Nishikori Advances to Third Round of Wimbledon to play DelPo

As part of our mission to present stories for and about men of Asian heritage living outside of Asia, we decided to cover Kei Nishikori , in this story several months ago when he advanced to the quarter finals at the 2012 Australian Open.  Today, Nishikori achieved quite a milestone in London.  He beat France’s Florent Serra 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 in the second round thereby achieving what no Japanese man has done since Shuzo Matsuoka in 1995.


photo Nishikori earlier in 2012



Kei Nishikori Wimbledon 2012 fan pic, 6/27/2012

We looked for reaction from a club tennis player and Japanese-American stateside on the victory.  Kyle Shimizu, a third generation American of Japanese ancestry, said he had been following Nishikori and was glad he had achieved what Matsuoka did, but was quick to note that he had not exceed the long standing record for a Japanese man.  Shimuzu’s only regret is that ESPN’s coverage of Nishikori had not been very good and he hopes it will be better for the DelPo match up.

Nishikori’s physical stats are:   Height: 5 ft. 10 in. ( 1.78 metres ), Weight: 150 lbs. ( 68.2 kilos ).  He turned pro 5 years ago, in 2007, and plays right-handed.  That ought to please Nishikori’s lady fans, who always seem to want to know the athlete’s height and weight, in addition to whether he has a girlfriend or wife.  At only 22 years of age, he might be one of the bachelors of the grand slams this year.

Where does Kei go from here?  It’s on to the third round to meet his newly minted third round opponent, “DelPo”.   Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina is one of the heavy hitters of the tour and this will definitely be a challenge.  Japan had hopes for DelPo’s second round opponent Go Soeda, who was also a Japanese hopeful to proceed in Wimbledon.  He was beat in Thursday’s play in London.  Look for the match on ESPN on Friday, here in the U.S.

Here is a link to a replay of the entire match today in London at ESPN.  It is less than two hours long.