori, born 23 April 1978) is a retired female tennis player from Japan.[3] 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 44)[1][2]
Tokyo[1][2]
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.

Early careerEdit

Having had moderate success on the ITF junior circuit – reaching a career high ranking of 55 – Obata made her WTA-level professional debut in 1996, at the age of 18, at the Tier IV WTA event at Surabaya, where she lost 6–1 6–3 to Hila Rosen in qualifying. However, she subsequently qualified for Tier IV events in Beijing and Pattaya, and played a number of Asian WTA events in the subsequent two years. However, her first big breakthrough tournament came in 2000, when she reached the quarter finals of the Tier IV tournament in Shanghai as a qualifier, with wins over Lilia Osterloh and Yuka Yoshida, before falling to Meghann Shaughnessy. She ended 2000 ranked inside the Top 200, at 161.

2001Edit

Her first full season of regular tour-level tennis started at the Tier V tournament in Hobart, where she qualified for the main draw before losing to Anna Smashnova in two close sets. She then attempted to qualify for the Australian Open, beating Alena Vašková and Angelika Roesch before falling in the final qualifying round to Laurence Andretto in three sets.

Obata then had a breakthrough tournament in the highest-tier Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, winning through qualifying by beating top seed Kristie Boogert 6–2 6–3, wildcard Kumiko Iijima 6–4 6–4 and Janette Husárová 6–3 6–1. She then beat fellow qualifier Katarina Srebotnik in the first round 6–3 6–3, before finally falling to third seed Anna Kournikova in a close match, 7–6(8) 1–6 6–4.

She struggled in the next three tournaments, losing in the first round in Acapulco, Indian Wells and Key Biscayne, before dropping back down to challenger level at the $25,000 event in Stone Mountain. As seventh seed, she won one round against wildcard Erin Burdette before losing to Marion Maruska. In Japan's Fed Cup tie against Argentina, Obata played two singles matches – losing in straight sets to María Emilia Salerni, before beating Clarisa Fernández by retirement.

Saori returned to winning ways in May, participating in two Japanese $50,000 challenger events. In Gifu, she beat Christina Wheeler, compatriot Akiko Morigami and Annabel Ellwood before losing to second seed Alicia Molik in three sets in the semi finals. She then reached the final of Fukuoka, beating Bryanne Stewart, Haruka Inoue, Adriana Barna, and Lenka Dlhopolcova, before losing again to Molik in the final, 7–5 6–3.

She lost in straight sets in the second round of qualifying at the French Open to Canadian Marie-Ève Pelletier.

Her grass season saw her struggle to win consistently, reaching the second round of the $25,000 challenger in Surbiton with a win over Brit Lucie Ahl before a third successive loss to Molik, while at the Birmingham Classic she beat Dragana Zarić in qualifying before losing to Eleni Daniilidou. She entered the main draw as a lucky loser, but lost in straight sets to 15th seed Anne-Gaëlle Sidot. At Wimbledon, she again reached the final round of qualifying by beating two British wildcards, Alice Barnes and Helen Crook, before again losing in straight sets to Daniilidou.

In the North American hard court swing, Obata again struggled to string wins together. She lost early in qualifying for San Diego to Jennifer Hopkins, before an impressive win over Anastasia Myskina in the opening qualifying round of the Tier II event at Manhattan Beach Open Tennis Tournament, before falling to Alexandra Stevenson. She then moved on to the $50,000 event in the Bronx, again defeating Boogert in the opening round before losing to Martina Müller. As the qualifying 16th seed at the US Open, she beat Mashona Washington in the opening round before exiting to Samantha Reeves.

After a first round exit at the Tier IV event in Waikoloa to Lisa Raymond, Obata received a wildcard into the Toyota Princess Cup in Tokyo, beating qualifier Shiho Hisamatsu in the opening round 6–1 6–4. She then lost 6–2 6–7(4) 6–1 to fourth seed Sandrine Testud. She got another wildcard into the Japan Open, beating Alexandra Fusai and Marlene Weingärtner, before losing heavily to second seed Tamarine Tanasugarn in the quarter-finals. In the Tier IV event in Shanghai, she lost to Monica Seles in the second round having dispatched a young Na Li in the opener.

A further second loss in Pattaya saw Obata decide to finish the season at challenger level with two $25,000 tournaments in Port Pirie and Nuriootpa in Australia. As top seed, she won the tournament in Port Pirie, beating Yuliya Beygelzimer, Amanda Grahame, Christina Wheeler, Jaslyn Hewitt and Pavlina Nola. She also won, as second seed, her final tournament of the year in Nuriootpa, beating qualifier Anouk Sterk, Samantha Stosur, Wheeler again, Bryanne Stewart, and Yoon-Jeong Cho in the final.

These two tournament wins meant Obata finished the year ranked just outside the top 100 at 116,[4] but had cracked the top 100 for the first time during the year at 94.

2002Edit

Obata started the year with a warm-up tournament in Australia in Canberra, where she qualified for the main draw, defeating Miho Saeki, Maureen Drake and Lucie Ahl, before falling in the opening round to Anna Smashnova 6–1 6–3. She then made her debut in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament at the Australian Open as a direct entrant. She lost in straight sets to Maria Elena Camerin.

She then qualified for the Tier I Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, beating Jill Craybas, Jennifer Hopkins and Alicia Molik to reach the main draw. She then fell in straight sets to the seventh seed Elena Dementieva. Obata then entered the Tier III event in Memphis, but lost 7–6(6) 6–4 in the first round to Japanese number one Ai Sugiyama. She then lost to Evelyn Fauth in the opening round of a $50,000 challenger event in Minneapolis. Obata then played singles and doubles matches in the Fed Cup Asia–Oceania Group B, winning three of her four matches to help seal promotion to the World Group.

After an early loss in Miami, Obata dropped down to challenger level to gain some confidence and wins. She reached the quarter finals of the $25,000 event in Lawrenceville as top seed, by defeating Laura Granville and Dessislava Topalova, before a defeat to qualifier Teryn Ashley. She then lost to Ashley again in a $50,000 event at Naples in the first round.

Obata then went back to Japan to play two more challenger events in Gifu and Fukuoka. She defeated Hannah Collin and Ayami Takase to reach the quarter finals of the former – losing to Mi-Ra Jeon – and reached the second round in the latter with another win over Takase, before close three-set loss to Nana Miyagi. At Roland Garros, where she made her main draw debut, Obata lost 0–6 6–2 6–0 to Alina Jidkova.

The grass season started badly for Obata, with first round losses in the Surbiton challenger to Tara Snyder, and in the first round in Birmingham to Dája Bedáňová. Despite a win over Stéphanie Foretz Gacon in the first round of Eastbourne qualifying, she fell to a surprising defeat to Wynne Prakusya in the next round. However, she achieved her first main draw Grand Slam win at Wimbledon with a comprehensive 6–1 6–3 over former semi-finalist Alexandra Stevenson. She lost 6–2 6–2 to Eleni Daniilidou in the second round.

After her Slam breakthrough, Obata followed up by reaching the final of the $50,000 challenger in Louisville, before losing to top seed Alina Jidkova. However, she then lost in the first round of the next $50,000 event in Lexington to Lindsay Lee-Waters. She then qualified for the Tier I event in Montreal, defeating Marie-Gaïané Mikaelian and Jidkova, before losing to Anna Kournikova in straight sets. Her final US Open warm-up event was in New Haven, where she lost in straight sets in the first round of qualifying to Émilie Loit. In the US Open main draw, she was drawn against 12th seed Elena Dementieva, but lost 6–2 6–4.

Obata then moved on to the Asian swing for her final tournaments of 2002, but lost to Sugiyama in the first round of the Tier IV event in Shanghai, and in three sets to Patricia Wartusch in the opening round of the Toyota Princess Cup. She got back to winning ways in the Tier III event in Bali, with straight sets wins over Jill Craybas and Emmanuelle Gagliardi, before a three-set loss to Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in the quarter-finals. She finished her year with two straight sets, first round losses at the Japan Open to Jelena Kostanić Tošić and in Pattaya to Adriana Serra Zanetti.

She ended the year ranked just outside the Top 100 at 108.

2003Edit

Obata started the year with by qualifying for the Tier V WTA event in Canberra, defeating Claudine Schaul, top seed Dally Randriantefy and Tatiana Poutchek to reach the main draw. She then defeated Virginia Ruano Pascual in the first round, before losing to unseeded Italian Adriana Serra Zanetti. She then failed to qualify for the Australian Open main draw, losing in the final round of qualifying to María Emilia Salerni in straight sets.

After the Australian Open, she lost in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open to Magdalena Maleeva, before gaining revenge against Adriana Serra Zanetti for her Canberra defeat in the opening round of the Hyderabad Open in straight sets. She then lost to fifth seed Iroda Tulyaganova. Obata then reached the quarter finals of the Memphis Tier III tournament, defeating Canadian Vanessa Webb and fourth seed Alexandra Stevenson, before losing to Yoon-Jeong Cho. It was at this tournament that she won her sole WTA doubles title, together with Akiko Morigami. After withdrawing from Scottsdale before playing, she lost in qualifying at Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells to 11th seed Maureen Drake after defeating Olga Barabanschikova in the opening round. She then lost in qualifying at tournaments in Key Biscayne, Sarasota and Charleston.

Obata played two singles matches in Japan's Fed Cup Asia-Oceania qualifying group matches against New Zealand and Hong Kong, winning both her singles matches.

Saori then had two very successful Challenger-level events in Japan, reaching the final of a $50,000 grass event in Gifu as second seed, defeating Julie Pullin, Tomoko Yonemura, Maria Elena Camerin, and Rika Fujiwara, before losing to top seed and rival Shinobu Asagoe. She then, as top seed. won the $50,000 tournament in Fukuoka on clay, defeating Seiko Okamoto, Nana Miyagi, Jarmila Gajdošová, Yan Zi and then Maria Elena Camerin in the final.

At the French Open, she lost in the first round to American Ashley Harkleroad 6–4 6–2.

She made a further breakthrough in the grass court season. Despite first-round losses at the Surbiton Trophy and Birmingham Classic tournaments, she won through qualifying at the Tier II Eastbourne tournament. She then achieved a notable scalp in the opening round, when she defeated Jelena Dokić in straight sets when Dokić was ranked 11th in the world. She then lost in a final-set tiebreak in the second round to Anna Smashnova. She then made her debut appearance on No. 1 Court at Wimbledon in the first round, where she held three match points against 21st seed Elena Bovina before losing 7–6(5) 2–6 8–6.

The North American hard court season brought mixed fortunes – with Obata reaching the main draw at San Diego (as a lucky loser) but losing to Lina Krasnoroutskaya, before winning a round as a wild card in Los Angeles against Virginie Razzano, before losing to compatriot and fourth seed Ai Sugiyama. At the Tier I tournament in Toronto, Obata qualified and defeated compatriot Shinobu Asagoe in the first round, before falling to seventh seed Amanda Coetzer. Her final tournament before the US Open was at New Haven, where she lost in the final round in qualifying, but was selected as a lucky loser. She lost to former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martínez.

However, she subsequently achieved her best Grand Slam performance to date, reaching the US Open third round, defeating qualifier Tian Tian Sun 6–2 7–5 in the first round, and then overcoming Marie-Gaïané Mikaelian 7–5 6–4 in the second round. She was then defeated 6–1 6–2 by second seed Justine Henin.

After her US Open success, Obata saw her best success to date in WTA tournaments as a singles player. She reached the semi-finals of the Tier III tournament in Bali, defeating Ashley Harkleroad, Barbara Schett and Angelique Widjaja, before finally falling to Chanda Rubin in straight sets. After losing in the first round of the Japan Open to Jill Craybas, she then reached her only WTA singles final at Tashkent Open. She achieved wins against Tatiana Poutchek, Jie Zheng, Jelena Kostanić Tošić and Emmanuelle Gagliardi. She faced Virginia Ruano Pascual in the final, but fell short 6–2 7–6(2).

She ended her season at the Tier V tournament in Pattaya, winning two rounds before falling to Slovakian Ľubomíra Kurhajcová, ensuring her highest-ever year-end ranking of 49.[4]

2004Edit

Following her most successful season to date, Obata entered Canberra again as her first tournament of 2004, but suffered a disappointing loss 6–3 6–0 loss to Zuzana Ondrášková.

However, she made another breakthrough at the Australian Open, reaching the third round. After edging out Swiss player Myriam Casanova in the opening round in three sets, she achieved her best ranking win of her career when she defeated Ai Sugiyama 6–4 6–4 in the second round, when ranked No. 55. This was her only win over a top-ten player as Sugiyama was ranked No. 9 at the time. She lost in straight sets in the third round to Nathalie Dechy. As a result, her ranking reached its career high of 39, and she would be Japanese number two behind Sugiyama.

She followed up her Australian Open success with a win at the Tier I Pan Pacific Open, over Julia Vakulenko, before exiting with a spirited performance against Venus Williams in the second round, 6–3 6–4. Shortly after this tournament, Obata achieved her career-high ranking of 39.

Obata struggled in the next few tournaments, never gaining more than one win over the next six tournaments before the French Open, including three first round losses. This included a 6–0 6–0 loss to qualifier Ana Ivanovic in the second round of the Fukuoka challenger. She then had another first-round exit at the French Open, losing in three sets to Vera Dushevina 6–1 5–7 6–4.

After disappointment over the clay season, Obata recovered some form during the grass season. She won three matches at Birmingham, over Camerin, Kelly McCain and Shenay Perry, before falling in the quarter final to Patty Schnyder. She followed this up with two qualifying wins at Eastbourne, before losing to Elena Likhovtseva. She then got her first ever main draw win at Wimbledon, edging out Eva Birnerová 7–5 in the final set. She lost 6–1 6–4 in the second round to 12th seed Vera Zvonareva.

After Wimbledon, Obata then experienced the least successful period of her career – not winning another match in 2004. She retired from her Fed Cup singles match against Dessislava Topalova of Bulgaria, then lost in first rounds at the remaining nine tournaments she played, including her first and only appearance representing Japan in the Olympics, where she was shocked by Maja Matevžič, who had been plagued by an elbow injury for most of the previous year. Matevzic subsequently lost 6–0 6–0 to Venus Williams in the next round.

Obata's run of losses were:

This run meant Obata dropped to a year-end ranking outside the Top 100, at 107.[5]

2005Edit

Following her disastrous end to 2004, Obata played qualifying in her usual Australian warm-up tournament in Canberra. She extended her losing streak to 12 in all competitions, losing in three sets to Maret Ani. Her streak then extended to 13 with a first-round loss in the Australian Open in straight sets to Mariana Díaz Oliva.

Obata finally ended her losing run with a win over wild card Miho Saeki at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, earning a second round meeting with top seed Lindsay Davenport, where she put in a creditable performance in a 6–3 6–4 loss.

Having seen her ranking drop yet further, Obata entered the $50,000 challenger at St. Paul, winning more than one match in a tournament for the first time in nearly nine months. After defeating Teryn Ashley, Simona Matei and Sandra Klösel, she exited in the semi-final to Laura Granville. She then lost easily in first round of qualifying for Indian Wells to Shikha Uberoi, before deciding to drop back down to challenger level.

In the $50,000 tournament in Orange, California, she failed to qualify – losing to Lenka Němečková 6–2 6–0 in the final round. She then fell to a disappointing loss in the second round of the $25,000 event in Redding, falling in a final set tiebreak to Julie Ditty.

Despite her relatively poor results and subdued ranking, Obata hit a rich vein of form in two challenger in events in Augusta, Georgia, and Gifu. The $25,000 event in Augusta saw her win the title as sixth seed, without dropping a set. She defeated compatriot Seiko Okamoto in the first round 6–2 6–4, then overcame Ivana Lisjak 6–2 6–1. In the quarter finals, she eased past Varvara Lepchenko 6–2 6–2 and then won a closer match against Anastasia Rodionova, winning out 7–6(5) 6–1. In the final, Obata overcame a young Victoria Azarenka with ease, winning 62 6–2.

In the $50,000 event in Gifu, Obata was seeded fourth and again won the title. In the first four rounds, she didn't drop a set – defeating Casey Dellacqua 6–1 6–1, then New Zealand qualifier Marina Erakovic 6–2 6–4, before winning against fellow Japanese player Ayumi Morita 6–0 6–4. Obata then reached her second successive final with a 6–4 6–3 win over top seed Aiko Nakamura. She dropped her only set of the week in the final against countrywoman Shiho Hisamatsu, but won her second title in a row 6–1 2–6 6–4.

Despite her improved form, Obata lost in the first round of qualifying (as 23rd seed) on the clay of Roland Garros, defeated by Maria Fernanda Alves 4–6 6–2 6–3.

Going on to grass, Saori lost a tight opening round at the $25,000 event in Surbiton to South African qualifier Surina De Beer, losing 6–7(2) 7–6(8) 6–4. But she picked up a couple of wins to make the main draw of the Tier III event in Birmingham, beating wildcard Katie O'Brien 6–2 6–3 in the first qualifying round, and then beat Sofia Arvidsson in three sets to qualify. She then lost a tight three-set match to María Vento-Kabchi in the opening round, losing 7–5 in the final set. At Wimbledon, Obata beat Hana Šromová, Jessica Kirkland and Eva Birnerová to reach the main draw, before losing to American Marissa Irvin 7–6(4) 6–3 in Round 1.

With a ranking still too low to reach the main draw of the US Open, Obata went into the North American hard court swing needing wins to make it into the top 100. At the Tier I event at San Diego, she beat Varvara Lepchenko and Alexandra Stevenson to reach the main draw but lost a tough three-set match to Gisela Dulko in the opening round. She then lost in the final round of qualifying of the Los Angeles Tier II event, but lost to Kateryna Bondarenko. She made the main draw as a lucky loser, but lost to qualifier Tathiana Garbin. In the final warm-up tournament before the US Open, she beat Tatiana Panova in the first round of qualifying for the Tier I event in Toronto, but lost to Lucie Šafářová in the final qualifying round. Obata then rounded off a disappointing North American swing with a loss in the first round of qualifying at the US Open to sixth seed Hana Šromová 7–5 6–3, who she had beaten two months previously at the same stage of Wimbledon.

Obata started the Asian swing with a disappointing loss in the second round of qualifying in the Tier II tournament in Beijing, before making it through three rounds of qualifying in Seoul. She then beat María Vento-Kabchi in the first round, before going out to eighth seed Marion Bartoli. She then received a wildcard into the Tier III Japan Open, and won her opening round against Martina Suchá, before losing 6–1 6–4 to third seed Tatiana Golovin. She moved on to the Tier III event in Bangkok, winning through qualifying with wins over Carly Gullickson, Natalie Grandin and top seed Shenay Perry. She also won her opening round against Mashona Washington 6–2 6–3, before falling to top seed Nadia Petrova 6–3 6–2. Obata then suffered a disappointing first-round loss as top seed to Jin-Hee Kim in the first round of the $50,000 event in Busan. Her final Asian event of the year was in Shenzhen for a $50,000 challenger event, where she reached the semi-finals, beating Si-Si Qiu, Shengnan Sun and Tomoko Yonemura before losing to Tamarine Tanasugarn in straight sets. Her final event of the year, in December, was a first round loss in the $50,000 event in Palm Beach Gardens to Alisa Kleybanova.

After a mixed year, Obata ended the year ranked 108 – placing her on the cusp of automatic entry to the Australian Open.

2006Edit

Obata's ranking was enough to give her entry to the main draw of the Australian Open, and she started her year with her regular warm-up tournament in Canberra. As third seed in qualifying, she suffered a surprising loss to Tatiana Poutchek 6–4 6–4 in the opening round. At the Australian Open, she lost a three set match to 17th seed to Daniela Hantuchová 3–6 6–3 6–0. This would prove to be her final Grand Slam match.

Saori entered qualifying for the Tier I event at the Pan Pacific Open, where she'd had success before. She beat wildcards Angelique Widjaja (6–2 6–2) and Brenda Schultz-McCarthy 6–3 7–5, before sealing qualification by beating Shiho Hisamatsu 6-2 6–2. In the main draw, she easily defeated Květa Peschke 6–2 6–1 in the opening round, before losing 6–4 6–4 to fifth seed Nicole Vaidišová. This tournament meant she re-entered the Top 100 rankings at 99. Obata then moved on to the Tier IV event in Pattaya where she lost in the first round of qualifying to Su-Wei Hsieh.

In March, Saori entered the $75,000 challenger event in Las Vegas where, as sixth seed, she defeated Varvara Lepchenko 6–4 4–6 6–2 in the opening round, before a 6–3 6–2 over Swede Hanna Nooni. This would be her final win on tour, as she fell to Angela Haynes in the quarter-final.

Obata's final tournament and match was at Indian Wells on 19 March, where she was drawn against qualifier Camille Pin. She lost 6–2 6–2.

In late May 2006, Obata confirmed she had retired from tennis due to a foot injury she had picked up at Indian Wells. She said her best memories from tennis were her first Wimbledon and being on the final at Tashkent.[6]

Career achievementsEdit

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 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 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

  1. ^ a b Saori Obata at the Women's Tennis Association  
  2. ^ a b Saori Obata at the Billie Jean King Cup  
  3. ^ Saori Obata Web - Unofficial Site[dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Saori Obata | Ranking History | Weekly & Yearly Rankings – WTA Official".
  5. ^ "Rankings History | Saori Obata | WTA Official". Archived from the original on 2019-12-07.
  6. ^ "The Saori Obata Carnival".

External linksEdit