Sorry for the long silence!
I thought I had to do something about all the photos from Japan Open and the exhibition in November, but as you guys know I'm so disorganised about those things and still haven't finished sorting them out!
Anyway, there've been lots of news about Kei, maybe you guys already know about them through other sources.
*In late November, he returned to US, but not in Bradenton. Instead he went to Chicago to train his physical strength with Japanese-American trainer Robert Onishi, who helped Koji Murofushi win the gold medal in the hammer throw at the Athens Olympics.
Kei spent a good two weeks there and returned to Florida.
*In January, he will start the 2012 season in Brisbane. He entered no tournament in the second week.
*At AO, he will play doubles with Santiago Giraldo.
Also, there are rumours he may play mixed doubles with Kimiko Date-Krumm (possibly the Olympics in mind?)
*In February, he will play DC in Japan, and then he will challenge the South American clay court swing, not US hard court tournaments as in previous years.
I think it's a very interesting decision. Obviously, Dante is from Argentina and may have a role in this. Kei has said many times he likes clay, and RG is the GS he wants to win. I really hope the experiences in those tournaments will bear fruits in the spring clay court season in Europe!
*In June, he will play Halle, not Queens.
*Since his defeat of Djokovic in Basel and his reaching the career high #24 in the rankings, media coverage about Kei in Japan has increased big time. It's still far less than baseball players, footballers and golfers, but his interviews have started to appear not only in sports magazines but general ones and even one for young women!
Hope the media will not haunt him all the time because Japanese media can be a big nuisance!