Adelaide, 7 December 2010 | Tennis SA

Japan’s No.1 player, Kei Nishikori, will partner Pat Cash at the World Tennis Challenge (WTC) to be held from 11 to 13 January 2011 at Memorial Drive, Adelaide.

WTC Co-tournament Director Darren Cahill announced the final WTC player today and said the 20 year old and Cash will form a dynamic team.

“Kei Nishikori is a great addition to the World Tennis Challenge and we are delighted to have the 2008 ATP Newcomer of Year play in Adelaide,” Cahill said.

“He is hailed as Japan’s next big tennis superstar and his pairing with Cash will provide the rival teams some tough competition.”

WTC Co-tournament Director Mark Woodforde said he is happy with the calibre of players the World Tennis Challenge 2011 has attracted.

“Nishikori, who is currently ranked 98, has some impressive credentials,” Woodforde said.

“He has been as high as No.52 and in 2008 he made the round of 16 of the US Open, the youngest person since Pete Sampras.

“He is also the youngest player to win an ATP title since Lleyton Hewitt, in Adelaide on 11 January 1998, making him the first Japanese man to win an ATP title in 16-years.”

Nishikori, who captured the Delray Beach title shortly after his 18th birthday, said he is excited to be joining the event.
“I am really looking forward to visiting Adelaide and playing in my first World Tennis Challenge. I feel that I have had a good year and a few matches before the Australian Open will be ideal preparation.

“I am thrilled to be playing in World Tennis Challenge in Adelaide and partnering Pat Cash. The other teams are very strong and I know the competition will be tough. But this will be a good preparation for the Australian Open,” Nishikori said.

He has been hailed as Japan’s next tennis superstar and Legend Shuzuo Matsuoka raved, “A new star is born. His talent is beyond mine.”

“With his unbelievable on-court speed, monster ground strokes and punishing serves, Kei is on his way to carving a record-breaking path in the tennis world.”

Henri Leconte and Michael Llodra are also confirmed for Team Europe, Ivan Lendl and Ivan Ljubicic for Team International, and John McEnroe and James Blake for Team America.

Minister for Tourism, John Rau said the event was significant from a tourism perspective.

“The World Tennis Challenge has become an important part of South Australia’s events calendar, attracting large numbers of international and interstate visitors to our State each year,” says Mr Rau.

“The pairing of Cash and Nishikori will add to the excitement of this popular event and, along with other tennis greats such as John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl, will undoubtedly draw more diehard tennis fans to Adelaide.”

Sell-out crowds are expected in 2011 with Lendl to face former rival McEnroe. Both share a record of 12 year-end world championships with the rivalry still remaining fierce between the two players.

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