Asian nations have not enjoyed a lot of success in tennis over the years, with the likes of Spain, France, Argentina, USA, Serbia, Russia, Germany, Switzerland dominating. However, the 2014 edition of the US Open witnessed something different, as Kei Nishikori became the first male player from an Asian country to reach the singles final of a Grand Slam. Nishikori started off as the underdog, taking on the likes of Wayne Odesnik, Pablo Andújar, Leonardo Mayer who were expected to get the better of him. However, the Japanese showcased his true potential, getting the better of his opponents. The next clash against world No. 6 Milos Raonic threatened to mark the end of the campaign, considering the prowess of the Canadian. It certainly witnessed its fair share of excitement, with the marathon five-set match involving a lot of twists and turns. However, Nishikori managed to live to fight another day.
Nishikori has won 12 singles career titles so far, with 2014 marking his most successful season so far. The Japanese tennis star won four tournaments in the year (Tokyo (Outdoor/Hard), Kuala Lumpur (Indoor/Hard), Barcelona (Outdoor/Clay), Memphis (Indoor/Hard)). Nishikori showcased his prowess for the nation in the 2016 Rio Olympics, proving his capabilities against none other than Spaniard Rafael Nadal. The Japanese defeated Nadal in the bronze medal encounter, to help Japan win its first tennis medal in the Olympics in 96 years.
Novaks Djokovic has gone toe to toe against the Japanese tennis player a whopping 22 times, winning 20 of those matches. Nishikori, however, does hold a US Open victory over the Serbian.
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The Japanese star has faced Roger Federer 11 times so far in his career but has only been able to win on three occasions. They have faced each other in Grand Slam competitions twice and the Swiss has been the victor in both matches.
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Rafael Nadal has faced Nishikori 14 times so far and has won on 12 occasions. Four of those 12 victories have come in Grand Slam competitions but the Japanese does hold an Olympics victory over the Spanish tennis legend.
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