Kei Nishikori and Go Soeda, Japan’s two leading tennis players, are going from opponents on the ATP Tour this week to being teammates at the 2012 Olympics next week. The two both scored wins on Wednesday night at the Atlanta Open tournament, meaning the quarter-final will be the first time the two Japanese players face each other as professionals. Their match will be held this Friday, and almost immediately after they will hop on a plane to go to the London Games.
Despite both players’ matches on Wednesday being delayed by five hours due to bad weather, they both overcame their opponents in matches that lasted past midnight. Nishikori, currently third-seeded, beat Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-7 (7/9), and 6-4 in a match that went until almost 2:00 AM. On the other hand, eighth-seeded Soeda defeated Russian Igor Kunitsyn 6-1, 7-5.
Nishikori, who is ranked 19th in the world, has made it to the quarter-finals three times before this in four of the tournaments he’s played in. This will be the first quarter-final for Soeda however. While both are sure to bring their best to their head-to-head match, hopefully their great performance thus far will continue into the London Games, where they can bring home some hard-earned gold medals for Japan.
[via France 24]
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