Despite the almost universal wish for Ai Sugiyama to win the final doubles tournament of her career, it was another veteran, Fran Schiavone, who--with partner Alisa Kleybanova--took the Tokyo title this year. Sugiyama and Daniela Hantuchova went up 4-1 in the first set, but were overtaken by Kleybanova and Schiavone, 6-4, 6-2.
Schiavone continues to surprise us. Just when it looks as though her career is winding down, she wins both of her singles matches against Russia in Fed Cup play, gets to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, defeats Victoria Azarenka and makes it to the round of 16 at the U.S. Open, and then wins the Tokyo doubles title.
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