le sad: akiko morigami will retire this year

A TSF reader tipped us off about Akiko Morigami‘s retirement from professional tennis, announced yesterday. She is playing in the first round against Anastasia Rodionova at this week’s HP Japan Open in Osaka, her hometown (draw). This is her last WTA tournament and will play the All-Japan Tennis Tournament in November.

Above is a photo of Akiko practicing with HP Japan Open top seed Caro Wozniacki.

While Morigami might not have made any splashes with her game — she only one 1 title (Prague, 2007) — Morigami gets props for her awesome display of Fila Japan’s flirty and whimsical clothes.

We don’t expect her to pull a HingDavenKimHenin, so we’ll end it here: so long, Akiko!

(photo via the HP Japan Open website)

fila japan blog + did anyone see morigami?

We’re in love with the banner for Fila Japan‘s blog. Yep — that’s pretty much how I fell every time I step out on a court.

BTW, their mascot, Akiko Morigami, has apparently recovered from her injury is now back in the pro tennis fray. She tried to qualify for the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo last week, but got shut out in the first round by Jill Craybas. If there’s anyone out there with pics of Morigami from the event, I’d love to see ‘em!

(image via fila japan)

fashion focus: still no morigami at fila japan

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We don’t even know if Akiko Morigami is still with Fila Japan, but here’s what the company is doing for their first 2009 collection.

The women get a polka dotted outfit (Akiko would have rocked this, right?), while the men get a more subdued polo, with the pop coming in the form of this green and mustard warmup.

Browse: See the rest of the 2009 goods at Fila.co.jp — men’s and women’s.

(screengrabs from fila.co.jp)

frills, drawstring, and gathered fabric for Fila Japan’s Spring line

Akiko Morigami had a tiny window of opportunity at the French Open to showcase the latest from Fila Japan‘s s/s 08 line. We already saw the separates she wore in Melbourne, but TSF really wanted to know what was under that white jumper from the photoshoot. Turns out they’re red separates with lots of gathered fabric and drawstring detail. Cute in theory, but it looks a little messy for the court.

Scoreline: Akiko lost 4-6, 3-6 in the first round to Petra Kvitova.

Browse: See the rest of the Fila Japan women’s line here. Our picks from the collection are above.

(photos by Getty Images and Fila Japan)

fashion focus: akiko morigami in fila japan s/s 08

Akiko Morigami - Fila - Sony Ericsson Open 2008

You better believe we were excited to finally see the new Spring/Summer 2008 looks from Fila Japan as worn by their sponsored player, Akiko Morigami. Here she is playing on the third day of the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne. She lost to Italian Sara Errani 2-6, 6-3, 4-6.

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Ever since the winter we’d been dying to figure out what the Japanese arm will be doing for early 2008 (we already know what they’re doing for the rest of the world, with Tursunov and Kuznetsova showing off at Indian Wells last week). For the most part, thanks to Ichizo, all that we found were nibblets — a cryptic post on her own site talking about a photo shoot, and that picture on the right from the shoot’s stylist.

Until this week, of course. We’ll do another post about the rest of the men’s and women’s tennis collections soon.

More: For now, see more photos (and some close-ups) of Akiko’s outfit after the cut…

fed cup: japan vs. croatia

Japan’s Fed Cup team, led by Akiko Morigami and Aiko Nakamura, brushed aside the Croatian team 4-1 this weekend.

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Japan also won the fashion tie, with both singles players choosing to wear flag colors. At this tie, held in a cold Japanese winter, Morigami wore layered Fila separates while Nakamura braved it in an adidas polo (above, right).

Croatians croaked: I know it was freezing, but still — couldn’t the Croatians have found more appropriate clothes to wear? You’re representing your country, ferchrissakes! See the mishits after the cut.

in the second round, a match worthy of a fashion final

If TSF had our way, the later rounds of a Slam would have great tennis and great fashion. Sometimes, that doesn’t work out (ahem, Justine Henin), like the case of the second round match between 27th seed Maria Kirilenko and Akiko Morigami.

Maria blew Akiko out of the water 6-1, 6-1 in a second round match at the Australian Open, and could put up a fight against the not-quite-100% Anna Chakvetadze on Saturday.

The fashion scoreline was a lot closer, though. Maria passes muster (mustard?) by representing the earth tones hit week. She brings out a pleated skirt and white tank — both part of the the Spring line from adidas by Stella McCarthey. The yellow is a refreshing change from all the other women wearing various shades of pinks and purples this fortnight.

In the other corner…: And Akiko, who celebrated her 28th birthday last Saturday, previews the new Spring line from Fila Japan. Her outfit plays with pink and ruffles (at the sleeves) and and stays sporty with thick horizontal stripes of black, white, and red.

Whose outfit do you prefer? Tell us!

Hold your horses: The adidas spring line won’t drop for another few weeks (February). In the meantime, you can get your fix by raiding the Fall/Winter clearance. The tennis skirt ($60) is my pick. Browse the rest of the goods here.

And same goes for Fila Japan. They’re still in winter mode on the interwebs. We’ll make sure to update you when everything’s ripe for the picking.

(photos by Getty Images)

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s australian open coverage continues…
>> see all of kirilenko’s cute clothes
>> Fila Japan archives

for your asb classic reading list: yellowballin'

I should point out that TSF reader R. C. French is writing about his hometown tourneys — the ASB Classic (women) and the Heineken Open (men) — in his blog, Yellowballin’. Make sure to bookmark or RSS the sucker.

Notables from the first day of this Auckland, New Zealand, tournament (the ASB Classic happens first) include sixth seed Tamira Paszek‘s 7-6 (7), 6-1 win over boldly clothed Yanina Wickmayer; and the unseeded Lindsay Davenport‘s defeat of fellow American Laura Granville, 6-2, 6-3. But what I’m really excited about is tomorrow’s line-up: Maria Kirilenko (hopefully) will debut the Spring 2008 line of adidas by Stella McCartney.

(I was also hoping for a peek of Fila‘s 2008 goods for Akiko Morigami, but she lost in her first round match today. Le sad.)

flashback: the fashionistas at the australian open

For our little series of Australian Open flashbacks, we now turn to the women who looked good in their threads. I’ll be focusing on the consistent fashion performers — that’s Daniela Hantuchova, Maria Kirilenko, Akiko Morigami, Serena Williams, and Maria Sharapova — all of whom didn’t forget to dress up for 2007’s first Grand Slam.

Dani made it all the way to the fourth round dressed in this gorgeous Aussie Avian Dress from Nike. (Kim Clijsters beat her 6-1, 7-5.) The outfit’s bright yellow and lime green accent colors were perfect to carry her from the Melbourne through the Asian hardcourts and to her sole 2007 title so far (in Indian Wells, Calif.). The pleated skirt gave her thin silhouette more shape. As usual, she added a white visor, a watch, and some drop earrings. And check out that warm-up jacket (with a striped hood) on the right.

Akiko Morigami and Maria Kirilenko after the cut.

fashion focus: morigami in fila

Fila Japan dresses Japanese tennis star Akiko Morigami in another innovative design for her U.S. Open appearance.

The white and turqouise-striped sleeveless tank (with a ruffled v-neck collar and a gathered waist) doesn’t quite mesh with the chocolate skirt. (Chocolate was MUCH better used by Maria Kirilenko in her dress adidas by Stella McCartney; more on that later.)

Perhaps it looks good in person, but doesn’t photograph well? Unfortunately, TSF won’t get a chance to scrutinize this fortnight: Agnieszka Radwanska, the tourney’s 30th seed, easily beat her 6-2, 6-1.

What do you think of her outfit? Tell us!

(photos via Getty Images)

RELATED POSTS
>> TSF’s u.s. open coverage continues
>> fashion focus: the many looks of akiko morigami