IMG Academy alumnus Kei Nishikori of Japan will contend for a spot in the semifinals of the U.S. Open when he takes on Great Britain’s Andy Murray. The match is scheduled to begin no sooner than 1 PM EST on the Arthur Ashe Stadium Court. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN.
Kei Nishikori is setting records
Kei Nishikori last defeated Andy Murray in 2014 in the quarterfinals of the 2014 ATP World Tour Finals, 6-4, 6-4. Earlier that year, Nishikori had become the first Asian born male to reach a Grand Slam final when he defeated Novak Djokovic in the U.S. Open semifinal, 6-4 1-6 7-6(4) 6-3, before falling to Marin Cilic in the final. This year, Nishikori entered the U.S. Open on the heels of becoming the first Japanese tennis player to medal at the Olympics since the sport was reintroduced to the Games in 1988, and the first player from his country in 96 years (Antwerp 1920) to medal. Nishikori earned a bronze medal after defeating Rafael Nadal in Rio, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3.
The Matsue, Japan native first enrolled at IMG Academy at age 13 in 2004. Dubbed ‘Project 45,’ a reference to Shuzo Matsuoka who had been the highest ranked player in Japan’s history at No. 45, Nishikori has gone on to become the nation’s highest ranked player in history (No. 4, Mar. 2015), and has collected 11 career professional singles titles, in addition to his aforementioned bronze medal and Grand Slam finals appearance.
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Photocredit: IMG Academy/Gabriel Saint Malo