Kei Nishikori 錦織圭
GWN Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival

On February 16, 2014, Kei Nishikori  錦織圭  of Japan defeated Ivo Karlovic of Croatia to decide the 2014 U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships (Memphis, TN) with scores of 6-4 and 7-6. He is the reigning champion for the second year running.

Nishikori commented “this tournament was mine to win. And although the opponents were lower ranked, they were all very challenging players. I am honestly happy that I faced these players and could defend my title as champion”.

Kei Nishikori  錦織圭
“It’s amazing actually, as the first time to defend my title, and especially here…….I had a great memory last year playing great, and today was perfect.”

He has gained ATP tour championship titles in 2008 Del Ray Beach Open, 2012 Rakuten Japan Open and 2013 & 2014 U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships. This victory is the first title after Michael Chan joined the team as his coach.

The 6-foot-11 (210cm!) tall Karlovic got 20 services from Nishikori. However, Nishikori’s high concentration denied him any breaks.

Karlovic commented “his return was superb and his rapid moves made it very challenging for me to respond.”

Kurumi Nara  奈良くるみ  On February 23, 2014, Kurumi Nara  奈良く るみ  of Japan topped Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic with scores of 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 in the Rio Open women’s singles final (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Nara achieved, winning her very first WTA title. She commented that repeatedly practicing on the clay courts in Japan may have led to this great result.

Kurumi Nara  奈良くるみ
“I can’t believe I won the tournament, but I am very happy…….I don’t want to think too much about being No. 1 in Japan. I just want to focus on my game — every game.”

When she was just 3, she started practicing tennis and was later outstanding as a junior player. In 2009, when she was in high school, she turned pro and won the All Japan Tennis Championships  全日本テニス選手権  at 17 years of age.