In the second round of the District Preliminaries against Gyokurin, Ryoma plays Doubles 2 with Takeshi Momoshiro. At the start of the match, however, they get frustrated with each other and they split their individual courts in half to plays as singles in a doubles match, winning 6-2. Sumire Ryuzaki, the coach of Seigaku, was not amused, however, as they both ended up kneeling on the floor. They were both banned for 1 and 2 matches respectively.
At the finals against Fudomine, Ryoma was placed in Singles 2 against Shinji Ibu, who was noted to be the ace of the team. He won the first game easily with his Twist Serve; Shinji, in turn, revealed a smiliar serve called the Kick Serve. Ryoma was able to return it by switching to his dominant left hand. As the match went on, Shinji began using his Spot technique to paralyze Ryoma's hand and gain the upper hand. When Ryoma tried to twist his body more to hit the ball, he lost his grip on his racket, causing it to break against the net's pole, rebounding off, hitting his left eye, and damaging his eye muscle, causing extensive bleeding. Due to Ryoma insisting on finishing the match, Ryuzaki used a medical technique to stop the bleeding for fifteen minutes, and Tezuka gave Echizen ten to finish the match. Ryoma found a way to counter Shinji's Spot by using Nitoryu, and won the last point by using a Twist Spin Smash, winning 6-3.
Sometime after, Tezuka, deeply troubled on how Ryoma's style is just a carbon copy of his father's, plays a secret match with him at the tennis court under the railway. Tezuka utterly defeats Echizen, and then he proceeds to encourage him to come up with his own style of tennis and to become the pillar of Seigaku.
Ryoma made it swiftly through the prefectural tournament, with the exception of being late for the St. Rudolph match in the quarterfinals. In said quarterfinals, he played in Singles 3, beating Yuuta Fuji 6-4. It was during this match that he invented Drive B, his first original signature shot. He also utilized the Super Rising, but it was not perfected.
In the semi-finals, Ryoma did not get to play as Ginka forfeited because of a "stomach ache" (as the Ginka team as a whole were afraid of Seigaku's regulars).
In the finals, against Yamabuki, he played in Singles 2, beating Yamabuki's Jin Akutsu 6-4, leading his team to the Kanto tournament. It was in this stage that Ryoma perfected the Super Rising and invented a new shot, Drive A. It was here that Ryoma had his revenge (Akutsu had come to Seigaku and served rocks at Ryoma, cutting his face).
Ryoma goes to the Kanto Regional Tournament with Seigaku as the No.2 seed this year since they had just been victors at the Tokyo Prefecturals. In the first round, against Hyōtei Academy, Ryoma was placed as a substitute. But since both teams had two wins each and the Single's 3 game between Kawamura and Kabaji was a No Game (due to both players injuring themselves), there was a special rule created to get the subs to play each other to decide who wins. Ryoma's opponent was Wakashi Hiyoshi, Hyotei's second year ace. He had already beaten Choutarou Ootori in singles, and now, or so he thought, would defeat Ryoma. But three Twist Serves and a Zero-Shiki Drop from Ryoma quelled his thoughts. Although Hiyoshi was able to win two games from Ryoma after switching to his Enbu style tennis, Ryoma eventually won the match with a score of 6-2.
In the manga, Ryoma beats the Midoriyama 2nd year captain, Kiraku Yasuyuki. However, in the anime, Seigaku plays against Josei Shonan. Their coach, Aoi Hanamura, tries to recruit Echizen to her team, but Ryoma refuses. Ryoma plays in Singles 2 against Reijii Shinjou during the Quarterfinals of the Kanto Regional Tournament. Shinjou first uses the Mirage, but Ryoma sees through it. After that, when Ryoma insults Hanamura's coaching, Shinjou gets angry and uses Deep Impulse to try and take the match. Ryoma is not fazed by the brutal style and counters it, winning the game 6-4.
In the manga, Ryoma is placed in Singles 2 and does not play as Seigaku defeats Rokkaku during the Semifinals in straight sets. However, in the anime, Ryoma is placed in Singles 3 against Rokkaku captain Kentaro Aoi. He briefly falls victim to Aoi's pace in the game, since Aoi is capable of incredible control over the ball regardless of how he seems to hit it. The match continues long into the late afternoon that the referee decides they would finish the match the next day. The next day, Ryoma overcomes Aoi's with a faster Drive B, and defeats Aoi 6-4.
Ryoma and Seigaku prepare for the Finals against reigning champions Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku.
In the anime, when the match is delayed for a week due to rain, Ryoma plays a secret match against the "emperor" Genichirou Sanada and loses. Ryoma feels inadequate from the loss, but Yamabuki's retired Akustu helps Ryoma find his spark again. Ryoma and the rest of the Seigaku members go to a training camp where they trained vigorously- meeting Yūdai Yamato, the captain of Seigaku during the current 3rd years' 1st year, and the person who asked Tezuka to become Seigaku's Pillar of Support. Ryoma and Yamato get stranded together but they speak for a long time, with Yamato giving him words of encouragement and good advice. Later, the Seigaku regulars played practice matches against Hyotei Gakuen, who was staying in an Atobe Cottage nearby and was invited by Coach Ryuzaki. Ryoma played against Atobe, drawing the match 6-6 due to the no-tiebreak rule. After the match, Ryoma worked with Oishi to develop the Cyclone Smash.
In the Kanto Finals, Seigaku surprised Rikidai by winning Singles 3 and 2 after losing both doubles matches. It is up to Ryoma, who played against Sanada. The matches for the anime and manga differ.
In the manga, Ryoma consciously activates Muga no Kyochi from the start and Sanada follows with "Fu Rin Ka Zan." Throughout the match Ryoma uses several techniques from other players including Kirihara's Knuckle Serve, Akutsu's flexible tennis, Yuuta's Twist Spin Shot, Momoshiro's Dunk Smash, Tezuka's Zero Shiki Drop Shot, Shinji's Spot, Sanada's "Fu Rin Ka Zan," Kawamura's Two-handed Hadōkyū, and Akazawa's Illusion Shot. By activating Myuga no Kyochi, however, Ryoma expends an abnormally large amount of energy so that his body can surpass its limits and Sanada easily gets the score to 5-3. After Ryoma survives a triple match point, Sanada activates Muga no Kyochi to counter Ryoma's. It is then that Ryoma develops his COOL Drive, which he uses to make a comeback and win. Ryoma wins the match 7-5.
In the anime, Sanada takes the first few games with his Invisible Swing. Ryoma soon gets used to the speed of the Swing and decides to unleash his Cyclone Smash; when his eyes get tired, Ryoma plays with his eyes closed and equalizes the match score. Sanada then unleashes his fury and starts utilizing the Invisible Serve, which is now much faster, and gets score to match point. Echizen then begins to attack using the Samurai's Eye (a state similar to Muga No Kyouchi) to use his former opponents moves including Yuuta's Twist Spin Shot, Shinji's Spot, Shinjou's Deep Impulse, Wakashi's Enbu tennis, and Akutsu's flexible tennis. Ryoma wins the match 7-5, winning the championships for Seigaku and taking the team to Nationals.
Regional Select Invitationals Camp (Anime Only)
In the anime, when America decides move the date of the Goodwill games versus Japan to an earlier date, a week-long camp was held for all the Japanese teams to compete for the spot. Ryoma was placed in Ryuzaki's team, with everyone feeling that he would earn a spot on the roster. When Ryuzaki collapsed from exhaustion, Tezuka took some time out of rehab as the group's coach. During the camp, Tezuka saw that Ryoma's attitude had grown more arrogant following his win against Sanada. Thus, when it came to choosing the players to represent Japan, Tezuka chose to have Ryoma as the reserve player, but kept in secret to see if he would change. When Ryoma sees America's Kevin Smith– who had been wanting to challenge him – defeat Yamabuki's Jin Akutsu using his destructive tennis form, Ryoma had a change of heart and begged Tezuka to be on the team; Tezuka revealed Ryoma's spot, making him the third member of Seigaku to compete (along with Fuji and Kikumaru).
Regional Select Invitationals (Anime Only)
Although Rikkaidai's Akaya Kirihara played Smith in the final match, Kirihara injured himself, and the "special rule" was invoked to have Ryoma finish the match, which resulted in his victory (7-6) and a new found friendship with Smith.
In the manga, Ryoma goes with his team to the Nationals. In the anime, he is chosen as a wildcard for the U.S. Open and goes to it, eventually beating Lleyton Hewitt in the finals. He comes back in the OVA, and although he says he wouldn't participate with Seigaku, vice captain Shūichiro Oishi goads him into a match to take over his spot as a regular, which Ryoma does. Everyone later found Oishi did this because his wrist injury from before the Kanto Finals was acting up again.
Seigaku's first round's matches start with Higa Chuu. Ryoma faces Kei Tanishi in Singles 3. Right before the match Ryoma provokes Tanishi when he asks if the larger player should be going on a diet. He further provokes Tanishi into grabbing and lifting him up by the front of his shirt when he warns the Higa player to watch out for the diet's rebound weight.
Ryoma starts the match by continuously using Drive C, which everyone believes to be his COOL Drive. He later reveals that is a misunderstanding as his COOL Drive has twice the spin of Drive Cs. However, Tanishi's Big Bang serve allows him to win all of his service games while Ryoma manages to win all of his, forcing a tiebreak.
It is there that Ryoma manages a return ace against Tanishi's Big Bang serve, who was not aware of his own weakness. Ryoma had not let on the fact that the serve had been weakening in power as during the second half of the match he pretended to have the racquet be blown from his hand. At match point Ryoma uses his Drive A and quickly follows up with Drive B after its return. He finally reveals the true COOL Drive after Drive B is returned, Tanishi attempts to return it before it can land. However, when the ball hits Tanishi's raquet the amazing spin he puts on it forces the ball to hit Tanishi's face with great force. The match ends with the COOL Drive knocking the larger boy down to the ground, and Ryoma taking the first win for Seigaku.
Seigaku's next opponent was their old nemesis, Hyotei Gakuen. Ryoma was placed in Singles 1, as Tezuka had played in Singles 2 against Munehiro Kabaji. Both teams get two matches a piece, and Ryoma's opponent was Keigo Atobe, and very soon he proved a tough nut to crack, as Muga no Kyouchi did not work on such a high level player who could handle most techniques like Atobe. Atobe took the first 4 games with his World of Ice but Ryoma countered it with his "Samurai Zone", forcing the ball towards him. The game gradually turned into a tiebreak. They both went all out, and soon the score was 117-117. Both players had collapsed to exhaustion. Atobe stood up first, but in the last 12 seconds of the service time, Ryoma manages to stand up and hit 2 twist serves, winning the game 7-6. After that, Ryoma jumped over the net to shave Atobe's hair (from a bet they placed earlier), but Atobe shaved his own hair despite Haginosuke Taki's objections.
Seigaku's semifinals was against Shitenhōji. With a 3 wins and 1 loss, Seigaku wins the match with Shintenhji and moves on to the finals. Although Ryoma couldn't play a real match against Kintarō and the match between Seigaku and Shitenhōji had concluded, Ryoma and Kintarō Tōyama play a special one ball match. In spite of it being only for one point, they both go all out for over 40 minutes. In the end, the ball is split in half, causing it to end in a draw. Though it is hinted by Fuji that Ryoma may have unlocked Teni Muhō No Kiwami (Pinnacle of Perfection) in this match; Nanjiroh, who was listening through the radio, believes otherwise.
During the National Tournament Finals, Seigaku's finals was against reigning Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku who with the return of their captain, expected an easy win and nothing less. Ryoma is matched up against Rikkai Dai's captain, Seiichi Yukimura, in the Singles 1 slot; the winner of which will result in their team winning the tournament since both teams have two wins.
Before his match with Seiichi Yukimura, Ryoma had amnesia, but luckily due to his teammates' and other teams' help by stalling their games and helping him "re-learn" tennis, he eventually overcomes his amnesia right before his match. Ryoma starts off strong and uses three of his signature techniques, but Yukimura returns them all without having to move from the baseline. In response, Ryoma activates Muga no Kyōchi and uses five consecutive copied techniques, but once again, Yukimura returns them all without much effort. Ryoma then reveals that he has opened Muga no Kyōchi, but it is only after Yukimura wins three straight games that Ryoma is able to use Hyaku Ren to its fullest, going on to win a point. Right after, he reveals that he has also opened Saiki Kanpatsu no Kiwami. However, he breaks his own prediction by hitting the ball out of the court, and just when his nose begins to bleed, Yukimura decides to show his true strength.
As they play, Yukimura informs him that he is losing his senses, which becomes a reality as Ryoma has already lost his sense of touch, followed by his sight. Though Ryoma continues to hit the ball through his hearing, he eventually loses that as well. Despite losing all his senses, Ryoma attempts to continue playing. As he realizes what tennis means to him, he activates Muga no Kyōchi's final door, Teni Muhō No Kiwami(Pinnacle of Perfection).
Using Teni Muhō, Ryoma continues to get consecutive service aces as well as return aces from Yukimura's serve, and eventually catches up to Yukimura, and then takes the lead by winning five games in a row. However, just when Ryoma needed one more game to win, Yukimura begins to adjust to Ryoma's playing style, and is thus able to return Ryoma's hits. Ryoma then uses his Samurai Drive, splitting the ball in half, and though Yukimura is able to return it, Ryoma is able to smash both halves into Yukimura's side of the court, winning the match 6-4.
It is also unknown why, but three days after the finals on August 26, Ryoma leaves Japan for America.
Prior to U-17 Camp
In the OVA Another Story's "Prince of Naniwa" Part 1 and 2, the Seigaku tennis club minus Ryoma, travels to Osaka to have a joint training session with Shitenhoji's tennis club during the summer after the National Tournament. Ryoma is shown to be in New York noticing his adopted brother]] practicing tennis on a wall with a ball filled with hard rocks. Ryoma is interested and is seen walking towards his brother. Some time later, he is seen arriving in an airport in Japan, most likely Kansai International Airport because Ryoma is next shown meeting Kintarou Tooyama in Osaka. They have a 'match' after Kintaro tells Ryoma that the loser will be treating the winner with takoyaki- their match actually being a rally of a ball through the city of Osaka wildly going over rivers and bridges.
Ryoma and Kintaro are rallying a ball through on an overpass when Oishi, Kikumaru, and Kawamura notice Ryoma and are surprised that he is in Osaka. Ryoma and Kintaro's rally is stopped when Kikumaru catches Ryoma's returned ball with his hand. When the 3rd year regulars plus Coach Ryuzaki and Kintaro question Ryoma back at the inn at night as to why he was in Osaka, Ryoma replies that he just wants to eat some real takoyaki. While some of the 3rd years suggest that they tell Momoshiro and Kaidoh that Ryoma is in Osaka, Tezuka replies that if they told the two 2nd years the news, they would never realize what they had to realize.
Later on, after Momoshiro and Kaidoh realize that they needed to work with the 1st and 2nd years of Seigaku as a team, they decide to hold their delayed training matches with Shitenhoji. Just when Gin Ishida hits a 108th degree Hadoukyu to Mizuno and Arai, Ryoma shows up and returns the ball, surprising everyone who thought Ryoma was in New York. Momoshiro and Kaidoh ask Ryoma why he was in Japan, and Ryoma tells them because he was worried about his senpais, much to the two 2nd year's dismay. Ryoma and Kintaro end up playing a match, the result unknown.
After the training session ends, the Seigaku tennis club heads back to Tokyo on a train from Osaka. Sadaharu Inui says that Ryoma was on an airplane back to New York already.
In the ending credits, Ryoma is seen in a cab in New York, only to see Ryoga outside the window. Ryoma opens the cab door and smiles seeing Ryoga and the song ends with Ryoma on a street tennis court serving a ball, most likely to his brother.
Ryoma arrives back to New York and is walking down crowded streets while carrying his tennis bag. After a while, he makes a turn towards a more isolated area but then he is suddenly stopped by a group of five young individuals in the middle of the road. They stare at him at first with serious expressions, but then four of them jump in smiling and greats him with "Cheers!", revealing that they were Ryoma's friends from New York.
Ryoma, Ken and the others head towards a tennis court downtown occupied by high school students. Ryoma easily defeats them all and clears the court for him and his friends (revealed in a flashback). After playing for a little bit, everyone except for Ken takes a break and Ryoma hears about the problem they are having with the high schoolers including one named Jack. Ken becomes angry that they are relying on Ryoma for help saying it was their problem, not Ryoma's. Ken storms off the courts, leaving Ryoma and the rest of the gang staring at Ken.
Later on, Ryoma finds Ken practicing tennis against a wall in an alleyway. He invites Ken to a practice match, and speaks about how Ken lacks power. Ryoma is able to blow Ken's racket away countless times until Ken finally returns one of Ryoma's shots- but it is out of bound. Ryoma smiles but says Ken still has a long way to go.
The two practice until sunset and Ryoma presents Ken, who is laying on the ground from exhaustion a can of a grape beverage. He wishes Ken good luck in his match tomorrow and leaves.
The next day, Ryoma is seen about to purchase a can of grape juice in a deli when he overhears two high schoolers talk about Jack and his friend about to have a violent match against some kids downtown. They mention how it was "cute" in a malicious tone, drawing Ryoma's attention. He immediatly rushes out without his drink, surprising the cashier.
At the courts, Ken's and his doubles partner- their unnamed friend with the yellow headband, were both scratched up from the match and on the floor while Jack and his doubles partner were taunting them and asking about "the good Japanese player" who cleared the court yesterday. Ken says that "Ryoma won't be coming" but Ryoma arrives to the court downtown just in time to stop Jack's ball from hitting an already beat up Ken. Ryoma proceeds to playing against Jack and his partner but receives help from Ken too when Ryoma could not reach the ball. Together, Ken and Ryoma defeat the Jack and his doubles partner while their friends cheer on. Ryoma stares at defeated Jack, who is now on the ground sweating and breathing hard, and says "Hey, this is real tennis. Mada mada dane." Ken then asks Ryoma why he came and Ryoma replies with a smile: "because we are friends." Ken looks away but says "thank you" reluctantly, causing the entire group of friends to start laughing.
Jack stands up and curses Ryoma silently. He serves a ball aiming at Ryoma, who is unaware that Jack was trying to hurt him. Ken notices the serve and screams out Ryoma's name, running towards his friend in attempt to block the ball but is not fast enough. However, a flash of yellow (representing a ball moving at a very fast pace) decends from above- it both knocks away the ball Jack aimed at Ryoma's way and lands to the ground just as a Twist Serve but then shots towards Jack's face, knocking Jack out. Ryoma, surprised at the serve, looks up and sees a green-haired, black-hooded man with a blue racket standing on the roof of a building staring down at Ryoma. His savior turns out to be his older brother, Ryoga Echizen, but we do not know if Ryoma realized it was his brother though they were both staring at each other. Ryoga walks away and a man then runs towards Ryoma saying that there is an important letter from Japan for him. Ryoma opens the letter and is shocked at the content being an invitation to the U-17 Camp.
Ryoma's friends wave him goodbye as he is seen running to an unseen location. Ken cheers Ryoma on quietly, calling him "Samurai." The location Ryoma was running towards is later revealed to be to Grand Central Terminal where Ryoma stops and takes a sip of the grape beverage (parallel to the start of The New Prince of Tennis' episode 1).
In the post credit scenes, Ryoma arrives at Seigaku's tennis courts and bumps into the freshman trio, who tells Ryoma that Coach Ryuzaki and the regulars have already left for the camp. Ryoma turns away to leave, but then turns back and stares at Horio asking him for a "favor" with a smile.