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30 Interesting Facts To Know About Kei Nishikori

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Kei Nishikori, a Japanese professional tennis player, is currently ranked world No. 7 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Here are 30 facts to know about him:

  1. He is the only Japanese Tennis player ever to be ranked among the top 10 in singles. He is ranked at no: 7 as of 2017 by ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals).
  2. He reached his career high ranking of no: 4 in March 2015.
  3. On reaching the finals of US Open 2014 he became the first Tennis player from an Asian country to reach the finals of a grand slam.
  4. He started playing Tennis at an early age of 5. He won his first Tennis tournament in 2001 when he won All Japan Tennis Championship for Kids.
  5. As of 2017 he is coached by former world no: 2 Michael Chang. Brad Gilbert and Dante Battini were his previous coaches.
  6. He was born as Kei Nishikori in Matsue in Shimane Perfecture in Japan on 29 Dec 1989 to Kiyoshi (Father) and Eri (Mother).
  7. Reina is his older sister who is presently working in Tokyo. His father was an engineer and his mother, a piano teacher.
  8. He plays comfortably at the baseline with consistent shots on both wings. He is even considered as one of the best defensive baseline players by many.
  9. On combining with coach Chang, he stared taking balls early without drop in his consistency, something the great Andre Agassi was known for.
  10. He was also praised for his unusual but effective groundstrokes. He has a short and compact backswing and would hit the ball at its peak. Opponents would not be able to anticipate the direction of the ball.
  11. His two-handed backhand was also compared with Andy Murray and Novac Djokovic, who were considered the best in this segment.
  12. It is difficult to hit winners of the return of serves unless it was too slow. However Nishikori became very well at it since he started taking balls early and coach Chang made it work.
  13. He has a good first serve that can reach up to 125mph. He uses Topspin for his second serve. The fastest serve recorded was in 2012 in Busan Open where Sameul Groth of Australia clocked a 163.7 mph serve.
  14. He made his Davis Cup debut in 2008 becoming the youngest Japanese player to represent the country at the age of 18 years and 104 days.
  15. His first Davis Cup match was against India in semi-finals where he lost to Rohan Bopanna in 5 sets. His first victory came against Mahesh Bhupathi in a dead rubber in the same semi-final.
  16. He played a big role in taking Japan to the quarterfinals of the world group for the first time beating Canada. He won 2 singles rubber and then teamed up with Yasutaka Uchiyama for the doubles rubber victory.
  17. He won Japan its first Olympic Tennis medal after 96 years when he defeated Rafael Nadal for a bronze medal in 2016 Rio Olympics.
  18. In his first Olympics appearance in Beijing in 2008, he lost the first round to Rainer Shuttler from Germany.
  19. He became the first Japanese man to reach the quarterfinals of Olympic Tennis Tournament in 2012 by beating Bernard Tomic, Nikolay Davydenko and David Ferrer. He lost to eighth seed Martin Del Potro of Argentina.
  20. He won the Memphis Open 2016 by beating Taylor Fritz in straight sets, thus becoming the second player in the history to win the tournament 4 times. The other was Jimmy Connors.
  21. In the Junior Tennis circuit he achieved a world ranking of No: 7 in 2006. He held a 73-37 win/loss record in singles and 53-31 win/loss record in doubles.
  22. A controversy erupted during his Bronze medal playoff against Nadal in Olympics 2016, when he took a lengthy break after the second set. He reportedly took a shower and came back to comfortably defeat Nadal.
  23. In a quarterfinal match between Nishikori and Murray in US Open 2016, a faulty digital audio sound processor produced a gong noise that disturbed the flow of Murray. Then on it was down slide for the Britton as he lost 7 games in a row and eventually the match.
  24. He became the first Japanese man to win an ATP tournament in 16 years by beating top seeded James Blake in finals of Delray Beach in 2008. He entered the tournament ranked at no: 244.
  25. He was named as 2008 ATP Newcomer of The year, becoming the first Asian to win the award.
  26. In 2012 he became the first Japanese player to reach the quarterfinals of Australian Open in 80 years. He defeated Jo-Wilfred Tsonga to reach there, however conceded defeat to forth seeded Murray.
  27. He created another record by winning the Japan Open in October 2012. He became the first Japanese to do so in 41 years history of the tournament.
  28. He registered a victory over a top-10 player for the first time in 2008 by defeating David Ferrer in US Open. He was only a teenager at that time.
  29. He endorses Wilson Burn 95 racquet, however many experts believe that he uses an old Wilson nCode nTour racquet underneath the paint job.
  30. Since the beginning of 2017, he is seen wearing red Nike Vapor Tour shoes, after a decade of playing wearing Adidas. He usually wears Uniqlo clothing and is often seen sporting a Cup Noodles badge on his sleeve during matches.

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Kei Nishikori facts

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