Haruka Kaji Wins Her First Ever Title at the All-Japan Tennis Championship!

Kaji with the championship shield

(Photo: H. Mano)

Haruka Kaji, a member of the SHIMADZU Breakers tennis team, won the singles title at the 98th Mitsubishi Electric Building Solutions All Japan Tennis Championships, held from October 28 to November 5.

This is the first time a Breakers player has won the singles title at this tournament since Mai Hontama in 2019.


Her 11th Attempt and First Victory!

Kaji became a professional player and joined our team in 2017 after graduating from Sonoda Women’s University. She has been playing in this tournament since she was a freshman in college. Her past performance in the last 10 tournaments includes reaching the top 4 in singles (2017, 2019) and being the runner-up in doubles (2019). She has come very close to winning the championship, but finally won the long-sought title on her 11th try!

The final match on November 4 featured a clash between the top two seeds’ first seed Kaji and second seed Rina Saigo (Tokyu Sports System). The match began with intense rallies. Focusing on “returning as many quality balls as possible,” Kaji won in straight sets, 6-3.6-2. Kaji held her hands high in the air with a satisfied smile at the moment of victory, and the venue was filled with warm applause.

Kaji holds his hands high with a full smile on his face at the moment of victory

(Photo: Yoshiharu Yokoyama)

The Road to Victory

As a seeded player, Kaji started in the second round and fought her way through five matches!

Round Opponent Score
1st round Bye -
2nd round Miyu Nakajima (Pro/Free) 6-3.6-0
3rd round Kisa Yoshioka (Pro/Free) 6-3.7-5
Quarterfinal Moeka Miyata (Waseda University) 6-3.6-0
Semifinals Eri Shimizu (Totsu Sangyo) 4-6.6-4.6-1
Final Rina Saigo (Tokyu Sports System) 6-3.6-2

Reflecting on the Tournament

Here is what Kaji had to say after the tournament!

-How you feel now, looking back on the tournament?

I’m just so happy to have won!

-How was the atmosphere at the tournament and at the venue?

I was happy that so many people came to the venue to watch us play. It was nerve-wracking but having all the Breakers on my bench during the final was incredibly encouraging.

-What kind of play did you keep in mind throughout the tournament?

I focused on playing my own tennis as best as I could. I played the game with the intention of running hard, being persistent, and not missing any opportunities to attack.

-What are your goals for the future?

My immediate goal is to stay focused and compete hard for the rest of the season. In the future I would like to improve my game so that I can play in the qualifiers and main draws of the Grand Slams.

-Please leave a message for your fans.

Thank you as always for your support. Your encouragement really gives me strength and pushes me forward. I will do my best to live up to this title, so please keep supporting me!

Kaji playing a game

(Photo: Yoshiharu Yokoyama)


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