Kei Nishikori, born in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture on 29 December 1989 is now (Nov. 2014) ranked no. 5 among all professional tennis players in the world. At this time he is the only Japanese man in history to rise to the top 10 in the world. But he is not just great on a Japanese scale. He is great on a world scale and has all the tools to challenge any world class tennis player and win! He has powerful forehand and backhand strokes and can challenge his opponent from anywhere on the court with his aggressive style of play.
He’s been playing tennis since the age of 5 and now lives in Bradenton, Florida U.S.A. This week he advanced to the quarter-final round of the Barclay’s ATP Tour Finals Tournament in London but was beaten by the world no. 1 player, Novak Djokavic 2 sets to 1. Still his play was admirable and he is playing better and better, having finished second in September 2014 at the U.S. Open. This year his record is 52 wins and 12 losses and he has won over $4.4 million. In his professional career, which began when he was 17 years old, he has won 7 titles and been runner up 4 times.
Many of my students were impressed with his English interview skills which he demonstrated well after reaching the semifinal round of the U.S. Open in September 2014 by defeating Novak Djokavic. Unfortunately, he lost to Djokavic this time in London. Interview after the game with Djokavic in London.
Kei Nishikori is extremely popular even outside Japan and he is a new kind of Japanese athlete. I really believe he is capable of beating any world ranked player on one of his good days and he can easily talk about it well without an interpreter after the game. Kei is coached by the previous world no. 2 ranked Michael Chang and Dante Bottini of IMG Academy in Florida. Watch his interview after the semifinal game against Novak Djokavic here: Kei Nishikori at the 2014 U.S. Open.
I’d like to hold a “Support Kei Nishikori” Party soon. Is there anyone interested? Drop by and say “Hi” at my school if you are.