Intraschool ranking match again! It's getting tense because Ryoma, Momoshiro and Kaidoh all belong to the same block. It's Momoshiro Vs Kaidoh as the highlight of the afternoon match.
"Ryoma's Decision (NB. 168 & 169 were originally aired as a 1 hour special)"
January 26, 2005
Ryoma confronts his father about his invitation to the US Open. Also, Kikumaru vs. Inui! Inui's eye is revealed for the first time!
January 26, 2005
Ryoma couldn't think well because of the US Open, and the Nationals are coming near. What will he do?
"Be Passionate, Echizen!"
February 2, 2005
Still about the US Open. Ryoma is about to decide. Ryoma and Momo are having a match and Momo is already full-going from the start.
"To my Dear Friend"
February 9, 2005
Momoshiro is still angry with Ryoma. Meanwhile, Ryoma is moping and having conflicting feelings about going to the U.S. Open. Eventually, the two make up and play a friendly match. Even though Ryoma wins, Momoshiro technically wins for the block. However, Momoshiro urges Ryoma to take the opportunity and go to the U.S. Open. Finally having made up his mind, Ryoma decides to accept the offer.
February 16, 2005
Ryoma is about to leave Japan for the US Open. Everybody is doing something for Ryoma.
"Samurai in New York"
February 23, 2005
Ryoma Echizen at New York at last! He's adjusting to the place and he even met with Kevin Smith there and played tennis with him.
"Tezuka Kunimitsu Vs. Fuji Syusuke"
March 2, 2005
Tezuka and Fuji have a match to determine Seigaku's number one in the intraschool ranking. This match, which lasts until episode 176, truly awakens Fuji's full potential as a tennis player. Flashbacks reveal a match between the two when they were first years, their subsequent friendship, and the implications of Tezuka's injury. Fuji takes an early lead, but the match is far from over.
"Seriousness in the Third Year"
March 9, 2005
Tezuka and Fuji's match intensifies as they each gradually begin to reveal their best moves (Tezuka's Zero-Shiki Drop/Tezuka Zone and Fuji's Triple Counters). Tezuka slowly begins to surpass Fuji. As he begins to struggle, Fuji reminisces about their first year match (which included the promise of a rematch) and their developing friendship. He then realizes that he is afraid of finding out the results of both of them playing to their full potential and that this is quite possibly the last match they will ever have against each other, and he concludes that if he doesn't play his hardest, he will regret it. His hits suddenly get sharper, and Tezuka comments that the true Fuji has awakened.
March 16, 2005
Once Fuji starts playing his hardest, Tezuka starts to get pushed back. With heart and soul completely in the match, the two battle at their hardest. Tezuka wins by using Zero-Shiki Drop Shot with his right hand while in mid-air, surprising Fuji and everyone else.