2014-09-08 US Open Tennis Finals Kei Nishikori vs

Getting to know: Kei Nishikori
Written By Olivia Wittels
Monday, September 8, 2014
Seeded 10th at the 2014 US Open, Kei Nishikori defeated four seeded players, including world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, during his exciting run to his first Grand Slam final. He upset Djokovic in four sets after playing two consecutive five-set matches, against No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka and the No. 5 seed Milos Raonic, in the quarterfinals and fourth round, respectively.

Get to know more about Nishikori, who reached his first US Open final after five tries here in Flushing Meadows:

Nishkori, 24, was born in Shimane, Japan. He currently resides in Bradenton, Fla.
He began playing tennis at the age of 5. At 14, he traveled to Florida to train full-time at the Nick Bolletieri Tennis Academy. He didn’t speak a word of English when he arrived.
Heis the only Japanese player ever to be ranked inside the Top 10 in the ATP singles rankings.
He is the first ever male Asian player (and overall second Asian player, after Li Na) to reach a Grand Slam singles final.
He has won five singles titles in his career (2008, Delray Beach; 2012, Tokyo; 2013, Memphis; 2014, Barcelona and Memphis).
Prior to making the 2014 US Open final, his best Grand Slam result came at the 2012 Australian Open, where he reached the quarterfinals before falling to the No. 4 seed, Andy Murray.
Since January 2014, he has been coached by 1989 French Open champion Michael Chang, who won the Roland Garros title at the age of 17.
In 2008, he reached the round of 16 at the US Open, which included a win over David Ferrer, at the time ranked No. 4 in the world. With the win, he became the youngest player to defeat a Top 4 seed in New York since 17-year-old Bjorn Borg defeated No. 3 seed Arthur Ashe in the 1973 third round.
Nishikori’s father, Kiyoshi, is an engineer, and his mother, Eri, is a piano teacher. He has an older sister, Reina, who works in Toyko.
He was named the 2008 ATP Newcomer of the Year, becoming the first Asian player to win the award.
He had a cyst removed on his foot this past August, and only started playing points a few days before the 2014 US Open. (This summer, he withdrew from the Emirates Airline US Open Series events in Toronto and Cincinnati.) He sometimes practiced for the event by hitting balls while sitting in a chair.
He uses a Wilson BLX Tour Racquet, wears Adidas shoes, and his apparel comes from Uniqlo.
He entered the US Open at No. 11 in the ATP rankings. After the Open, he will eclipse his career-high ranking of No. 9, set in May of this year.

Getting to know: Marin Cilic
Written By Olivia Wittels
Monday, September 8, 2014
Seeded 14th at the 2014 US Open, Marin Cilic defeated the No. 2 seed and five-time US Open champion Roger Federer in the semifinals. During his exciting run to his first Grand Slam final, the Croatian also beat world No. 7 Tomas Berdych and Giles Simon, who he had never beaten in five previous meetings.

Get to know more about Cilic, who reached his first US Open final after five tries here in Flushing Meadows:

Cilic, 25, was born in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He currently resides in Monte Carlo.
He began playing tennis at age 7 with his cousin, Tanja.
His father and mother, Zdenko and Koviljka, are retired, and he has three brothers, two older (Vinko and Goran) and one younger (Mile).
Cilic has won 11 singles titles in his career, most recently at Delray Beach and at Zagreb earlier this year.
His nickname is “Chila.”
Prior to making the 2014 US Open final, Cilic’s best Grand Slam result came at the 2010 Australian Open. He reached the semifinals after two consecutive five-set wins over Juan Martin del Potro and Andy Roddick, before losing to Andy Murray in four sets.
Cilic was a 2014 Wimbledon quarterfinalist. He took the No. 1 seed, Novak Djokovic, to five sets before the tournament’s eventual champion came away with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 victory.
Since June 2013, Cilic has been working with 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, the only player ever to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon as a wild card.
In September 2013, he received a nine-month ban for traces of nikethamide in a urine test, which was later reduced to four months.
His hobbies include playing soccer and his favorite teams are AC Milan and the Croatian national team.
Since 2011, he’s been wearing Li-Ning apparel.
Cilic entered the US Open ranked No. 16 in the world. His career-high ranking is No. 9, achieved in February 2010. He could eclipse that depending on Monday’s outcome.

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