Kurumi Nara

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This article incorporates material from the article 奈良くるみ (Nara Kurumi) in the Japanese Wikipedia, retrieved on August 29, 2013.

Kurumi Nara
Kurumi Nara (2).jpg
Country  Japan
Residence Kawanishi, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan
Born (1991-12-30) 30 December 1991 (age 22)
Minoh, Osaka, Japan
Height 1.58 m (5 ft 2 in)
Turned pro April 2009
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money US$666,634
Career record 177–124
Career titles 1 WTA, 4 ITF
Highest ranking No. 39 (9 June 2014)
Current ranking No. 41 (23 June 2014)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 3R (2014)
French Open 2R (2014)
Wimbledon 2R (2010, 2014)
US Open 3R (2013)
Career record 32–36
Career titles 0 WTA, 3 ITF
Highest ranking No. 237 (12 April 2010)
Current ranking No. 659 (23 June 2014)
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open 1R (2014)
Wimbledon 1R (2014)
Last updated on: 25 June 2014.

Kurumi Nara (Japanese: 奈良くるみ, born 30 December 1991 in Minoh, Osaka, Japan) is a professional tennis player, primarily in singles. She is a right-handed baseliner and uses a two-handed backhand stroke, considered her strongest. After a very successful junior career, Nara has struggled to earn a place in the upper echelons of women's tennis after turning pro in 2009, but her career took a step up in 2013 with a best-ever performance at the US Open. She won her first career WTA title in 2014 at the Rio Open.

Junior career[edit]

Nara began playing tennis at the age of 3. At the Esaka Tennis Center in Osaka, the budding pro player studied tennis under the tutelage of Japanese tennis luminaries Masaru Suishu and Hiroko Mochizuki. She won recognition from an early age as a tennis prodigy. In 2002, while enrolled in Kawanishi Makinodai Elementary School, Nara took second place in the All Japan Primary School Tennis Championships at the age of 10. She would go on to win that tournament in 2003.

In 2004, after entering the middle school associated with Osaka Sangyo University, Nara won the girls' singles title in the All Japan Middle School Tennis Championship. 2006 marked her debut, via sponsor recommendation, in the All Japan Tennis Championships women's singles draw; however, a first-round loss abruptly ended her tournament run. As a freshman at Osaka Sangyo's high school in 2007, Nara won the under-18 singles title at the All Japan Junior Tennis Championships.

In addition to her participation in the major events for her age group, Nara also accumulated victories each year in junior tournaments throughout Japan. She enjoyed success in doubles on the ITF Junior Circuit with partner Misaki Doi, earning entrance to the girls' doubles draw at the 2007 Wimbledon Championships. They placed second overall, becoming only the second Japanese women's doubles pair to reach the finals of a Grand Slam juniors event since Yuka Yoshida and Hiroko Mochizuki at the 1993 US Open. The Nara–Doi team went on to reach the junior doubles semifinals at the 2007 US Open and Wimbledon 2008, in addition to strong performances at smaller tournaments.

Nara also enjoyed success in singles. In 2007, she became the first Japanese woman to win the Osaka Mayor's Cup since Ryōko Fuda in 2002. Also that year, she made her second appearance, again by sponsor recommendation, in the All Japan Tennis Championships. In the second round, she defeated defending champion and 5th seed Erika Takao in straight sets, in the third round, she toppled 11th seed Tomoko Yonemura in three sets, and in the quarterfinals she lost to Junri Namigata. Nara teamed again with Misaki Doi in doubles, reaching the second round in her tournament doubles debut. The next year, Nara partnered with Kimiko Date-Krumm to win the Kangaroo Cup in Gifu and the title in the open tournament at Hamanako. Nara reached the third round of the 2008 US Open Girls' Singles tournament, where she lost to Kristina Mladenovic.

Professional career[edit]


Nara turned pro in April 2009, winning the All Japan Tennis Championships that same year. She advanced to the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time at the 2010 French Open with a three set win over Monica Niculescu in the qualifiers. At four hours and 42 minutes, it was said to be the longest women's Grand Slam qualifier or main draw match in history.[1] She would go on to lose her first round match to Arantxa Parra Santonja.[2] She also qualified for Wimbledon, and won her first Grand Slam main draw singles match in two sets over Mariana Duque Marino.[3] She fell to Li Na in the second round.


Nara failed to gain entrance to the four Grand Slam tournaments in 2011, falling in the qualifiers each time. July marked Nara's first appearance representing Japan in Fed Cup competition; she notched a win in doubles with partner Rika Fujiwara in the playoffs against Argentina.


Although she was again unable to pass the qualifying rounds of the year's Grand Slam events, Nara bested Polona Hercog and Eleni Daniilidou to qualify for the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. She was defeated in the first round by Urszula Radwanska.


Nara won three qualifying matches to enter the main draw of the 2013 US Open, winning her first-round match against Romanian Alexandra Cadanțu. She advanced to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time with a straight set upset victory over 19th-seeded Sorana Cîrstea, also of Romania. She lost to Jelena Jankovic in the third round. After four early exits in Tashkent, Guangzhou, Tokyo and Beijing Nara regained some form in her home city at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships. Nara would make it to the semi-finals of the tournament but was ousted by Eugenie Bouchard, losing in straight sets.


Nara started the year with the ASB Classic in New Zealand, where she made it to the quarterfinals, losing there to second seed Ana Ivanovic.[4] Next up was the Australian Open, where she lost to eighth seeded Jelena Janković in the third round in straight sets.[5] In early February, Nara competed in Fed Cup competition for Japan against Argentina in Buenos Aires, Argentina.[6][7] She lost the opening singles match to María Irigoyen in three sets,[8] and also lost the reverse singles to Paula Ormaechea in straight sets.[9] Later the same month, Nara won her first WTA title at the Rio Open. She beat top seeded Klara Zakopalova in three sets in the final.[10][11] The win helped her break into the top 50 at no. 48.[12] At the Indian Wells Masters, Nara lost in the second round to Simona Halep in straight sets.[13] At the Miami Masters, she lost to fourth-seeded Maria Sharapova in straight sets in the second round.[14]

In April, Nara again played Fed Cup, this time against the Netherlands. She won the opening singles match against Arantxa Rus in three sets,[15] but lost to Kiki Bertens in three sets in the reverse singles match.[16] Nara's next match was a disappointing first-round loss at the Portugal Open to qualifier Irina-Camelia Begu in the first round.[17] Another first-round loss came in May against Peng Shuai at the Madrid Open.[18] In a rematch from the Fed Cup World II tie, Para again lost to lucky loser Paula Ormaechea in her first-round match at the Italian Open.[19] As the sixth seed, Nara lost to Yaroslava Shvedova at the Nürnberger Versicherungscup in the second round.[20] Lost to sixth-seed Jelena Jankovic in the second round at the French Open.[21] Entered the doubles competition with Anna Schmiedlova losing in the first round to Hao-ching Chan & Yung-jan Chan.[22]

In June, Nara started the grass season at the Aegon Classic For the second consecutive year, she lost to wildcard Johanna Konta in the first round.[23] Lost to Elina Svitolina in the first round at the Topshelf Open.[24] Played doubles with Annika Beck losing to Andreja Klepac & María Teresa Torró Flor in the first round.[25]Lost to Venus Williams in the second round at Wimbledon.[26] Partnering again with Annika Beck in doubles, lost to Vera Dushevina & Chanelle Scheepers in the first round.[27]


Nara is coached by Takahiro Terachi. She uses a Srixon racquet and Dunlop Sport shoes, and prefers to play on hard courts. Her most admired player is Justine Henin. In her free time, Nara enjoys reading books, listening to music, and attending motorcycle races.

Playing style[edit]

Kurumi Nara rarely wins points outright. Instead, she plays a patient game and tends to edge into points, gradually increasing the angle and/or power of her shots and prefers a punishing forehand or volley to close the point out. Her patience is also reflected in her serve, which (especially for her size) has quite a high ball toss. Her serve lacks the punch of players like Serena Williams or Maria Sharapova, but depends on placement and spin. Her short stature has definitely shaped her play style which, while aggressive, does not emphasize power, but more swinging the momentum in her favour and finishing the point off. Her strong forehand is her main weapon.

WTA career finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (1-0)[edit]

Winner – Legend (pre/post 2010)
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
WTA Tour Championships (0–0)
Tier I / Premier Mandatory & Premier 5 (0–0)
Tier II / Premier (0–0)
Tier III, IV & V / International (1–0)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 23 February 2014 Rio Open, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Clay Czech Republic Klára Zakopalová 6–1, 4–6, 6–1

ITF Circuit finals[edit]

Singles 9 (4–5)[edit]

$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 26 October 2008 Hamanako, Japan Carpet Japan Chinami Ogi 6–2, 6–3
Runner-up 2. 7 June 2009 Komoro, Japan Clay Japan Yurika Sema 3–6, 6–1, 4–6
Winner 3. 2 August 2009 Obihiro, Japan Carpet Japan Junri Namigata 7–6(9–7), 4–6, 6–4
Runner-up 4. 6 September 2009 Tsukuba, Japan Hard Thailand Suchanun Viratprasert 3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 5. 21 February 2010 Surprise, Arizona, USA Hard United States Abigail Spears 1–6, 2–6
Runner-up 6. 11 July 2010 Grapevine, Texas, USA Hard United States Jamie Hampton 3–6, 4–6
Winner 7. 25 July 2010 Lexington, Kentucky, USA Hard Canada Stéphanie Dubois 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 8. 1 August 2011 Beijing, China Hard Chinese Taipei Su-Wei Hsieh 2–6, 2–6
Winner 9. 31 October 2011 Grapevine, Texas, USA Hard Kazakhstan Sesil Karatantcheva 1–6, 6–0, 6–3

Doubles 5 (3–2)[edit]

$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score
Winner 1. 4 May 2008 Gifu, Japan Carpet Japan Kimiko Date-Krumm United Kingdom Melanie South
Netherlands Nicole Thijssen
6–1, 6–7(8–10), [10–7]
Winner 2. 20 July 2008 Miyazaki, Japan Carpet Japan Misaki Doi Japan Kimiko Date-Krumm
Japan Tomoko Yonemura
4–6, 6–3, [10–7]
Runner-up 3. 3 May 2009 Gifu, Japan Carpet Japan Misaki Doi Australia Sophie Ferguson
Japan Aiko Nakamura
2–6, 1–6
Runner-up 4. 2 August 2009 Obihiro, Japan Carpet Japan Rika Fujiwara Japan Natsumi Hamamura
Japan Ayumi Oka
6–3, 1–6, [5–10]
Winner 5. 26 September 2009 Makinohara, Japan Carpet Japan Erika Sema Japan Mari Tanaka
Japan Tomoko Yonemura
6–0, 6–0
Runner–up 6. 18 May 2013 Saint-Gaudens, France Clay Canada Stéphanie Dubois Israel Julia Glushko
Argentina Paula Ormaechea
5–7, 6–7(11–13)

Performance timelines[edit]

Singles performance timeline[edit]

Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Career win-loss
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open 2Q 3Q 3Q 2Q 3R 2–1
French Open 1R 2Q 1Q 2Q 2R 1–2
Wimbledon 2R 2Q 1Q 3Q 2R 2–2
US Open A 2Q 2Q 3R 2–1
Win-Loss 1–2 0–0 0–0 2–1 4–3 7–6

Doubles performance timeline[edit]

Tournament 2014 W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A
French Open 1R 0–1
Wimbledon 1R 0–1
US Open
Win–Loss 0–2 0–2
Year-End ranking


  1. ^ "Nara Kurumi Advances to Grand Slam Main Draw for First Time (Japanese)". 23 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Tennis: Nishikori fights back to reach French Open 2nd round". 25 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Williams keeps her pristine record". 23 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "2014 ASB Classic Main Draw - Singles". Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Australian Open 2014 - Women's Singles". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Japan Fed Cup". Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Nominations revealed for World Group and World Group II". Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Argentina vs Japan". Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Ormaechea Seals Argentine Victory". Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Nara Wins First WTA Title In Rio". Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "2014 Rio Open - Main Draw Singles". Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "WTA Singles Rankings". Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "BNP Paribas Open - Main Draw Singles". Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "Sony Open Tennis - Main Draw Singles". Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Yoga-inspired Bertens keeps up Dutch hopes". Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "Netherlands rejoins the elite". Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Portugal Open - Main Draw Singles". Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Mutua Madrid Open - Main Draw Singles". Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Internazionali BNL d'Italia - Main Draw Singles". Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Nürnberger Versicherungscup 2014 - Main Draw Singles". Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "Internationaux de France 2014 - Main Draw Singles". Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Internationaux de France 2014 - Main Draw Doubles". Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Aegon Classic - Main Draw Singles". Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "Topshelf Open - Main Draw Singles". Retrieved 16 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "Topshelf Open - Main Draw Doubles". Retrieved 15 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Wimbledon 2014 Ladies' Singles Championship - Main Draw Singles". Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  27. ^ "Wimbledon 2014 Ladies' Doubles Championship - Main Draw Doubles". Retrieved 25 June 2014. 

External links[edit]