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Old 11-21-2008, 03:46 AM   #46
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

hchoo, I can't read mandarine but the news about Kei and Ai Fukuhara dating splashed up on every tabloid in Japan today! They were seen holding hands in the fashionable Harajuku area in Tokyo while Kei was on holiday in Tokyo earlier this month. Apparently, they met at the Beijing Olympics, but started dating only recently after Kei came back to Japan this time.

During the Olympics, Ai Sugiyama was sharing the same flat with Fukuhara in the athletes village, and Kei was in the same flat with male table tennis player Shun Muzutani, and apparently it was Sugiyama who introduced the younger Ai to Kei.

Actually, I read in Sugiyama's blog around October that she became good friends of Fukuhara's since the Olympics. Maybe Fukuhara was consulting Sugiyama about Kei!?

Fukuhara is 20 and is a much bigger star than Kei in Japan. Her every move has been followed by the press ever since she emerged as a table tennis wunderkind when she was about 10. But she seems not spoilt by the media attention and very serious about her sports, so I like her. She was Japan's flagbearer at the Beijing Olympics opening ceeremony.

Kei's management has only said that they are good friends. But personally I find them cute together.
But they will have to endure a long distance relationship because now Kei is back in US and Ai-chan (as she is affectionarily called here) is in Germany to play German Open.

http://www.sponichi.co.jp/olympic/ne.../11/20/01.html
http://www.nikkansports.com/sports/n...20-431454.html


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Old 11-21-2008, 04:46 AM   #47
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

Cool! Thanks bunny! I think they are great together; one tennis prince and one table tennis princess
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Old 11-22-2008, 02:15 AM   #48
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

Actually, I was two days late about the news. ; It was first reported here on Wednesday.
Ai-chan apparently came to Japan Open in October to support Kei as well.

The baby faced Fukuhara is big in China, too, because she used to play at China's Super League and mastered speaking Mandarin. She is nicknamed a "porcelain doll" over there. Some of her Chinese fans are apparently shocked she's dating a Japanese guy, but most are happily surprised she's in love. or so it is reported here.
Her father has been quoted as saying he doesn't know if they are an item, but if it doesn't interfere with their carreers, then he thinks it's OK.
But at least one obsessive Kei fan apparently phoned the Japan Tennis Federation to complain and told them that they must force the two to split!
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:59 PM   #49
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

Thanks for the news Bunny.
I remember seeing Fukuhara carrying the flag at Beijing, did she win a medal there?
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:44 PM   #50
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Default Re: Kei's news thread


Kei and Ai - credit to this site:
http://community.travelchinaguide.co...m2.asp?i=50191
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:30 AM   #51
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papakori View Post
Thanks for the news Bunny.
I remember seeing Fukuhara carrying the flag at Beijing, did she win a medal there?
No. She reached last 16 in both Athens and Beijing.

The blog you linked is a bit misleading.
It says Kei and Ai went to the same high school, but Kei was only a correspondence course student of a high school in Aomori, where Ai was a student. And Ai was often in China when she was high school age anyway. So it's not like they went to school together. This high school has a sports course and offers correspondence course to teenage athletes.

Also, it's only one middle aged woman who phoned the Japan tennis fderation to complain, as far as the report goes here.

If you don't mind seeing more papparrazzi pics, here are some more.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg keiai1.jpg (115.2 KB, 30 views)
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:27 AM   #52
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcfoo View Post
Cool! Thanks bunny! I think they are great together; one tennis prince and one table tennis princess
u gave them a cute name
prince of tennis dating princess of table tennis...sounds like a good match
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:45 AM   #53
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

Haha... thanks Chewy
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:16 AM   #54
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

From the ATP site:

http://www.atptennis.com/1/en/2008ne...ime_review.asp

First-Time ATP Winners In 2008 Make Big Impact

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Argentine Juan Martin del Potro (pictured), who finished in the Top 10 of the South African Airways ATP Rankings, were among the 11 players who captured their first career ATP titles this year.

The 20-year-old del Potro became the 13th player (third active) in the Open Era to win his first four ATP finals (Stuttgart, Kitzbuhel, Los Angeles, Washington) he's appeared in.

Japan's Kei Nishikori, the Delray Beach winner, achieved the biggest rankings jump of any first-time ATP titlist. The 18 year old rose 223 places to a year-end position of No. 63 this season. Zagreb champion Sergiy Stakhovsky and Vienna titlist Philipp Petzschner also improved by more than 100 places in the South African Airways ATP Rankings.

Since 1983, when records began, only six times there have been less than 10 first-time ATP winners during the year. The most first-time winners in the last 25 years were 18 in 1995.

Year-by-Year First Time ATP Winners (since 1983)
2008 - 11 2007 - 5 2006 - 11
2005 - 8 2004 - 13 2003 - 9
2002 - 12 2001 - 10 2000 - 9
1999 - 16 1998 - 10 1997 - 12
1996 - 9 1995 - 18 1994 - 8
1993 - 10 1992 - 15 1991 - 17
1990 - 15 1989 - 11 1988 - 12
1987 - 12 1986 - 13 1985 - 17
1984 - 11 1983 - 11

ATPtennis.com charts the records of the 11 first-time ATP winners this year.

KEI NISHIKORI - First ATP Title: Delray Beach (February, 17)
The Shimane teenager moved up 223 ranking spots to finish as the youngest player in the year-end Top 100 at No. 63. Nishikori jumped from No. 244 to No. 131 after clinching the Delray Beach title (d. Blake). He became the first Japanese titlist since Shuzo Matsuoka in Seoul in April 1992. At 18 years, 1 month, 19 days old he was the youngest player to win an ATP title since Lleyton Hewitt (16 years, 10 months, 18 days) in Adelaide on January 11, 1998. He also reached the Stockholm semifinals (l. to Soderling) and finished the season with a 16-12 record.

[...]

First Time ATP Winners (ATP Rankings - November 17, 2008)
Player / Age / First ATP Title / Other Titles / 2007 Rank / 2008 Rank / +/- Difference
Kei Nishikori / 18 / Delray Beach / / 286 / 63 / +223
Sergiy Stakhovsky / 22 / Zagreb / 199 / 74 / +125
Sam Querrey / 20 Las Vegas / / 63 / 39 / +24
Marcel Granollers / 22 Houston / / 132 / 56 / +76
Victor Hanescu / 26 Gstaad / / 76 / 50 / +26
Juan Martin del Potro / 19 / Stuttgart Kitzbuhel, Los Angeles, Washington / 44 / 9 / +35
Albert Montanes / 27 Amersfoort / / 46 / 46 / =
Marin Cilic / 19 New Haven / / 71 / 22 / +49
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga / 23 / Bangkok / Paris / 43 / 6 +37
Philipp Petzschner / 24 / Vienna / / 185 / 66 / +119
Igor Kunitsyn / 27 / Moscow / / 116 / 44 / +72
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:29 AM   #55
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

Saw the article as well on the atp website.

What a great leap from Kei!

Btw, is Kei eligible for the ATP new comer award?
If yes, do you think he can win? Or Del Potro already got this in his bag or he is no longer eligible since he is not a rookie?

Waaahh!!!! Im so confused! lol Bottom line is, I hope Kei Wins!

You see, i think JDP deserves more the most improved player award, rather than the new comer. But that way he played 2008 he probably deserves both.

Last edited by Rafkei : 12-03-2008 at 04:32 AM. Reason: typo error
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:59 AM   #56
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafkei View Post
Saw the article as well on the atp website.

What a great leap from Kei!

Btw, is Kei eligible for the ATP new comer award?
If yes, do you think he can win? Or Del Potro already got this in his bag or he is no longer eligible since he is not a rookie?

Waaahh!!!! Im so confused! lol Bottom line is, I hope Kei Wins!

You see, i think JDP deserves more the most improved player award, rather than the new comer. But that way he played 2008 he probably deserves both.
Sorry for the late reply, Rafkei.
I discussed the topic earlier, and since it was Tsonga that won the award last year, I think it's more likely that JMDP will win the award, with Murray as the most improved player (last year it was Djokovic).
But then last year there wasn't any teenager who made as big an impact as Kei (OK, Gulbis' run at USO was a bit similar to what Kei did there this year but he didn't win a title), so maybe Kei still has a chance.

I forgot when the award will be announced. Is it January or March?
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:06 AM   #57
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

On ESPN's tennis page, John Drucker chose Kei vs Ferrer at USO at one of the top 10 matches of the year.
I don't agree with some of his selections, but I'm very glad Kei's match made the list.

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/ten...oel&id=3770585

What makes for a great match? Setting, quality, drama -- and sometimes it's the X factor that takes it to dazzling heights. Here are the top 10 competitive moments of the 2008 tennis season.

1. Wimbledon men's singles final

These are the moments tennis lovers -- and players -- live for. The two best players in tennis since 2005, their stylistic contrast fully enchanting, the impassioned Spaniard and regal Swiss staged an epic. The quality remained high for nearly five hours. Roger Federer saved two championship points in the fourth-set tiebreaker. Rafael Nadal eventually served out the match as Centre Court neared darkness for the last time (Wimbledon's dome will be up and running in 2009), winning 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7. It was the epitome of everything that makes tennis such a superb showcase of singular and competitive-collaborative spirit.

2. Saturday night fever

It was the middle Saturday of the Australian Open at Rod Laver. Federer was up against Jarko Tipsarevic in the third round. The powerful Serb goes up two sets to one. Federer sweeps through the fourth 6-1. The fifth goes to overtime, with Federer taking it 10-8 -- more than four hours long. Federer served a career-high 39 aces. Then, due to yet another example of tennis managers failing to lead, another match goes on -- and the eagerly awaited match between Australia's Lleyton Hewitt and popular '06 finalist Marcos Baghdatis is delayed to just before midnight. The two go at it for nearly five hours, before Hewitt earns a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-3 win. The victor comes into his press conference at 5:15 a.m. -- and of course is completely drained for his next match.

3. Venus and Serena compose a double album

So many of the matches between the sisters had been annoyingly flat, lacking everything from emotional engagement to quality ball-striking and point construction. But in the Wimbledon final and the U.S. Open quarterfinals, Venus and Serena Williams revealed newfound maturity, increased tactical awareness and, of course, trademark grit. At Wimbledon, Serena raced off to a 4-2 lead, but Venus earned a tight victory, 7-5, 6-4. Serena turned the tables in New York, overcoming a staggering 10 set points to win, 7-6, (6) 7-6 (7). Both matches gave hope that these two had even more great tennis ahead.

4. Local boy makes good

It was a quintessential Wimbledon moment. In the late afternoon, as the sun descended over the lip of Centre Court, native son Andy Murray was down two sets to love to Richard Gasquet. The Frenchman was sizzling, firing winners off all sides. It was time for Murray to dig in. Gasquet served for the match at 5-4 in the third, but Murray broke back. After just over three hours, a fifth set ensued. Murray charged forward and closed it out. A nation erupted. Had it only been a year since Tim Henman retired?

5. Serbian challenge match

We will likely never know too accurately how Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic feel about one another. But this much we do know: Each is good enough now to accept nothing but the highest level of success. So their French Open semifinal set the stage superbly: A loss would crush either. And so the two Serbs dug in and played an engaging, emotional match. But at the stage when the match was on the table, with Jankovic serving at 4-3 in the third, Ivanovic boldly grabbed it, snapping up three straight games -- and two days later took the title.

6. Madrid magic

Call it a perfect storm, or perhaps even an early cry for the changing of the guard. On one Saturday at the Tennis Masters Madrid, two superb semis took place. Frenchman Gilles Simon emphatically signaled his arrival into the elite by beating Nadal, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6), while Murray took out Federer, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Both matches were punctuated by brilliant all-court movement, shot-making, power and drama. Murray would go on to win the title.

7. And I think to myself & what a wonderful stadium

In the fourth round of the U.S. Open, competing in Louis Armstrong Stadium, Kei Nishikori was on the verge of the fourth round and earning the biggest win of his young career. He was up two sets to love versus fourth-ranked David Ferrer. But Ferrer is one rough customer, dogged in the way you might expect from a man whose coach once locked him a room as a motivational technique. By the time Ferrer squared the match at two sets apiece, he and Nishikori had been playing for nearly three hours. The crowd loved every minute of it. This was the brand of tennis intimacy that has been largely lost amid massive Arthur Ashe Stadium. This raw-knuckled fifth set between the two ravenous baseliners took nearly an hour and was just squeaked out by Nishikori, 7-5 in the fifth. Final tally: 155 points each.


8. Dinara Safina takes out Serena

It's rarely easy to take down an impassioned Serena Williams, and though Dinara Safina had in the previous round beaten Justine Henin in Berlin, in the early stages of this match she looked out of her league, dropping the first set 2-6. But the Russian rallied strongly, routing Williams in the second 6-1, then emerging the victor in a gritty third set 7-6 (5). This match was a harbinger of things to come. Safina would go on to reach the finals of six of seven tournaments.

9. Lucky day for Ana

At Wimbledon, her first tournament as the world's No. 1-ranked player, Ana Ivanovic faced a major challenge from crafty veteran Nathalie Dechy. The French woman won the first set in a tiebreaker. Ivanovic countered by taking the second, also in a tiebreaker. Dechy held two match points; one was fought off by Ivanovic with a let-cord winner. The third set lasted nearly 90 minutes with Ivanovic at last winning this 3-hour, 24-minute marathon 10-8 in the third.

10. Tsonga storms the gates

Less significant for its drama, but remarkably revealing for the way Jo-Wilfried Tsonga took charge in a staggering display of all-court, attacking tennis at the Australian Open semifinals. Whether he was ripping his forehand, charging the net or commanding one rally after another, in just under two hours, Tsonga, on this night, made the great Nadal look like a boy playing a man in a one-sided 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win.

Joel Drucker is based in Oakland, Calif., and writes for Tennis Magazine and Tennis Channel.

=================================
Also, ESPN's Bonnie Ford chose Kei as the Young Player to Watch on her list of outstanding players of the year:
(The article contains some factual errors though)

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/ten...e_d&id=3737520

The 2008 season opened with a player other than Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer hoisting a Grand Slam championship trophy for the first time in three years. Novak Djokovic's breakthrough at the Australian Open signaled a new status quo. As the year went on, the Federer-Nadal rivalry continued to be the most compelling story line in tennis, whether they were pursuing each other in the rankings or on the court. But there were plenty of other delights, distractions and dumbfounding events this season. We review some of the highlights and head-scratchers below.

Player of the year
No dispute here. Rafael Nadal crashed through the thin but still-obvious fiberglass ceiling that separated him from Roger Federer: re-asserting his dominance in a big way in the lopsided French Open final, winning Wimbledon in an unparalleled five-set thriller, capturing the Olympic gold medal and finally overtaking Federer for the No. 1 ranking in August after three years at No. 2. It's no surprise that Nadal wore out as this jam-packed season wore down, withdrawing from both the year-end championships and the Davis Cup final. We wish him a restful interlude, and think it's safe to say that the dynamic at the top of the men's game has shifted.

Match of the year
See above. The Wimbledon final had everything: the best two players in the world, spectacular shotmaking, a finish as darkness descended and a wildly appreciative crowd.

Most improved player
This is a tricky category -- do we go with a guy who made a major move in the rankings, or a top player who bridged that seemingly small but elusive gap to place himself among the elite group of potential Slam winners? In this case, we'll opt for the latter and recognize No. 4 Andy Murray, who emerged from an uncertain, injury-plagued stretch and a coaching change to flex his biceps and increased mental muscle and show he's up to the dreaded task of being Great Britain's standard-bearer. We think he has a great shot to win his first major in Australia next month. Honorary mention to Stanislas Wawrinka and Gilles Simon, both of whom cracked the top 10 for the first time in their careers this season.

Most improved American
Sam Querrey showed he's not afraid of anyone or any surface this season. He knocked off then-No. 9 Richard Gasquet to advance to the Monte Carlo quarterfinals last spring, and gave Nadal all he could handle on center court at the U.S. Open and again in his Davis Cup debut in the semifinals, contested in the hostile environment of a Madrid bullring. Querrey also won his first ATP title in Las Vegas early in the season. As the year wound down, he wasn't bashful about stating his goal to guarantee himself a seeded position at next year's Aussie Open. It was a tall order, and Querrey fell a little short at No. 39, but credit him for reasonable ambition combined with great attitude.

Young player to watch
Kei Nishikori, who turns 19 in late December, has a beautiful game, an endearing personality and the massive pressure that comes along with an early tag as the best player ever to emerge from his native Japan. Up from No. 288 in January to No. 63 at year's end, he shows signs of being able to embrace the challenge.


Biggest upset
Now that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is a top-10 player and one of the ATP's most charismatic stars, it's easy to forget that a mere 11 months ago he was regarded as a relatively easy mark for Nadal in their Australian Open semifinal. Tsonga had never played a full season at the ATP level, and his big body is prone to breaking down. The Frenchman rose to the occasion with a brilliant, creative and nearly error-free match that left Nadal shaking his head in bewilderment on the other side of the net. Honorary mention: Nishikori was ranked 180th [sic: 244th ] and had only a handful of ATP matches under his belt when he beat then-No. 12 James Blake for the Delray Beach (Fla.) title; University of Illinois product Kevin Anderson of South Africa overcame a similar paper mismatch to shock No. 3 Novak Djokovic in the second round in Miami.

Biggest upset (team)
Spanish Davis Cup captain Emilio Sanchez said he admired the camaraderie of the 2007 champion U.S. team and tried to cultivate that spirit among his own group of talented players. In retrospect, host Argentina might have chosen badly for the final by going against its own traditional strength and playing on a hard court. But there's no question that Spain's better interpersonal chemistry was a factor in beating the fractious Argentines, despite Nadal's absence.

Best use of equipment
Nikolay Davydenko took recycling to a new level, winning all six matches en route to the Sony Ericsson Open title in Miami using a single Prince racket.

Worst use of equipment
In a moment of frustration during a late-night, early-round match against Nicolas Almagro in Miami, Russia's Mikhail Youzhny bashed himself in the forehead several times with his racket frame, drawing blood and forcing a stoppage in play. The video became an overnight YouTube sensation and cast ultra-serious soldier Youzhny (who ultimately won the match) in the unlikely role of slapstick comedian. "We were just two crazy boys out there," Youzhny said an hour later, the wound still oozing.

Weirdest crowd interaction
The normally decorous Federer wheeled toward the box where Novak Djokovic's parents and other supporters were sitting in Monte Carlo and snapped "Be quiet."

Most ill-advised crowd interaction
In a postmatch, on-court interview at the U.S. Open, Djokovic lashed out at Andy Roddick for Roddick's previous quips about his multiple physical ailments, triggering a hailstorm of boos at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Even Roddick, who doesn't always exhibit great impulse control, would know better than to do the same in Belgrade.

Lost in translation celebration
OK, it was a strange year overall for Federer, and there were times he needed to cut loose a little. After he and countryman Wawrinka won the Olympic doubles gold medal, Federer passed his hands over his prone teammate in what looked like a creepy cult ritual. It was apparently meant to signify that Wawrinka was "hot," but you could have fooled us. Guys, please stick to the usual clichés and leave the hackneyed symbolism to us writers.

Most graphic self-defense
"It's not because I was scratching my things on the sofa and I didn't want to play tennis." -- Marat Safin at the Sony Ericsson Open, explaining why his comeback from a knee injury has been so fitful.

Most candid self-assessment
"I've been living like this since I was 10, traveling around. For me to sit back somewhere in the same place for a couple of months or one year, it would be suicidal. So I prefer to travel to nice places -- Miami, Australia, Indian Wells, Monte Carlo, Rome, Hamburg -- so it's pretty interesting places. To give up on that … it's a very tough decision, and I'm still enjoying it." -- Safin, same interview.

Most candid self-assessment, Part II
"I think if she will do everything opposite of what I've been doing throughout the years, she will be No. 1 in the world for a long time. That's as simple as it is." -- Safin at the U.S. Open, talking about his sister Dinara Safina's breakthrough season.

Dubious milestone
Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis began their Australian Open match at 11:47 p.m. and finished at 4:34 the next morning, the latest result in Grand Slam history. It might have been a delightful novelty from afar -- especially for U.S. fans who enjoyed the spectacle over breakfast -- but in the interests of top-notch competition, we don't think players should have to work the graveyard shift.

Off the radar
Baghdatis, now No. 99, didn't look like he was heading in the right direction even before injuries sidelined and hampered him through much of the season. We're also wondering if Guillermo Canas can regain the great form he showed in his comeback from a contested doping suspension last year.

We'll miss
The intelligence and class consistently displayed by veteran Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden; the elastic reach, contagious grin and loose-limbed grace of Brazil's Gustavo Kuerten; the pure entertainment provided by the maddening Magician, Fabrice Santoro of France. [sic: Santoro hasn't retired yet!! ]

Parting words
"Well, I don't understand 'redemption ' quite that well, but I don't think that's what it is. I don't feel like I needed this win particularly to prove myself, you know. I don't think I'm at that point any more." -- Federer, after defeating Murray to win his fifth straight U.S. Open title.

Bonnie D. Ford covers tennis and Olympic sports for ESPN.com. She can be reached at bonniedford@aol.com.
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:16 AM   #58
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

Kei's interview was aired on the NHK morning news today, He was speaking in US about his bearkthrough year.
He said that he was happy that there were times during the season when everything went well, and he also said that he knows the next two to three years will be very important to him and he's determined to work hard so that he can get into top 10-20.

It was part of a series of interviews to top athletes who made a big progress this year.

Also, on Monday, Japan Sports Grand Prix was announced, and Kei was chosen as one of about 20 top athletes who won outstanding performance award (my translation... the Japanese word is yushusho 優秀賞)。 Other recipients include figue skater Mao Asada and gymnast Kohei Uchino.
Grand Prix went to double Olympic gold medalist swimmer Kosuke Kitajima and the special award was given to Yukiko Ueno, the captain of the women's softball team that also won the gold medal in Beijing.
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:51 AM   #59
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

There's a 90-minute TV programme on Kei tonight in Japan and I'm looking forward to it.

I will report here if there's any interesting comments, etc!
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:08 AM   #60
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Default Re: Kei's news thread

thx for keeping us posted bunny!

any chance you know if Kei will play in Sydney next jan?
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Kei Nishikori | Yen-Hsun Lu | Somdev Devvarman | Yeu-Tzuoo Wang | Di Wu
Hyeon Chung | Dennis Istomin | Ze Zhang | Go Soeda | Tatsuma Ito | Yuichi Sugita | Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi | Rohan Bopanna | Danai Udomchoke | Tsung-Hua Yang | Hiroki Moriya | Mao-Xin Gong | Hyung-Taik Lee | Paradorn Srichaphan | Takao Suzuki

Fernando Gonzalez | Max Mirnyi | Jo-Wilfried Tsonga | Tommy Haas | Ricardas Berankis | Xavier Malisse | Andreas Seppi | David Ferrer | Juan Martin Del Potro | Tim Smyczek | Olivier Rochus | Victor Troicki | Horatio Zeballos | Lleyton Hewitt | Nick Kyrgios | Mario Ancic | Peter Luczak

ATP Tokyo 2012, ATP Memphis 2013 Champion Kei Nishikori
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