Shinobu Asagoe - Career


2000 was the first year in which she finished in the WTA top 100 (no. 72). In the US Open that year, she defeated Patty Schnyder, a top 50 player. She also reached her first WTA tour quarterfinal that year at the Princess Cup at Tokyo defeating Ai Sugiyama and losing to Monica Seles. She also represented Japan at the Sydney Olympics. In 2003, she reached her first WTA tour singles final. In 2004, she reached her second career singles final in Hobart, as well as her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the US Open. On April 18, 2005, Asagoe reached her career-high singles ranking: 21st. In June, she reached her career high doubles ranking (18th).

Asagoe appeared in one WTA Tour final in Auckland 2003 where she lost to Katarina Srebotnik 5–7, 7–5, 6–4. Asagoe held a 4–0 lead in the second when Srebotnik took an injury timeout. From there Strebotnik played "all in" tennis and won the match, in what was a agonising result for Asagoe.

Asagoe's most memorable match was a second-round marathon at Wimbledon 2003, when her stressed-out opponent, Daniela Hantuchová, melted down well on the way to what looked like a routine two-set win. Eventually, after nearly three hours, Asagoe won the contest 12–10 in the third set.

Plays doubles with Katarina Srebotnik; at Australian Open 2006, reached the semifinal, beating (2) Cara Black/Rennae Stubbs 6–3 4–6 6–0. They lost to eventual champions Yan/Zheng in the semifinals. It was a sad day in Asagoe's fans lives as they expected her to grace the title.

At the US Open that same year, she lost her first round match in straight sets to Jelena Kostanić. She had announced the US Open would be her last tournament. In doubles, with Akiko Morigami, they won their first round match 6–1 6–3, and they were to play against the 14th seeds, Bartoli/Peer. Bartoli/Peer were up 6–4 5–2, before Shinobu and Akiko won four straight games to make it 6–5. They held many set points at 6–5, but could not convert, thus forcing a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, they were down 6–2, but somehow managed to win six straight points, thus taking the tiebreaker, saving four straight match points. They took the final set 6–4.

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