While spending several months in the top 5, Kei Nishikori entered the spotlight of the tennis world in 2014 and quickly rose to become one of the best players in Japanese tennis history. However, Kei has noticed some instances throughout this fruitful journey.
His Olympic gold medal-winning performance versus Rafael Nadal in Rio makes him particularly memorable. On his path to the US Open final in 2014, Nishikori defeated top players including Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, and Novak Djokovic before losing to his much taller foe Marin Cilic.
However, as the Japanese made clear in a recent Uniqlo interview, none of those matchups were worthy of the title of “the most unforgettable match.” “Nadal in the third-place match. Obviously, the medal was on the line. And the encounter with Nadal made it particularly unforgettable “Nishikori remarked.
Kei defeated Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-7(1), 6-3 to take up the bronze medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Nishikori’s accomplishment made him the first Japanese man since Ichiya Kumagae at the 1920 Olympics to take home an Olympic tennis medal.
Along from denying Rafael Nadal a medal at the 2016 Olympics, other significant events that contributed to his development as an all-around player were moving from Japan to the United States in 2004 and winning the Junior French Open doubles championship in 2006.
“It was a major step for me when I traveled to the United States for the first time when I was 13 years old. Another pivotal moment came when I turned 17 and won a major event “Finally, Shimane’s said.
In the Wimbledon Championships, Rafa was in great shape.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal discussed his early coaching from his uncle in his book, Rafael Nadal: My Story.
So even if the general atmosphere when we trained was harsh and severe, there was delight and enchantment in my relationship with Toni, he said. And we were quite successful. Maybe I wouldn’t be the player I am today if he hadn’t forced me to play without water that day, if he hadn’t singled me out for particularly severe treatment while I was in that group of young children learning the game, and if I hadn’t reacted as I did to the injustice and abuse he piled on me.
Nadal also revealed that he frequently struggled to control his anger.
Why am I the only boy that has to sweep the court after practice and not the other boys? I would query. “Why do I have to juggle more responsibilities than the others? When I hit the ball out, why does he yell at me in that manner? However, I discovered how to channel that rage inward and to accept the injustice without complaining.