Kei Nishikori was back home right on time to help his team, the Japan Warriors, take home their first win of the International Premier Tennis League, this year, as they keep on aiming higher on the team standings.
The World No. 5 went on to roll over past Tomas Berdych, who was unable to do anything to stop the advance of the home favorite.
When he was done with the decisive set, the 27 year old Japanese star spent almost 30 minutes, signing autographs for many of his beloved fans.
Nishikori always feels special at home even though the sport sees him globetrot all around the world, following his stellar performance so far. And it seems he also has a quirky and sarcastic sense of humor, judging from the constant laughs emanating from his countrymen journalist whenever they are with him.
And he sure got an ovation from his local media on Friday after his press conference.
Nishikori is hoping to see Roger Federer, his tennis hero back in the IPTL on the last leg at Hyderabad. And speaking to his native media, the Japanese said,
“It is very important for me to play here in front of my home crowd. You don’t get that much opportunities to play at home so I do it every time that I can. This is a great chance for me but also for the players that can join us in this event.”
He was also full of praise for Fernando Verdasco, his doubles partner, who he gave credit for playing a key role in his singles win over Berdych.
“He will make a great coach in the future, that’s for sure,” he said of the Spanish lefty.
Nishikori also hopes that Michael Chang will soon be recruited by the Japanese Warrior as he sees him as someone who can play good tennis.