Tennis: Japan's Kurumi Nara flies to wrong Charleston for match

Kurumi Nara saw the funny side after flying to Charleston, West Virginia, instead of Charleston, South Carolina. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese tennis player Kurumi Nara was wildly off target on Saturday after attempting to fly to Charleston, South Carolina for a tournament, only to land at Charleston, West Virginia - 640km to the north.

To her horror, the pint-sized Nara realised the blunder when her coach let out a yelp while they were in the air.

"You wouldn't believe what happened," the player wrote on her blog. "My coach Natsuki (Harada) screamed: 'What?! I think we might be flying to the wrong city!' It's so annoying they have two airports with the same name, it really is!"

Nara, the world number 78, had been flying from Osprey, Florida, where she played in a ITF Challenger tournament last week, to Charleston via Atlanta.

But she was able to see the funny side - eventually.

"I really shouldn't laugh but it did make us laugh," said Nara, who produced a stunning upset over Venus Williams in Indian Wells last month.

"After a run of bad luck, good things are supposed to happen. We'll buy another ticket and go back to Atlanta and try again."

She added: "I'll make sure I'm in the best shape possible and try and win my next match."

Nara is not the first player to suffer such an embarrassment.

Serbian star Bojana Jovanovski was even further wide of the mark in 2011 when she thought she was flying to Carlsbad, California but managed to jet into Carlsbad, New Mexico instead.

Flustered and red-faced, she only made it to the correct venue half an hour before her first-round match and was promptly beaten by Italian Roberta Vinci.

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