Full House For Nishikori At ATP Sunday In Tokyo
Japanese No. 1 thrills home crowd
A near-capacity crowd was on hand for the 10th edition of ATP Sunday at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2016. The annual pre-tournament event allowed fans to see ATP World Tour stars such as Kei Nishikori, Gael Monfils, Marin Cilic and Feliciano Lopez from up-close, while giving the players an opportunity to practise in front of a boisterous crowd before main draw action gets underway Monday.
After battling Marcos Baghdatis in a friendly match, Nishikori was the honouree in a short on-court ceremony where he received a trophy for his bronze-medal showing at the Rio Olympics. The Japanese No. 1 topped Rafael Nadal in the third-place match and became the first Japanese player to win an Olympic tennis medal since Ichiya Kumagai won two silver medals in 1920.
Since 2007, ATP Sunday has allowed fans young and old to experience world-class tennis at an affordable price. The day kicked off with a kids’ tennis clinic on Centre Court before players took to the court to play practice sets. Spectators also had the option of wandering the grounds of the Ariake Tennis Park to take in second-round qualifying action or to watch some of Japan’s best beach tennis players compete for a national title. This year, over 200 children from Northern Japan were invited to attend ATP Sunday and experience the excitement of the ATP World Tour 500 level event for the first time.