Mochizuki makes Grand Slam history for Japan at Wimbledon

The 16-year-old Shintaro Mochizuki made history on Sunday becoming the first player of Japan to win a boy’s Grand Slam tittle after beating Spain’s Carlos Gimeno Valero 6-3, 6-2 in the Wimbledon final, pumping his fist after hitting a backhand winner on match point. Mochizuki, the eighth seed, backed his aggressive backhand throughout the final match and continued to win 17 of his 23 points at the net to seal victory in 61 minutes. The 16-year-old Shintaro Mochizuki made history on Sunday becoming the first player of Japan to win a boy’s Grand Slam tittle after beating Spain’s Carlos Gimeno Valero 6-3, 6-2 in the Wimbledon final, pumping his fist after hitting a backhand winner on match point. Mochizuki, the eighth seed, backed his aggressive backhand throughout the final match and continued to win 17 of his 23 points at the net to seal victory in 61 minutes.

With this victory, he became the only second Grand Slam junior champion of Japan, the first was Kazuko Sawamatsu, who captured the Wimbledon and French Open girls’ titles in 1969.

Mochizuki, who began playing tennis at the age of three, has been trained by coach Natsuo Yamanaka in Florida at the IMG’s tennis academy in Bradenton, where the current number one Kei Nishikori of Japan also honed his game.

Mochizuki said of his approach, “I like coming into the net, yeah, a lot… My coach taught me, like, I’m good at that,” “I just practiced a lot and improved with all matches.”

While Japan ace Kei Nishikori and reigning U.S. Open and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka have changed Japanese tennis’ landscape recently, Shintaro Mochizuki found his role model in the Swiss professional tennis player Roger Federer, who is currently ranked world Number 3 in men’s singles tennis by ATP (the Association of Tennis Professionals).

He said “I love watching him (Federer) on TV,” and although he doesn’t want to copy him, he loves watching him very much.

At the 2019 French Open from 26 May to 9 June, the 175-cm Mochizuki reached the junior semifinals. After winning the tittle, Mochizuki said that he had been mindful of his implosion at the French Open as he led 5-2 in his semi-final only to lose.

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