Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2012: Schedule, Live Stream Info & More

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IOctober 1, 2012

TOKYO, JAPAN - OCTOBER 09: Andy Murray of Great Britain in action in the men's final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day seven of the Rakuten Open at Ariake Colosseum on October 9, 2011 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)
Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

With just over a month left in the 2012 tennis season, some of the world's top men's stars will converge on the hard courts of Tokyo to battle for the Rakuten Open title this October.

Reigning U.S. Open champion Andy Murray enters this year's tournament as the No. 1-seeded player, but won't have to worry about a potential matchup with any of the sport's Big Three. Instead, Murray will have to traverse a field of upset-minded stars and a plethora of Japanese hopefuls.

Here we get you set with everything you need to know for this fall's ATP Rakuten Open Tennis Championships.


Where: Ariake Tennis Forest Park, Tokyo, Japan

When: October 1 to October 7, 2012

Live Streaming: TennisTV.com


Home Cooking

For the mass of Japanese supporters in attendance this week, No. 8-seeded Kei Nishikori will be the man to root for. Nishikori is the highest seeded Japanese player and has an outside shot at becoming the first Rakuten Open champion since Toshiro Sakai in 1972.

The No. 17-ranked player in the world made the quarterfinals at the Australian Open earlier this year, and reached the third round of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. He boasts a 28-16 singles record in 2012, but is only 22 years old and has plenty of potential for the future. 

Expect some loud roars for the highest-ranked Japanese player on the men's side. After all, Nishikori should cruise to the quarterfinals, where he would likely be pitted against No. 2-seeded Tomas Berdych. 


Repeat Champion?

Andy Murray has had almost a month away from competitive tennis to soak in his first career Grand Slam title. Murray won the U.S. Open in September, and becomes just the fifth different player to win a major on the men's side dating back to 2005.

What most people don't know is that Murray won the Rakuten Open last year, defeating Rafael Nadal in three sets. If Murray can overcome the field this week in Tokyo, he will become the tournament's first repeat champion since Pete Sampras in 1993 and 1994. 

Murray's momentum from his epic U.S. Open win surely hasn't faded yet, making him the man to beat on the hard court this October.


Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2012 Schedule

Date Round Start Time (EST)
Monday, Oct. 1

Men's Singles 1st Round

Men's Doubles 1st Round

10 p.m. (Sunday)
Tuesday, Oct. 2

Men's Singles 1st Round

Men's Doubles 1st Round

10 p.m. (Monday)
Wednesday, Oct. 3

Men's Singles 2nd Round

Men's Doubles 1st Round

10 p.m. (Tuesday)
Thursday, Oct. 4

Men's Singles 2nd Round

Men's Doubles 1st & 2nd Round

10 p.m. (Wednesday)
Friday, Oct. 5

Men's Singles Quarterfinals

Men's Doubles 2nd & Semifinals

10 p.m. (Thursday)
Saturday, Oct. 6

Men's Singles Semifinals

Men's Doubles Semifinals

11 p.m. (Friday)
Sunday, Oct. 7

Men's Singles Final

Men's Doubles Final

11 p.m. (Saturday)

*All schedule information courtesy of RakutenOpen.com.


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