Naoko Kijimuta

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Naoko Kijimuta
Country (sports)  Japan
Born (1972-03-26) March 26, 1972 (age 43)
Ebina, Kanagawa Prefecture
Height 1.64 m (5 ft 4 12 in)
Turned pro 1992
Retired 1998
Prize money $498,002
Singles
Career record 122-112
Career titles 0
Highest ranking No. 44 (March 3, 1997)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 1R (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998)
French Open 2R (1997)
Wimbledon 3R (1997)
US Open 3R (1996)
Doubles
Career record 125-87
Career titles 3 ITF
Highest ranking No. 18 (October 13, 1997)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open QF (1997, 1998)
French Open 3R (1997)
Wimbledon 3R (1997, 1998)
US Open 3R (1997)
Last updated on: Dec 14, 2010.

Naoko Kijimuta (Japanese: 雉子牟田 直子 Kijimuta Naoko, born March 26, 1972 in Ebina, Kanagawa) is a retired Japanese tennis player, winner of 3 professional tournaments in doubles and a representative of Japan in the Federation Cup.

Career[edit]

In the 1990s with her sister Akiko, she ranked among the top tennis players in Japan, alongside such players as Kimiko Date and Naoko Sawamatsu. In 1995-1997 she figured in the top hundred in the world ranking in singles, taking a highest ranking in March 1997 - World No. 44 (the season ended 1996 as the world's 50th best player.)

Naoko's best results include the semi-finals singles WTA Tour tournament in Jakarta (defeated by the highest seeded Belgian Sabine Appelmans) and Tokyo (Japan Open) in 1996. Quarterfinals in Strasbourg in 1997. Third round in the US Open 1996 and Wimbledon in 1997.

Greater successes was in doubles. In October 1997, she was ranked 18th and won five tournaments including WTA Tour events and another five lower-ranking (ITF Women's Circuit). All tournament victories on the WTA Tour were with other Japanese partners - Rika Hiraki, Miho Saeki and mostly with Nana Miyagi. Miyagi won three tournaments and twice was in the quarter-finals of Grand Slam (Australian Open 1997 and 1998).

Kijimuta and Miyagi also appeared in many semi-finals of tournaments and several times in the last eight of Grand Slam events (Wimbledon, French Open and US Open 1997, Wimbledon 1998 - this time victory over the Williams sisters by default).

Naoko Kijimuta played doubles in the Federation Cup in 1997-1998, partnering Nana Miyagi and Kyoko Nagatsuka, but lost all three games.

Her tennis career ended in September 1998, at the Toyota Princess Cup tournament in Tokyo, where she successfully passed the qualifying in the singles to be defeated in the first round of the main draw to German Anke Huber in three sets. Also the first round of the tournament in doubles (along with Rika Hiraki) ended in defeat.

Her career earnings was less than half a million dollars.

External links[edit]