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Nishikori Eyes Top 10 By Year End

Wimbledon, England

Nishikori© Getty ImagesNishikori hopes to crack the Top 10 by the end of the 2013 season

World No. 11 Japan’s Kei Nishikori is already the highest-ranked ATP World Tour player from Asia since Thailand’s Paradorn Srichaphan, but he’s eyeing a Top 10 finish by the end of the season.

“Hopefully I can finish [in the] Top 10.  I'm getting close, but I feel [like] I have a lot of things to work on,” the 23 year-old Nishikori told journalists at the All England Club on Saturday.  Srichaphan reached a career-high of No. 9 a decade ago.

The Bradenton resident, whose best result at Wimbledon was a third round appearance in 2012 (l. del Potro), is hoping to accumulate points by reaching the quarter-finals or semi-finals this year.

“If I can do it, it would be great,” said Nishikori, who is seeded 12th and in the same quarter as fourth seed David Ferrer and eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro.  A string of victories would boost his record on grass, which currently sits at 13-14, giving him a FedEx ATP Reliability Index on the surface of 0.481.

Japan’s No. 1 begins his campaign against Australian wildcard Matthew Ebden. The pair have met once before, with Nishikori recovering from a two-sets-to-love deficit to claim victory. Ebden, ranked 110, earned a wildcard by winning his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Nottingham earlier this month.

In the lead-up to Wimbledon, Nishikori contested the Gerry Weber Open in Halle (l. Youzhny) and played exhibition matches against World No. 2 Andy Murray and World No. 5 Rafael Nadal.

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© Hiroshi Sato

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