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Kei Nishikori has accepted an entry into the 2012 BB&T Atlanta Open.
Nishikori became the highest ranking Japanese male ever last October when he moved past world No. 47. He has skyrocketed up the South African Airways ATP Rankings with a career-high No. 16 in March.
Since turning pro in 2007, Nishikori has earned a spotlight on the ATP World Tour with his punishing serves, incredible foot speed and impressive ground strokes. Last year he reached two ATP finals in Houston and Basel, where he handed Novak Djokovic one of his six loses of the year.
Nishikori started out 2012 in strong fashion, dismissing top ten Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and reaching a career high ranking of No. 16 in March.
Former French Open juniors champion Nishikori is also rewriting his country’s history books. A mere year after turning pro, Nishikori was No. 244 and only a qualifier but he lifted the Delray Beach trophy as champion. The title made Nishikori the first Japanese player to win an ATP crown in 16 years and the youngest titleholder since Lleyton Hewitt in 1998. In addition, Nishikori’s appearance in the 2012 Australian Open quarterfinals marks the first time a Japanese player has made it to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam in 80 years.
A huge star in his native country, Nishikori developed and honed his game at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida as a teenager. Since its establishment in 1978, the academy has produced some of the world’s most prominent players such as Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova and Jim Courier.
Nishikori looks to continue impacting the world tour as he challenges top players at Atlantic Station this July.