Japanese table tennis players Ai Fukuhara, Kasumi Ishikawa and Sayaka Hirano in Japanese World Table Tennis Magazine. The trio became national darlings after winning Japan’s first ever table tennis silver medal at the Olympic Games in August.
Video of Japanese ping pong star Ai Fukuhara on a TV show when she was five.
Affectionately known as Ai-chan, the prodigy became a national team player at 11 and has been one of the most popular Japanese sportswomen ever since.
She’s one of the members of the Japanese trio who won the silver medal (team event) at the London Olympics last month (she’s now 24-year-old).
29-year-old Chinese tennis player Li Na became the first Asian ever, male or female, to win a Grand Slam singles title after beating defending champion Francesca Schiavone (of Italy) 6-4, 7-6 in the French Open final on Saturday.
Li’s countrywomen Yan Zi, Zheng Jie and Sun Tiantian had won Grand Slam titles in women’s doubles and mixed doubles before, but it’s a first for Asian in the singles competition. Li will also rise to #4 in world ranking, equalling Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm’s Asian record in WTA history. Image by Yanior.
Two Asian women have created a record for the oldest known singles final contested in women’s tennis history with a combined age of 73.
Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn, 33, defeated Japan’s Kimiko Date Krumm, 40, in the Japan Women’s Open final on Sunday. Date-Krumm could have created her very own record for being the oldest winner on a WTA Tour if she had won the game.
The oldest title winner record is held by American legend Billie Jean King, who last won in 1983 at age 39 years and seven months. Date-Krumm was second at 38 years and 11 months with her Seoul title in 2009.
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