Aki won her 1st round in the qualies today beating Lisa Raymond 7-5 6-2. Was a high quality mach with both players having really good points. I knew coming into the match that it would be a tough match with Raymond liking this surface. Aki ended up serving 12 aces in the match which was a very nice stat to see. Next match is tomorrow 3rd match after 10:00 am against Vania King from the United States. King is a solid player and expect another tough match. Again, hopefully goes well for Akiko.

Today was the 1st round of qualies and the arena was pretty full of people. Really is nice to see so many people coming to watch tennis and, of course, supporting the Japanese players. At many other tournaments, not as many people come out to the qualifying event.

I am off to bed now, wish us good luck for tomorrow!
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We arrived in Tokyo on Thursday morning, getting ready for the Toray Pan Pacific Open. Aki is in qualifying here, which starts on Saturday. Had a good few days practice up in Osaka, which the courts we practiced at were very fast, so I think that helped with the transition to playing on the carpet courts here in Tokyo.

We came down to Tokyo on the fast train, which I have to say I really like. Just feels very relaxed, takes like two and half hours, so a nice little nap and before you know it you have arrived. We ship our bags the night before, so when we arrived at the hotel, they were already here. I guess, here in Japan, they charge you by the size of the bg, not the weight like they do in the US. If I were to ship the bag, how heavy it was, would have cost a lot in the US. Just think the whole system is fantastic here and the transportation system in Japan is the best in the world.

Aki is scheduled to play tomorrow 6th match after 10:00 against Lisa Raymond. It scheduled late because Raymond is arriving tonight from the doubles in Melbourne. They played a few times now, so both girls know each others game. I think it will be a good match and hopefully will go our way! Well, wish us good luck and I will update you on how the match went.
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Back in Japan now, arrived late last night in Osaka. Here for a few days getting ready for Toray Pan Pacific Open which starts next weekend. Akiko lost in the 2nd round of singles and 1st round, in a tough 3 set match with partner Aiko Nakamura, in the Australian Open.

Thought we had some good experiences down in Melbourne. In Aki's first match against Pironkova, the temperature that day was 40 degrees. In Australia, they have a heat rule that if the temperature is above 35 degrees, they finish the matches in progress but will not put on any new matches until temperature is back down to 35. It reached 35 degrees at 8:00pm, and were able to put Akiko's match on court. Her opponent came out firing from the beginning racing out to a 3-0 lead and had points to go up 4-0. Akiko did an unbelievable job, fighting back to win the 1st set 7-5. During the first set, Aki fomed very bad blisters on her feet from the courts being so hot all day, actually a player on the men's side had to retire due to blisters. In the 2nd set, you could see that it was bothering Aki from moving and lost the set 2-6. It came down to a 3rd set and amazingly she won 6-4. I was so happy for Akiko, coming through against tough opponent and having to deal with her feet, was amazing.

Thank God again that Kotani san was there because he did a fantastic job getting Aki in the best possible condition to play her 2nd round match against # 4 seed Kim Clisters. The match was played on Rod Laver Arena. As I was watching the match from the box, I felt so lucky and honored that the player I coach is playing on Rod Laver Arena. Akiko ended up losing the match 3-6 0-6 but I thought she played a good match. In the first set, she was right there, but Clisters is really playing very good right now and I think is one of the top favorites to win the tournament.

Later that day, Akiko and Aiko played #15 seed Dementieva and Pennetta. It was a great match but came up just short 6-4 3-6 4-6. Had chances to win this match but the positive thing I took, and hopefully the girls did, is they are very close to beating these top teams in the world. This team was a Grand Slam finalist in the 2005 US Open and it won't be long until we wil pull out these types of matches.

This is my 3rd time to Australian Open and have to say its up there at maybe my favorite Gand Slam. I mean, all 4 Grand Slams have their own special things about them, but I think Melbourne is very exciting. You have such a great site, Melbourne Park, with thousand of energetic fans that come out to watch. Many people paint there faces cheering for there country. Two of the courts can close the roofs, so if its raining, tennis can still be played and also you have the night matches that go on. We stay right in the downtown where there are so many restaurants to choose from. Everything is just so easy and relaxed. Must say if you do have the opportunity, go down and watch the Australian Open..you won't be disappointed!

Well, this week we will have preperation for Toray. Will update when I arrive in Tokyo. Bye for now....

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Hello from Melbourne. We arrived on Thursday here in Melbourne from Hobart. Aki ended up winning her first round in doubles 76 63 against Birnerova and Yakimova but ended up losing in the quarters 63 36 64 to the eventual winners of the tournament, Vesnina and Likhovtseva. Aki and her partner, Uhlirova, I thought played very well, also considering it was there first time ever playing together. Also, it gave Akiko some more matches in preperation for the Australian Open.

It was a tough flight from Hobart to Melbourne for me because I had to take the flight at 6 in the morning. Aki and Kotani san got the last two seats of the 1:40 afternoon flight. Aki's doubles matches finished very late, around midnight, so by the time I changed our hotel reservations in Melbourne, booked the tickets, and packed...it was already 2:00 am. Good thing though is that Akiko had off on Thursday so I was able to take a good nap when i arrived in Melbourne.

Both Akiko's parents arrived as well on Thursday. I believe this is the 2nd time Mr. Morigami has ever seen Aki play outside Japan. I know Aki is very excited to have both her parents here watching. For her parents, they must be so happy for their daughter, to see her everyday living her dream as being one of the top tennis players in the world.

Last night we celebrated Akiko's birthday. Around the corner from where we are staying, is a great Japanese restaurant. We have been going there the last 3 years and have made friends with the owner. She has always been so nice to bothme and Akiko. We had a wonderful dinner, and I hope Aki enjoyed her birthday.

Well the draw has been made and Akiko will play Tsvetana Pironkova from Bulgaria. Aki played her one time in doubles in Fed Cup last year when Japan faced Bulgaria. We will find out later today if they will play Monday or Tuesday.

Well, must go now. Will post you again soon. Bye for now...
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Hello again from Hobart. Akiko lost her opening match against Gagliardi 4-6 6-7. I actually thought it was a good match from Akiko being her first match of the year. Had leads in both sets but giving Gagiardi credit, she competed very hard and played a very good match. Akiko took postives from the match with her movement and served pretty well.

We are playing in the doubles with Vladimira Uhlirova from Czech Republic. She is a very nice girl and a good doubles player as well. They will play against Eva Birnerova of Czech Republic and Anastasiya Yakimova of Bulgaria. The schedule has not come out yet, but I believe they will play the 1st round tomorrow. Hopefully it goes well and is a good opportunity to get some matches in before the Australian Open.

The last few days the weather has been very bad here in Hobart with non stop rain. Very different from the first 5 or 6 days we were here, where the weather was perfect. The tournament is trying to catch up, they had not completed most 1st round qualifying matches and today was scheduled for 1st round main draw to begin. They were using all courts today so its been tough to get some practice time in. Hopefully the weather will be fine for the rest of the week.

Since the weather has not been good, I have been working out in the gym. Today I am very sore but maybe Kotani son will be nice to give me a light massage...even the coach needs a massage right?? :). Aki wants a rematch from the set we played the other day, so I have to be ready. She wants revenge!!

I will update you later on how the doubles went. Wish us good luck again. Bye for now...
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