Breadth, depth of Nishikori's game illuminating

How jubilant are the Japanese about Kei Nishikori? One reporter flew from L.A. to Florida and another abruptly left Daisuke Matsuzaka and Red Sox camp just to witness the 18-year-old prodigy. He might be a kid of few words, but Nishikori's game is brimming with noise.

Originally Published: February 19, 2008
By Sandra Harwitt | Special to ESPN.com

At the Nick Bollettieri Academy, where Kei Nishikori has been sculpting the game that just earned him his first career title on Sunday, the Japanese teen is referred to as "Project 45."

Why "Project 45," one might ask?

It's because Bollettieri and staff have had a very specific goal in mind for the incredibly talented 18-year-old who landed on their doorstep at 14 to help him become the most successful Japanese male player of all time.

Retired Shuzo Matsuoka, ...

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