Kei Nishikori: 1st Japanese Tennis Player In Top 10By: Lacy Langley - May 12, 2014
Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese tennis player to break into the top 10 tennis rankings at number nine, according to the ranking numbers released on Monday.
His spot was guaranteed over the weekend when he beat Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open, which he arrived at as number 12.
However, his luck was not to last. He was forced to retire from Sunday’s final with a hip injury when trailing Rafael Nadal 2-6, 6-4, 3-0.
He will be replaced in the Rome Masters by Roger Federer. The tennis star left his newborn twins, only a few days old, to fly into Rome and take Nishikori’s place.
Federer wasted no time booking a practice court and preparing for second-round match against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
Nishikori now has precious little time to be ready for the French Open. He won a title last month in Barcelona and played an amazing match against Nadal before calling it. His confidence is still running strong, though his back may need rest.
“It’s going to be very exciting at the French because I’ve never felt like this on clay. I’m very confident of whatever I hit,” he said. “I can hit from either side, so it’s very good feeling I have on clay right now. I’ve been playing better tennis from last year. I’m more offensive, aggressive, playing from both sides, and playing really confident right now.”
Hopefully Nishikori’s confidence will carry his rising star all the way to the top at the French Open. He is definitely one to watch!
Image Via YouTube