'I felt I could give my all to that match against Rafael Nadal', says former Top 5

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'I felt I could give my all to that match against Rafael Nadal', says former Top 5

Winner of 12 ATP titles, Kei Nishikori was the first Japanese to reach a Grand Slam final (US Open 2014) since the days of Zenzo Shimizu in 1920, then lost to Marin Cilic. In the other Grand Slam tournaments he played at least a quarter-final.

Although not very high (178 cm), Kei has a good serve with which he is often able to open up the court. Very skilled in return, he makes the rapidity of movement one of her best weapons, accompanied by an excellent backhand for girls.

He is also able to withstand the mental and physical fatigue of longer matches, also thanks to the collaboration with his coach Michael Chang, who has improved him from the point of view of concentration. Nishikori participated in the 2016 Summer Olympics, where he reached the semis before being defeated by World No.

2 Andy Murray in straight sets. However, he later acquired the bronze medal after he defeated Rafael Nadal 6–2 6–7(1) 6–3, becoming the first Japanese man to win an Olympic tennis medal since Ichiya Kumagae in the 1920 Summer Olympics.

In a recent interview with the Tokyo Olympics, he commented on beating Rafael Nadal at the Rio Olympics.

Nishikori on beating Rafael Nadal

“I had a fervent wish to deliver at least some kind of good news to Japan, which served as added motivation to win and helped me bring out my best – particularly during difficult phases, I was able to keep my cool throughout and, of course, didn’t give up until the end.

I felt I could give my all to this match to make the people supporting me happy, even if there had only been one or two of them, I was empowered by my supporters and have learned a lot from that experience against Rafael Nadal" - Kei Nishikori said.

Nishikori also represented Japan at his maiden Olympics in Beijing 2008. He competed in the singles competition from ITF places spot. There, he lost in the first round to Rainer Schüttler of Germany in three sets. At the London 2012 Olympics, Nishikori competed in the singles and doubles competitions, partnering Go Soeda.

In the singles, being 15th seed, he reached the quarterfinals, knocking out Bernard Tomic, Nikolay Davydenko, and fourth seed David Ferrer on the way. He became the first Japanese man to reach the quarterfinals since Takeichi Harada in the 1924 Paris Olympics.

However, his run ended by eighth seed Juan Martín del Potro of Argentina. In the doubles, Nishikori and Soeda were eliminated in the first round by Switzerland's defending champions Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka.