KEI NISHIKORI THE GENTLEMAN WARRIOR

A UNIQUE ROAD TO SUCCESS

"Breaking records is not about luck. Breaking records is about hard work and dedication."

Before Kei Nishikori, tennis in Japan was an exotic curiosity, barely played, hardly watched.

Then came Air K, and everything changed. A prodigy at 6, he became, at 18, the youngest player to reach the ATP’s top 100, and, this year, at the ripe-old age of 24, the first-ever Asian male to play in a Grand Slam final. The new, smiling, clean-cut face of tennis in Japan, Kei’s fan base spans the world because he has it all: remarkable on-court speed, a monster backhand, punishing groundstrokes and serves. But what truly sets him apart is his mental strength, his ability to respond to setbacks, and to never crack under pressure.

...LIKE TAG HEUER’S

By outthinking his opponents, Kei Nishikori finds his way to the Tennis skies.
2014 is the year of all achievements for the best Japanese player ever. Like TAG Heuer, he is tough-minded and doesn't crack under pressure. His father gave him with his first racket at five. By six, the raw power of his stroke and the pinpoint accuracy of his serve had captured the imagination of the Japanese tennis elite.

The game was disappearing in Japan, widely eclipsed by baseball and soccer. Could this slight boy revive it? By 11 he had won his age-group title three times and was All-Japan Junior Tennis Champion. Then, at 14, unwilling to compromise his individuality and conform to the rigid mindset of the Japanese sports establishment, he moved to Florida, to train with the world’s best. He wasn’t the first Japanese player to do so, but he was the first to not just handle the pressure, but thrive on it. Wins followed wins, first in the Juniors, and as of 2007, in the pros. Then injuries hit, again and again, some requiring surgery, yet each time he pushed himself back into top form. At this year’s US Open, he played intensely grueling matches under a blistering hot sun and beat three of the game’s top-seeded players, including Number One seeded Novak Djokovic. What drove him then is what drives him now: a desire to be the best Asian athlete of all time, and the Number One tennis player in the world. We’re betting he gets there, because, like TAG Heuer, Kei Nishikori is a path-breaker, a game changer who refuses limits, pushes himself to the extreme, and, no matter what, never cracks under pressure.

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AMBASSADORS

For more than 150 years, TAG Heuer has faced down every challenge, and then pushed past it. By defying the time-honored conventions of Swiss watchmaking, it has led it to ever higher levels of precision and performance. It makes its own rules, chooses its own path, never quits moving forward, never compromises, never cracks under pressure, just like its ambassadors.