Nishikori: Japan’s rising star
The eight top seeds at the Swiss Indoors come from seven different countries, one of which is Japan. Basel offers a fascinating mixture of nationalities. The fact that Asians, who are generally smaller in stature, are playing an ever greater role in tennis is down to Kei Nishikori. After having already been as high as number 11 in the rankings, the 24-year-old is currently ranked 18th, but for several months now he has been on a clear upward trajectory. Two years ago in Basel he reached the final as an outsider and lost to Federer, but now, only two years later, he is already considered to be one of the favourites to win the tournament. Nishikori got off to a winning start by disposing of Marco Chiudinelli. It is possible that he will cross paths with Federer, the man who he beat this year on sand in Madrid, in the quarter finals. In his home country Nishikori, who trains in Florida, is a huge attraction. His first match in Basel was broadcast live on pay-TV channel Gaora in Tokyo. In Japan the young man makes good money from endorsements, which are rumoured to earn him up to ten million US dollars per year. Nishikori has the same kit provider as Novak Djokovic: department store chain Uniqlo.