23 Feb 2020

Young players from Japan attracting the attention, demonstrating high level technical skills and succeeding, in the past decade it has become increasingly the norm.

On Saturday 22nd February at the 2020 Swedish Junior and Cadet Open in Örebro, yet another name that has not yet reached teenage years, attracted the attention; take a bow 12 years old Sachi Aoki.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

She won the mini-cadet girls’ singles title accounting for Ukraine’s Daria Kovalova at the semi-final stage (11-6, 11-3, 10-12, 11-2), before securing the title at the final expense of Russia’s Iulia Pugovkina (11-3, 11-5, 11-6).

The win was recorded at the same time as Serafim Orlov, like Iulia Pugovkina from Russia, secured the mini-cadet boys’ singles title. After overcoming Ivan Kahn of the Netherlands (11-5, 11-5, 11-6), he beat Nathan Lam of France (5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6) to claim the top prize.

It was for Serafim Orlov, a further impressive performance; two days earlier he had emerged successful in the junior boys’ singles consolation event, in the final he beat Sweden’s Alve Sjoeveld (11-7, 11-6, 11-8).

Seraphim Orlov, the mini-cadet boys’ singles winner (Photo: Per Hällström)


Impressive, it was even more impressive from Sachi Aoki who the previous week in the Czech Republic had reached the semi-final round of the cadet girls’ singles event, losing to Charlotte Lutz of France (11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 12-10). Notably Charlotte Lutz was the no.4 seed.

Performed well in Örebro

Equally in Örebro, Sachi Aioki has performed beyond her tender years. In the junior girls’ singles event she finished in first place in her group ahead of Germany’s Leonie Berger, Norway’s Hannah Hovden and India’s Isha Bajpai. A place in the main draw, she overcame Sweden’s Nina Johansson before losing to Russia’s Liubov Tentser, the no.15 seed (11-6, 12-10, 16-14, 11-3).

A second round exit but in the junior girls’ doubles it was success, she partnered colleague Miwa Harimoto to gold and gained a degree of revenge; in the final the duo beat Liubov Tentser and colleague Vlada Voronina (11-7, 11-5, 14-16, 11-8).

Another title

Now where was Miwa Harimoto, she is only 11 years old; the answer is she didn’t play in the event. The Swedish Junior and Cadet Open is part of the Safir International, Miwa Harimoto played in the under 21 women’s singles competition.

The outcome, she won the title! She beat Prithika Pavade of France, the player against who she had experienced a semi-final defeat in the junior girls’ singles event (13-11, 13-11, 7-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9) but had then reversed the decision at the same stage of the Elite women’s singles competition (11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6).

In a final, a credit to both players, Miwa Harimoto saved one match point in the deciding fifth game before emerging successful (4-11, 11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10), a classic encounter.

World Junior Circuit 2020 Sweden Junior & Cadet Open Sachi Aoki

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