Kei Nishikori

Toward the 2016 Rio Games

© The Yomiuri Shimbun

“It is a big year for me.
I will do my best to bring a medal home.”

Kei Nishikori

In action at the 2015 Australian Open

In action at the 2015 Australian Open

In action at the 2015 Australian Open

Born in 1989,

Nishikori started playing tennis at the age of 5.
In 2001, he won the All-Japan Selected Junior Tennis Championship
and two other championships — becoming the fifth junior to do so.

Nishikori turned pro in October 2007,
embarking on a new career in tennis.

Nishikori playing at the AIG Japan Open in October 2007 soon after turning pro.

Nishikori in action during the final of the 2008 Delray Beach International – his first ATP victory.

Nishikori poses for a photo on court.

Nishikori is small for a pro tennis player; however,
he faces other top pros squarely, with strong shots and a unique form.

This can sometimes entail a physical burden, troubling him with injuries.

In 2009, Nishikori took a break after announcing he had suffered a stress fracture in his right elbow.

Nishikori smiles during a French Open practice session in May 2010. After going through a tough rehabilitation process, he returned to the tour in February 2010.

Nishikori signs his autograph for a fan during the 2010 French Open.

Nishikori and his doubles partner Somdev Devvarman of India congratulate each other during 2011 Wimbledon action.

Nishikori advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2012 Australian Open, leading to a world ranking of 20.

Many people cheered Nishikori during his quarterfinal match at the 2012 Australian Open – including those back home in Japan.

In October 2012, Nishikori secured his first ATP title at the Rakuten Japan Open.

In the 2014 Davis Cup, Nishikori was a driving force in Japan’s advance to its first World Group quarterfinals.

In 2014, Nishikori advanced to Wimbledon’s best 16 for the first time.

At the 2014 U.S. Open, Nishikori repeatedly defeated higher-ranked players in his advance to the final.

Nishikori became the first ever Asian to advance to a Grand Slam final.

In 2014, Nishikori won the Rakuten Japan Open as well as the Malaysia Open.

After winning the 2014 Japan Open, Nishikori was embraced by his coach Michael Chang. The pair’s fight for Rio continues.

Photos and production by The Yomiuri Shimbun

© The Yomiuri Shimbun