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Sunday, December 12, 2004

Sharapova to return to Japan

Tokyo - Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova will take part in the 2005 Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament, organisers said on Thursday. The Russian, who won October's Japan Open, will be the tournament's No 2 seeded player and will be challenged by top seeded Lindsay Davenport of the United States.
"I'm so excited to return to Japan," Sharapova said in a statement released by organisers. "I love playing in Tokyo for the best tennis fans in the world."

Maria Sharapova

The Pan Pacific Open, a WTA Tier 1 event, runs from January 29 to February 6 indoors at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. World No 1 ranked Davenport is the tournament's defending champion and has won this event four times. Other players competing include US Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia and compatriot Elena Dementieva. Japan will be represented by sixth-seeded Ai Sugiyama, Shinobu Asagoe and Miho Saeki.


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