WATCH: The sport was last in Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics, which were postponed to 2021.


The Toray Pan Pacific Open makes a triumphant return to the WTA calendar this week, giving the game’s best plenty to celebrate.

A mainstay on tour for nearly four decades, the PPO relocated to Osaka in 2019 in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The global pandemic caused the event’s cancelation for the next two years, adding further uncertainty to what had previously been a robust Asian Swing.

Top seeds Paula Badosa and Caroline Garcia flocked to Tokyo in earnest for their first appearance since the US Open. For Garcia, it is an opportunity to build on a strong showing on the U.S. summer hard-courts, which culminated with a semifinal finish at the US Open.

Badosa will open against surging Chinese star Zheng Qinwen, who won 19 straight points en route to a 6-2, 6-4 victory over hometown favorite Misaki Doi.


Badosa and Garcia were joined by fellow top seed Garbiñe Muguruza, Karoline Pliskova, and Veronika Kudermetova for the Tokyo Players’ Party, which presented a blend of past and present for those in attendance.

Looking to embrace Tokyo’s storied history, Daria Saville donned the traditional yukata for a game of battledore alongside Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Giuliana Olmos.

Saville will take part in an intriguing opening-round encounter with 2019 PPO champion Naomi Osaka, who will also be playing her first match since the US Open.