Kei Nishikori – now he really is BIG in Japan.

25 Jan



Japan’s young gun Kei Nishikori was nicknamed “Project 45” from the day he arrived at Nick Bollettieri’s tennis academy in Florida at the age of 14. He spoke little english, Athletic but shy and very homesick in the early years. Why Project 45? The previous highest ranked Japanese male player on the ATP tour was Shuzo Matsuoka, who peaked at #46 in 1992 – hence the Project 45 tag.

Nishikori has gone well past this goal and will break into the the top 20 after his phenomenal 1/4 final run at the 2012 Australian Open where he accounted for world #6, France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Nishikori began playing at the age of 5 and quickly developed into a really good junior player. He is the type of player that can really excite a crowd with his forehand and footspeed defying his stature.

Nishikori is definitely “BIG in Japan”. He is followed everywhere by an admiring WowWow crew.(Japanese TV) Wowwow have been great for the game in Japan too, they have a quirky way of covering the event. Wowwow media executives hand delivered “Go Nishikori – Wowwow” sushi packs to all the foreign media with a bow and a smile. Watch out for this guy – he is the type of player to inspire a nation.

The PRO.

One Response to “Kei Nishikori – now he really is BIG in Japan.”


  1. Kei – Opens doors in Japan « tennistipsfromapro - October 7, 2012

    […] See my blog on Nishikori’s rise to prominence from January 25 this year in the archives section or via this link. […]

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