Jiro Sato attended to Waseda University and studied economics. He abandoned his studies in 1933 to pursue tennis.
He debuted on the international tennis scene in 1929 when the touring Racing Club de Paris visited Japan for a series of exhibition matches. He notably defeated tennis legends Jacques Brugnon, Raymond Rodel and Pierre Henri Landry, only losing to Henri Cochet.
Sato played with a flat forehand drive which he modeled after Henri Cochet when Cochet visited Japan in 1929. He hit the ball on the forehand side early after the bounce and he was an excellent volleyer.
In 1930, he was the runner-up for the Japanese championships, which he finally did win the next year. Also in 1930 he was a runner-up for the Mid-Pacific Invitational tournament losing to American Cranston Holman and the doubles final as well.
In 1931 he lost the Miramar L. T. C. title in Juan-les-Pins against his brother Hyotare Sato, won the doubles, and was a finalist in mixed doubles. He clinched the West-England Championship in singles and doubles. He was defeated by Jean Borotra for the British Covered Court Championships title. He partnered his brother to gain the Beau Site Club de Cannes second meeting trophy and the St. Raphaël T.C. title. In singles competition he claimed the Country Club de Monte-Carlo second meeting title (the same tournament in which the Sato brothers reached the doubles final). He became Dutch doubles champion alongside Minoru Kawachi. In July he beat Vernon Kirby for the Tunbridge Wells Championship. He captured the Midland Counties Championships in singles and mixed doubles the same month and only losing the doubles final.
He received worldwide fame in Wimbledon 1932, when he beat the defending champion Sidney Wood at the quarterfinal. In the semifinal, he lost to Bunny Austin.
Between July and November 1931 he won 13 singles titles in Great Britain. He met Fred Perry twice for the Pacific Southwest Championships title in 1932 and 1933, losing both times. In August 1933, he partnered compatriot Ryosuke Nunoi to win the doubles title at the German Championships in Hamburg.
His peak came in 1933, when he beat Fred Perry in the French Open quarterfinal. He was ranked World No. 3 by A. Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph, behind Jack Crawford and Fred Perry.
From 1931 to 1933 Sato played in ten ties for the Japanese Davis Cup team and won 22 rubbers and lost only six, compiling a 79% winning record.
However, it got more and more difficult for him to endure the enormous pressure from Japan. It is believed that pressure drove him to throw himself overboard into the Strait of Malacca on April 5, 1934, at 26 years of age.
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