Kei Nishikori is Japanese professional tennis player who currently resides in Bradeton, Florida. Born on December 29, 1989 in Shimane, Japan, this 18-year old began playing tennis at the age of 5. He and his family moved to the US to train at the Nick Bolletieri Academy in Florida when he was 14. He turned pro in 2007.
Prior to joining the pros Nishikori had won the Riad 21 title in 2004, which was held in Rabat, Morocco. He started 2006 by winning a wild card to the Kyoto Challenger in Japan. He also participated in and won the title at the ITF FUTURES event held in Mazatlan, Mexico. He was a quarterfinalist in singles at the 2006 Junior French Open and won the doubles title with partner Emiliano Massa. A year later he won the 2007 Luxilon Cup held at the 2007 Sony Ericson Open after beating US player Michael Mclune.
He qualified for his first main draw event on July 17, 2007 at the Countrywide Classic in LA when he was still 17. And although he lost to Wesley Moodie, be quickly became one of the players to look out for during the season. After Los Angeles, Nishikori qualified for the Indianapolis Tennis championships and became the youngest player to reach the QF in the tournament since Boris Becker did so back in 1985. He qualified for an ATP event in Beijing but unfortunately, lost the first round. He again lost in the first round in Tokyo. A minor consolation was his opportunity to represent his country at the Asian Hopman Cup 2007 which was held in Bangkok, Thailand.
Nishikori would make his first Grand Slam appearance a year later at the 2008 Wimbledon, a match which unfortunately ended in a forfeiture. He was also able to play in the recently concluded Beijing Olympics but only reached the first round before he was defeated by Rainer Schuttler of Germany.
He made his US Open debut in the same year. He reached the third round after beating Roko Karanusic and in August 30 made history by becoming the first Japanese player to reach round 16 in 71 years after his victory over David Ferrer.