Kei Nishikori wins 2018 JTA Outstanding Player of the Year award

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Kei Nishikori wins 2018 JTA Outstanding Player of the Year award

Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori has won the 2018 Japan Tennis Association Outstanding Player of the Year award. The 28-year-old was handed the award in the capital city of Japan, Tokyo.

Nishikori has made a successful comeback from a wrist surgery as he has proved this year that he is still one of the best players on the tour.

The Japanese ended prematurely his 2017 campaign to undergo a wrist surgery. The 28-year-old skipped the Australian Open but returned to competitive action at the end of January at the Newport Beach Challenger -- where he was beaten in the first round.

However, Nishikori won it all the following week at the Dallas Challenger. Playing in his first ATP event in six months, the Japanese reached the New York Open semi-final before he lost to eventual champion Kevin Anderson.

Nishikori came close to winning it all multiple times in 2018 but still didn't win an ATP title as he ended runner up at the Monte Carlo Masters and the ATP 500 events in Tokyo and Vienna. The 28-year-old's best run at the Grand Slam level this year came at the US Open -- where he lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-final.

Nishikori achieved his goal of playing at the Nitto ATP Finals, having debuted at The O2 Arena this past November. The Japanese stunned Roger Federer in his ATP Finals opener but still failed to make it past the Round Robin stage.

Nishikori, who was ranked at No. 39 in the world in April, finishes the season inside the top-10 as he is ranked at No. 9. Also read: Team Captain Lleyton Hewitt keen to lead Australia to Davis Cup success