MA­JOR PLAYER

Hong Kong Tatler - - Small Talk -

CLOCK­WISE FROM LEFT: THE GOOD- HU­MOURED KEI NISHIKORI POSES ON A DEC­O­RA­TIVE RICK­SHAW AT HU­TONG IN HONG KONG; ON COURT AT THE ATP WORLD TOUR FI­NALS IN LON­DON IN NOVEM­BER LAST YEAR; WITH OP­PO­NENT ROGER FED­ERER IT WAS TOUGH BE­CAUSE I DIDN’T SPEAK ANY ENGLISH AND THE CUL­TURE WAS VERY DIF­FER­ENT. BUT LUCK­ILY AMER­I­CAN PEO­PLE ARE VERY OPEN AND THEY TRIED THEIR BEST TO COM­MU­NI­CATE WITH ME. I DID GET HOMESICK, BUT MY HOME­TOWN IN JA­PAN IS VERY SMALL AND THERE WEREN’T MANY PEO­PLE TO PRAC­TISE WITH. IT WAS AT THIS POINT—WHEN I AR­RIVED IN THE US—THAT I RE­ALLY THOUGHT ABOUT TURN­ING PRO. I FELT LIKE THIS WAS MY GOAL AND DREAM, AND I HOPED ONE DAY TO PLAY IN THE GRAND SLAMS.

WHAT IS YOUR RE­LA­TION­SHIP WITH YOUR PAR­ENTS LIKE NOW?

WHEN I WAS LIT­TLE, THEY WOULD PUSH ME. AS A KID, I NEEDED IT, I THINK. BUT NOW THEY ARE MORE LIKE FRIENDS AND OUR RE­LA­TION­SHIP IS GREAT. THEY USU­ALLY WATCH ME PLAY AT THE GRAND SLAMS AND IN THE OFF-SEA­SON, THEY COME TO FLORIDA AND COOK FOR ME—WELL, MY MUM COOKS. I DON’T LIKE AMER­I­CAN FOOD SO SHE PRE­PARES SUSHI AND OTHER JA­PANESE FAVOURITES OF MINE.

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