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Mai Hontama

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Bio She is a Japanese tennis player. Hontama has a career-high singles ranking by the WTA of World No. 126, achieved on March 7, 2022. She also has a career-high WTA doubles ranking of World No. 482, set on July 12, 2021.

Hontama started playing tennis at the age of four, she was influenced by his father and brother. She joined the Machida Lawn Tennis Club at the age of six, and in 2011 she won the National Elementary School Tennis Championships while she was a student at Machida City Minamioya Elementary School. She won the All Japan Junior Tennis Championships U14 in 2013 while she was a student at Minamiotani Junior High School in Machida City, and won the National Junior High School Tennis Championships in 2014. In April 2015, she enrolled in the Meguro Nihon University Junior and Senior High School correspondence system and started to compete outside Japan based at the S. ONE Green Tennis Club in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. In October of the same year, she participated in the World Super Junior Tennis Championships held in Osaka City and won the final by defeating Yuki Naito, who was one year younger. Lost to Russia's Anastasia Potapova and finished as runner-up.

At the US Open 2016, she reached the semifinals of the junior doubles with her partner Anastasia Zarycká. That same year, Hontama also made her debut on the WTA Tour when she received a wildcard to qualify for the Toray Pan Pacific Open. She surprisingly defeated Abigail Spears 7-5 and 6-3 in the first round, before losing 2-6 and 1-6 to her compatriot Miyu Katō in the second round.

In 2017, she competed in all four Grand Slam tournaments in the junior competitions in singles and doubles. She made her tenth seed in the Australian Open Juniors Women's Singles in 2017, losing to Swiss Rebeka Masarova in the quarterfinals to be in the top eight. Then she reached the round of 16 in both junior singles and junior doubles at Wimbledon and also reached the round of 16 in junior doubles at the US Open.
She turned professional in May 2018 and belongs to Shimadzu Corporation of the Tennis Japan League. In 2018, she again received a wildcard for the qualification for the Toray Pan Pacific Open, but already failed in the first round at her compatriot Ayano Shimizu with 1-6 and 4-6.
In 2019, she started qualifying for the Kunming Open, but failed in the opening match against Miharu Imanishi 0-6 and 2-6. In qualifying for the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, she lost her opening match against Danielle Lao 6-4, 4-6 and 3-6.
She participated in the All Japan Tennis Championships in December 2019, where she defeated Yuki Naito in the quarterfinals, Kanako Morisaki in the semifinals, and Shiho Akita in the finals for the first time. She made her first appearance in the Tennis Japan League as a member of Shimadzu in 2020, and she won the Shukun-sho and Best Newcomer Awards.

At the BNP Paribas Open (WTA1000) in March 2021, she won the qualifying round and made her first appearance in the final round of the WTA1000 tournament. She won the ITF Salinas in Ecuador in May of the same year and won her first ITF Women's World Tennis Tour. She also won the ITF Porto in Portugal in June of the same year, clinching her second win on the ITF Women's World Tennis Tour. She made her first appearance in four major tournaments at the 2021 US Open in the same year, and she lost in the second qualifying round. Hontama made her WTA Tour main-draw debut at the 2021 Chicago Fall Tennis Classic (WTA500) in September of the same year, and defeated Caroline Garcia in the first round, then she got a walkover (against Anett Kontaveit) in the second round, beat Shelby Rogers in the third round, and she lost from Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round. She achieved an unexpectedly good result of being in the last eight despite being ranked 200th in the WTA ranking.
She made her Grand Slam debut at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships where she recorded her first Major win in her career over Clara Tauson.
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