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Old 03-12-2011, 05:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: 2011 ATP World Tour 1000 (for March): first stop, Indian Wells - BNP Paribas Open

Mar 12, 2011
Japan players reach out to loved ones

INDIAN WELLS (California) - JAPANESE tennis players expressed shock and sadness on Friday after the nation's biggest-ever earthquake triggered monster tsunami waves that washed away coastal towns.

Japan's top ranked male Kei Nishikori said he couldn't help but think of the devastating news as he played his opening match at the Indian Wells WTA and ATP Masters 1000 tournament on Friday.

'I was shocked yesterday and today, but I had to concentrate on my game,' said Nishikori who lost 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4. 'Inside in my heart I was thinking.' The 20-year-old Nishikori wore a black ribbon on his chest in honour of those who who died in the devastation. He said his heart goes out to those who lost loved ones and their livelihoods.

'(Earthquakes) happen a lot in Japan especially,' he said. 'I knew it was going to happen sometime in a hundred years, but I didn't know it's going to happen like soon, like yesterday. Suddenly it came and so I don't think everybody was ready.'

Nishikori's hometown of Shimane is in south-west Japan and far from the centre of the earthquake which struck off the northeast coast. Shimane is a one hour flight to Sendai which was the hardest hit area. As soon has he heard the news he phoned his family and friends back home. 'At least they are fine. My family is okay,' he said. 'I talked to�them this morning. My town was okay. It wasn't too bad. But, you know, around Tokyo and others it's bad.'

Kimiko Date-Krumm is in the women's draw at Indian Wells and said she worries not only about the people that were caught up in Friday's horrific events but also what will happen in the future with aftershocks. 'I saw the news and it is very horrible and I am very sorry to everybody,' said Date-Krumm who played in the last match of the evening session on Friday. 'I am still in shock. I hope there isn't anything else coming.' -- AFP
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