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社説:全米テニス 歴史を刻んだ錦織選手

September 10, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Nishikori makes history at U.S. Open
社説:全米テニス 歴史を刻んだ錦織選手

In an essay shortly before he graduated from elementary school and moved to the United States at age 13, Kei Nishikori wrote that his dream was to be the world champion in tennis. Nishikori has added a new page in the history of tennis although he will have to wait a bit longer for his dream to maybe come true.
 13歳で単身渡米する前、少年は小学校の卒業作文に「ぼくの夢」は「世界チャンピオン」と書いた。その夢は持ち越しとなったが、歴史に新たなページを刻んだ。

Nishikori, 24, was overwhelmed by the powerful serve of Croatia's 25-year-old Marin Cilic in the final of the U.S. Open. After the match, Nishikori said "it wasn't my best tennis," and apologized for failing to win the trophy. However, he does not have to apologize. He should be proud that he became the first Japanese tennis player to advance to the final of a singles event at one of the four major tennis championships -- the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
 テニスの全米オープン最終日。男子シングルス決勝に進んだ24歳の錦織圭選手は25歳のチリッチ選手(クロアチア)の強烈なサーブに圧倒された。試合後、錦織選手は「自分のテニスができなかった。(優勝)トロフィーを獲得できず申し訳ない」と話した。頭を下げる必要はない。4大大会(全豪、全仏、ウィンブルドン、全米)でシングルスの決勝コートに日本選手として初めて立ったことを誇りに思ってほしい。

Nishikori was not highly evaluated before the tournament began. He underwent surgery to his right big toe in early August, and expressed concern about the condition of the toe at a news conference prior to the event. However, he won his more than four-hour-long fourth match by beating one of the world's top-ranked players and won the quarterfinal with his tenacious play, becoming the first Japanese tennis player in 96 years to advance to the semifinal. He then won the semifinal by stunning favorite Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
 大会前の評判は高くなかった。8月初旬、右足親指にメスを入れ、開幕前の記者会見では本人も不安をもらしていた。世界ランキング上位の相手に4時間を超える戦いとなった4回戦と準々決勝は粘り強いプレーでものにした。日本選手として全米では96年ぶりの進出となった準決勝では世界ランク1位のジョコビッチ選手(セルビア)を破った。

In recent years, the men's tennis world has been dominated by top four players led by Djokovic. This time, Nishikori joined the top-ranked players along with Cilic, who won a major championship for the first time, possibly changing the rankings in the men's tennis world dramatically.
 男子テニス界は近年、ジョコビッチ選手を中心に4強時代が続いてきた。錦織選手はそこに、準決勝で世界ランク3位のフェデラー選手(スイス)を倒すなどして4大大会で初優勝したチリッチ選手とともに割って入った格好だ。世界の勢力図が変わるかもしれない。

Nishikori told a news conference following the final that he hopes to advance to the finals of a major tournament again. His international ranking has risen from 11th prior to the game to eighth. The public can place high expectations on the possibility that his dream will come true next season or beyond.
 記者会見で錦織選手は「また4大大会の決勝に戻ってきたい」と言った。世界ランクは大会前の11位から自己最高の8位に上がった。来季以降、夢の実現に期待したい。

Nishikori's outstanding performance at the U.S. Open has also shed light on the great Japanese players of yesteryear.  歴史に埋もれていた日本の偉大なプレーヤーたちに光を当てたことも錦織選手の功績だろう。

Many people have learned that Japanese tennis had its golden age from the late 1910s to the 1930s. Ichiya Kumagai became the first Japanese player to advance to the semifinal of the U.S. Open in 1918. Zenzo Shimizu played in the semifinals of Wimbledon while Jiro Sato made it to the semifinals of the French Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open.
 日本選手が4大大会でベスト4に進んだのは1918(大正7)年全米の熊谷一弥が初めて。その後、清水善造がウィンブルドン、佐藤次郎が全仏、ウィンブルドン、全豪で4強入りするなど日本テニス界は1930年代にかけて黄金期を迎えていたことを多くの人たちが知った。

Nishikori is not the only Japanese player who performed outstandingly in the latest U.S. Open. Kimiko Date-Krumm, 43, advanced to the semifinals of women's doubles for the first time, and made it to the semifinals of women's singles -- for the third time in a major championship. Date retired from tennis at the age of 26 but made a comeback in 2008 at age 37 after getting married. Many people apparently sympathize with Date who says she enjoys both tennis and her private life.
 今大会は錦織選手だけではない。43歳のクルム伊達公子選手は女子ダブルスで4大大会自身初のベスト4に。4大大会のシングルスで3度の4強入りを果たし、26歳で現役引退した後、結婚を経て2008年、37歳でカムバックした。「テニスと人生を楽しんでいる」という彼女の姿に共感を覚える人も多いだろう。

Shingo Kunieda, 30, won the championship in wheelchair men's singles -- for the first time in three years and fifth time overall -- while Yui Kamiji, 20, won her first championship in wheelchair women's singles. Both of them also won doubles. Their performances tended to be overwhelmed by Nishikori's play during the competition, but their achievements should also be highly praised.
 車いすの部ではシングルスで男子の国枝慎吾選手(30)が3年ぶり5回目、女子の上地結衣(かみじ・ゆい)選手(20)が初優勝を果たしている。2人はダブルスも制し、2冠を達成した。錦織選手の活躍の陰に隠れがちだったが、その快挙を改めてたたえたい。

毎日新聞 2014年09月10日 02時32分
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by kiyoshimat | 2014-09-12 08:03 | 英字新聞

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