Kei Nishikori is the Japanese tennis player who came from relative obscurity to make the finals of the U.S. Open in 2014. Nishikori is a rarity as a Japanese man on the pro tennis tour, and also a rarity for having left Japan to train in America. In 2004, at age 14, he moved from his rural hometown of Matsue, Japan to the IMG Academy, the tennis training powerhouse run by Nick Bollettieri in Brandenton, Florida. Three years later, during the 2007 season, Nishikori turned pro. He won his first tournament, the Delray Beach Open in Las Vegas, the next year. He became known for his quickness, tenacity and tireless return-everything style, and by the start of 2011 he was ranked #25 in the world. In 2012 he won the Japan Open in Tokyo. At the start of the 2014 season he hired Michael Chang, a tennis champ of the 1980s and 1990s with a similar style, to be his coach. That year he made his run at the U.S. Open in 2014, defeating world #1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals to make his first major tournament final, where he lost to Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. He became the first Japanese man in the modern era ever to reach the final of major tennis tournament.
Kei Nishikori is 5’10” (177 cm) tall, according to his official site… He is right-handed… In May of 2014, Kei Nishikori also became the first Japanese man ever to make the top 10 in the world tennis rankings.
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