Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori didn't want to draw a Japanese player at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships. Nishikori, seeded at No. 3 in the Tokyo main draw, has been drawn to meet fellow compatriot Yuichi Sugita in the first round.
World No. 100 Sugita entered the tournament as a wildcard. Nishikori, 28, and 30-year-old Sugita are set to clash against each other for the first time as they have no previous meetings. "I don't want to play Sugita, but I've expected I would have to play Japanese players someday, I wish it were not in Japan though," Nishikori said.
World No. 12 Nishikori is set to make his 10th appearance in Tokyo. The former world No. 4 has had success in Tokyo so far in his career as he is a two-time Tokyo champion. The 2014 US Open runner-up knows what he will have to do in order to put on yet another successful campaign in Tokyo.
"I feel the surface is a bit fast here, slower one would more suit my game, but I will have to play aggressively (on this surface," Nishikori noted. Nishikori made seven straight appearances in Tokyo from 2010-2016.
The Japanese will be eager to have a positive return in Tokyo as he didn't play at the tournament last year since he called it a season in August to treat a wrist injury Also read: Janko Tipsarevic never doubted Novak Djokovic would return to old form