Shintaro Mochizuki (20), ranked 215th in the world and competing as a wildcard, made a splash at the ATP 500 Japan Open.
Mochizuki continued his winning ways after earning his first Pro Tour victory at the event, becoming the first Japanese player to reach the quarterfinals since Kei Nishikori in 2018. Mochizuki faced 41st-ranked Alexei Popirin (AUS) in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Tuesday at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan, and won 7-5 2-6 7-5.
The former Wimbledon junior champion defeated 31st-ranked Etcheverry in the first round for his coveted first tour win, and then defeated defending champion 10th-ranked Taylor Fritz (USA) in a tiebreaker in the second round on the 19th. Mochizuki will face world No. 50 Aslan Karachev on the 21st.
“You do everything you can, you run, you run, you run, you run, and you still lose.”
Despite his words, Mochizuki showed no signs of fatigue as he and Fritz played a two-hour marathon match. After losing a love game in the first set, he immediately broke back to take a 7-5 lead before capitalizing on his opponent’s error in the 12th game to break for the match.안전놀이터
The 2-year-old was down 2-6 but refocused in the third set, taking the final 12th game to seal the match.
Mochizuki began playing tennis at the age of three and was selected as a Morita Tennis Fund Scholar in 2015, moving to the IMG Academy in the United States, where Kei Nishikori is a member. At Wimbledon in 2019, he won the junior singles title, the first Japanese men’s tennis title at a major tournament.
This year, he made his first Grand Slam main draw appearance at Wimbledon and reached his first tour quarterfinal at the Japan Open. Mochizuki said, “I believed in myself because I made it this far. It doesn’t feel real. I’m most happy that I can play again tomorrow. I have a chance to win, but don’t count on it,” he laughed.