The Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championship or simply the Japan Open is a professional tennis championship held in Tokyo, Japan. It is noted for being the longest-running ATP tennis tournament in Asia. It is held at the Ariake Coliseum which is located in Tokyo.
The Japan Open was established in 1973. It is the longest-running tournament in Asia for the ATP circuit where it is a part of the 500 series. It also used to be a part of the WTA Tour but the last WTA Japan Open participation was in 2008. It was also a part of the ITF circuit from 2009 to 2010. At present, it only caters to the ATP Tour.
It is held at the Ariake Coliseum which is located at the Ariake Tennis Forest Park. While the Ariake Coliseum was being renovated in 2018, the Japan Open was held at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza. The Ariake Forest Park is also known for being the venue of the 2020 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo.
Prior to its association with the ATP, the Japan Open was known as the Tokyo Outdoor Grand Prix.
At present, the tournament is sponsored by Rakuten, which lends its name to the event. Rakuten is an online shopping company that focuses on helping customers get cashback.
Controversy with the Women’s Tour
From 1979 to 2008, the Japan Open was a joint tournament with the ATP and the WTA. However, after 2008, the WTA stopped participating. This is due to the controversy after the Ariake Coliseum hosted the Pan-Pacific Women’s Open.
After the departure of the WTA, the ITF Women’s Circuit was held there for two years in 2009 and 2010. It was discontinued after that.
Some of the more notable players who have won at the Japan Open include Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, and Stefan Edberg. More recent winners include Andy Murray, Daniil Medvedev, and Novak Djokovic. Djokovic won the last Japan Open which was held in 2019.