Kei Nishikori burst onto the pro scene in February, 2008 as he qualified for the Delray Beach tournament, saved four match points in the semifinals then beat No. 12 James Blake to become the first Japanese titlist since Shuzuo Matsuoka in April 1992. The 18-year-old Japanese was the youngest man to win an ATP title since a 16-year-old Lleyton Hewitt won Adelaide in 1998. Nishikori outlasted No. 4 David Ferrer for his first top 10 win en route to the U.S. Open fourth round. Nishikori, the first Asian man to earn the ATP's Newcomer of the Year award, underwent right elbow surgery in August, 2009 and did not return to the Tour full time until April, 2010. In 2011, Nishikori contested his second career ATP final, losing to Ryan Sweeting in Houston. Nishikori upset No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga en route to his first Masters 1000 semifinal in Shanghai. He followed up by handing No. 1 Novak Djokovic just his fourth loss of the year in the semifinals before bowing to former Basel ball boy Roger Federer in the Basel final. Nicknamed "Project 45" for his quest to surpass Matsuoka's career-best ranking of No. 46 and become the highest-ranking Japanese man, Nishikori attained his aim in rising to No. 24 in November, 2011. He won Tokyo in 2012. In February, 2013, Nishikori won his third career title in Memphis and in June reached No. 11. Nishikori defeated Ivo Karlovic to successfully defend his Memphis title in February, 2014. It was Nishikori's fourth title in six career finals.
Kei Nishikori Tournament History
2008: Delray Beach
No career titles