The World Number seven, Kei Nishikori is through to the semifinals of the Barcelona Open 2019. He received a straight sets 6-4, 7-5 victory against the Spaniard, Roberto Carballes Baena on Pista Rafa Nadal. Kei Nishikori will now play Daniil Medvedev from Russia in the last four round.
Since the time, Roger Federer clinched his premiere Grand Slam at Wimbledon 2003, there have been just three players outside the continent of Europe who won major titles. The American, Andy Roddick won the U.S. Open 2003 title, the Argentines, Gaston Norberto Gaudio clinched the French Open 2004 crown and Juan Martin del Potro was the U.S. Open 2009 champion.
Before the era of Big Four, there was a mix of North American, Australian, European and little bit of South American dominance in tennis. However, the vast continent of Asia which constitutes almost 60 percent of the population of the world, doesn’t have single ATP Asian tennis player who has lifted up a Grand Slam title in the Open Era of tennis.
Kei Nishikori is the first man from Asia to qualify for ATP Finals, reach a Grand Slam final and after, Leander Peas in 1996 Atlanta Olympics who won an Olympic bronze medal in tennis, Kei Nishikori from Asia collected an Olympic medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the category of tennis. In 2008, he became the ATP Newcomer of the Year and was the first Asian to do so. He has certainly redefined the game of tennis in Asia.
The fourth seed at the Barcelona Open 2019, Kei Nishikori put forth his perspective for the budding Asian tennis players for a thriving career in tennis. “Asian players for sure need more experience, if they can, I recommend them to come to Europe or the USA for some tournaments and not stay in Asia all the time,” Kei Nishikori mentioned.
“For me it worked out, moving to the USA and having a chance to play against so many different guys and having to figure out how to give my best against all of them.” Kei Nishikori hailing from the Asian country of Japan has contributed immensely in order to put his Asian country on the ATP map.
Kei Nishikori revealed about Asians having a monotonous game and also talked about the exposures in his career which proliferated his skills in tennis. “In comparison, they all play the same game in Asia, with flat groundstrokes, and there is no chance you will get the opportunity to compete against someone like John Isner.”
“I got a lot of confidence from winning tournaments in Europe and from working at the IMG Academy, having a chance to hit with Tommy Haas, Xavier Malisse and Max Mirnyi at the age of 14 or 15,” Kei Nishikori continued.
“That helped me to get closer to the ATP Tour, feeling more experienced. I didn’t check the draw, playing one match at a time but it would be nice to play in the final again here. It will not be easy, though, with many great clay-courters in the field.”
Kei Nishikori yearns for some ATP tournaments to be held in the Asian continent. “I will try to do my best and go deep this week. It would be nice to have more tournaments in Asia, especially on the ATP level since we have a lot of Challengers and Futures. I know it is tough in terms of schedule and everything, that’s why players have to compete outside of Asia,” said Kei Nishikori.