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25 March 2013

Nishikori: "Davis Cup can make you stronger"


Photo: Takeo TanumaKei Nishikori (JPN)

Davis Cup by BNP Paribas offers players the unique opportunity to compete in front of vociferous partisan crowds and no matter whether the tie is at home or away there is always going to be an abundance of pressure that is unlike anything else.

This fact has not been lost on Japan's No. 1 player Kei Nishikori, who owing to the fact that he is the highest-ranked Japanese man in the history of the sport, is used to contending with enormous expectation from his fans.

Reflecting on what it means to play Davis Cup, however, Nishikori said: "It means a lot, it’s the Japanese team against a different country so it’s more fun and there's more pressure, but it’s an honour to be in the team and always I’m looking forward to play."

Not only does Nishikori enjoy playing for his country but he also thinks that the experience a player can learn from taking part in a team event is invaluable.

He added: "Not many people can play Davis Cup. I was really nervous but I got better and you get stronger mentally. Davis Cup can make you stronger I think."

Regardless of whether Nishikori is able to compete for Japan in its forthcoming Asia/Oceania Zone Group I 2nd round tie against local rivals Korea Republic, the Japanese tennis fans are expecting their side to earn a place in September's World Group play-offs.

Victory next month would give Japan one of the 16 berths in the play-offs, where they will be strong contenders to bounce back into the top tier of the competition after being cruelly relegated by Israel last year.

Japan will play Korea Rep. at the Ariake Colisseum from April 5-7 and you can follow their progress on

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