Yoshihito Nishioka: 'Rafael Nadal was my hero'


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Yoshihito Nishioka: 'Rafael Nadal was my hero'

In an interview promoting the ATP Cup, the Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka spoke about his childhood idols. He said: "When I was a kid, I was looking for Rafael Nadal, because I’m a lefty. He’s a lefty, and he was my hero.

And then now, I love to watch Marcelo Rios from Chile. But now also, for sure Kei Nishikori. We practised together when I went to IMG Academy. He taught me many things, he showed me many things and I watch him practising many things."

On the funny thing of playing the ATP Cup for Japan with his teammates, Nishioka added: "We know each other very well and I think Team Japan is growing up as a very strong team with Kei, me, Ben McLachlan, and more.

There are many top players right now. Now I think we have the strongest team in Japan. We have great friendships together, also. I think we are good teammates and that can [play] a big part. This is a new thing, so I think for sure it’s going to be different… if I lose it’s losing for Japan, so there will be pressure.

But if I win against the pressure, I think I can be bigger in my tennis life as well. I’m very excited for that. On the things he loves the most about Japan, he concluded: "I love Japanese food like sushi, everybody loves it.

I have so many hobbies so I can’t choose only three, but I love to go to nature in Japan, the ocean, some mountains, whatever. It’s very green and I like to see the traditional Japanese places like Kyoto."