Kei Nishikori is adding another ATP Tour legend to his coaching team. The 29-year-old Japanese has signed on former doubles World No. 1 and Top 20 singles player Max Mirnyi to join Michael Chang as his coaches for the upcoming season.
Mirnyi, affectionately known as “The Beast”, concluded his 22-year ATP Tour career at the end of last season. He spent 57 weeks at the top of the ATP Doubles Rankings (15th all-time) and won 52 tour-level doubles titles, including six Grand Slam crowns. Mirnyi also earned a gold medal in mixed doubles at the 2012 London Olympics (w/Azarenka). In singles, he peaked at No. 18 in the ATP Rankings in 2003 and won an ATP Tour singles title that year in Rotterdam (d. Sluiter). Mirnyi also reached the 2002 US Open quarter-finals in singles.
”I am excited about the opportunity to have a chance and help Kei,” Mirnyi said. “I have known Kei for a long time from the days of my active playing career. Training and spending a lot of time at the IMG Academy in Bradenton. So, I hope that this progression will be natural for both of us personally and on a professional level.”
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Nishikori has not competed since this year’s US Open due to a right elbow injury, which he underwent surgery for in October. He finished this season with a 29-14 record, including a title in Brisbane (d. Medvedev) and quarter-final showings at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
Nishikori will kick off next year by representing Japan in the inaugural ATP Cup, held from 3-12 January in Australia. He will join Yoshihito Nishioka, Yasutaka Uchiyama, Go Soeda and Ben McLachlan from 3-8 January in Perth, where they will face Spain, Georgia and Uruguay in Group B. Should they advance from their round-robin group, they will head to Sydney from 9-12 January as part of the Final Eight.