Kei Nishikori has already seen the Japanese flag raised in his honor at an Olympics and the 29-year-old Grand Slam finalist is enjoying the chance to stand on the podium again when the Games are hosted on home soil at the re-vamped Ariake Park venue next year. Sports enthusiasts from around the world can purchase Olympic Tennis Tickets online to enjoy its stunning performances.
Nishikori made his Olympic debut at Beijing 2008 and reached the quarter-finals at London 2012, before winning the men’s singles bronze medal at Rio 2016 by beating Spain’s multiple Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal.
And he admits there is added incentive beyond simply winning a medal in front of his countrymen in what has been dubbed Japan’s “Reconstruction Olympics”.
Nishikori told: “The Olympics in Tokyo has been something I have been dreaming about for a long time, now that it is only one year away, I am getting more and more excited.”
When the then-world number seven beat Nadal in two hours and 49 minutes he became Japan’s 3rd Olympic tennis medalist and the 1st since 1920 when Ichiya Kumagai won singles silver and teamed with Seiichiro Kashio to win a second silver in doubles in Antwerp.
Nishikori said: “I knew before playing Olympics that if I can play good tennis, good, solid tennis, I had a chance to get a medal, I was playing for my country, this is something different from the [ATP] Tour.”
Nishikori will be seeking to become the 5th man to win a singles gold at his home Olympics, after American player Beal’s Wright in St Louis in 1904, Great Britain’s Josiah Ritchie in London in 1908, Andre Agassi at Atlanta 1996 and two-time reigning champion Andy Murray at London 2012.
But there is more to Nishikori’s quest for gold than simply personal glory as he made clear at the recent unveiling of the Tokyo 2020 Recovery Monuments the latest effort in the organizers’ Reconstruction Olympics legacy.
The project highlighting Japan’s recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the north-eastern region of the country is being run in partnership with Local Government and the Iwate Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures which were hit worst by the disasters.
The monuments will be constructed with recycled aluminum from the temporary housing deployed during the disaster, a poignant memorial the significance of which is not lost on Nishikori.
He said: “Because of this project, my feelings towards the disaster-hit areas became even stronger. I will do my best to win a nice-colored medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Also, I would like to contribute more to the disaster-hit areas in the future.”
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