The Japan Open in the capital of Tokyo started in 1972, standing as the oldest running tennis tournament in Asia. Ariake Colosseum complex hosts the event every season and it is one of the most impressive facilities in this part of the world, with over 50 courts and a retractable roof on the Center court.
The list of champions is also a notable one, containing Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe, Manuel Orantes, Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, Lleyton Hewitt, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Juan Martin del Potro and Stan Wawrinka.
One of the biggest names who is missing there is world no. 1 Novak Djokovic who will try to change that next week, entering the draw for the first time and hoping for the best possible preparation ahead of the upcoming Olympic Games at this venue next summer.
The 16-time Grand Slam champion arrived in Tokyo on Friday, having the opportunity to check the center court with his team and seeking the fourth title of the season and 500 points against Marin Cilic, David Goffin, Taylor Fritz, Lucas Pouille and Borna Coric, the only remaining players from the top-30.
Novak has won three titles this season, including two Majors, missing the opportunity to fight for the second "Nole Slam" in New York after struggling with a left shoulder injury that forced him to retire in the fourth round against Stan Wawrinka, losing a lot of points and trailing to Rafael Nadal in the ATP Race at the moment.
After the US Open, Novak took some time off the court to rest the shoulder, starting to hit again in Belgrade with Janko Tipsarevic, Viktor Troicki and Filip Krajinovic and shaping up the form for the ATP 500 event that could send him back to the winning way for the first time since Wimbledon.