At the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis, Japan’s Misaki Doi stepped onto the court for her second-round encounter with Maria Sakkari with the weight of potential finality hanging in the air. Indeed, it turned out to be the last match of her career. The Greek fourth seed secured a decisive victory, dominating with a 6-3 6-1 scoreline in just 65 minutes. The bittersweet moment was marked by an emotionally charged farewell, captured in the exclusive photos by Jimmie48.
The post-match moments were incredibly touching, with Sakkari hugging Doi at the net and expressing gratitude for the privilege of being the opponent in the final match of her remarkable career: “You’re an amazing player. You’re a wonderful person. What an honor.” Sakkari stayed on the court to watch Doi’s farewell ceremony.
Maria Sakkari hugs Misaki Doi as she plays the final match of her career:
“You’re an amazing player. You’re a wonderful person. What an honor”
All class from Maria.
Congratulations on a wonderful career, Misaki. Good luck in the next chapter.
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 28, 2023
Doi’s friend Kurumi Nara joined her for the emotional post-match ceremony. The two were Tokyo (Japan Women’s Open Tennis) doubles finalists in 2015.
The 32-year-old Doi won her sole career singles title on hard courts at Luxembourg in 2015. In doubles, she triumphed twice — at Istanbul in 2014 with Elina Svitolina and at Hiroshima in 2019 with Nao Hibino.
In 2016, Doi posted a career-high ranking of No.30 and notched up career-best 24 main-draw match wins, highlighted by her best Grand Slam showing with fourth-round finish at Wimbledon.
Before her final career match against Sakkari, Doi defeated world No.49 Petra Martic in the first round of the Tokyo tournament, which was her first main-draw win since 2022 Hamburg and first Top 50 win since 2021 Doha, snapping a 19 match losing streak against Top 50 opponents.