2012 London Olympics Profile: Kei Nishikori
In preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, we're profiling 20 of the top medal contenders.
Kei Nishikori plans to play both singles and doubles in London. Given the sacrifices he's made to succeed, the 22-year-old's mere presence in the Olympics is an achievement.
The native of Shimane, Japan, barely spoke a word of English when he moved to the IMG Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Fla. at age 14. Overcoming homesickness and expectations from a nation hungry for its first male tennis star (no Japanese man had ever been ranked inside the Top 20 before Nishikori), Nishikori upset David Ferrer at the 2008 U.S. Open to become the youngest man to beat a Top 4 seed at Flushing Meadows since Bjorn Borg in 1973.
The highest-ranked Japanese man in history is eager to improve on his result at the Beijing Games.
“I felt a lot of pressure in the Olympics,” said Nishikori, an Australian Open quarterfinalist. “But I'm excited this year 'cause my ranking is up and I'm really confident. I don't know if I can get the medal, but if I can play my best tennis, then I think I have some chance.”
Previous Olympic Singles Results
Beijing, 2008: Lost in first round to Rainer Schuettler
Previous Olympic Doubles Results
More Olympic Profiles:
—Juan Martin del Potro