5 Things to Know About Tennis Player Kei Nishikori
The Japanese tennis pro beat Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open on Saturday
In what is being considered a stunning upset, a relatively unknown Japanese tennis player, Kei Nishikori, defeated the No.1 ranked Novak Djokovic in the 2014 U.S. Open tennis championship on Saturday – becoming the first Japanese man to reach a Grand Slam final in tennis history.
So exactly who is this hot up-and-comer? We’ve compiled five things to know about the guy who just seriously shook up the tennis world.
1. He’s not exactly new to the scene. Nishikori, 24, has been swinging a racket since he was just 5 years old in Japan, and was a junior champion player there before moving to Florida after high school to join the prestigious IMG Academy in Bradenton, where Andre Agassi also famously trained. (Nishikori currently lives in Bradenton.)
2. His coach is Michael Chang, the formerly No. 2-ranked American champion.
3. In 2008, he was named the ATP Newcomer of the Year, becoming the first Asian to ever win that award.
4. He is sponsored by Japanese clothing chain Uniqlo. (In fact, so is Djokovic, resulting in what was the first ever Uniqlo Vs. Uniqlo match!)
5. His special ability is endurance, and he has a killer forehand. He’s known for both his speed and footwork, and has a knack for wearing down his opponents on the court. Marin Cilic, take note!