20 years ago, tennis was never a big thing in countries like China, Japan, Thailand etc. Fast forward to 2012, the likes of Kei Nishikori, Yen-Hsun Lu, Li Na and Zheng Jie have brought about a wave of interest. Lu and Nishikori have both reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, Na triumphed at the French Open last year and Jie has reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Numerous countries in the South-Eastern region have invested in new tennis courts and/or are bidding to run an ATP/WTA tournament. Many former players have been hired to support the development of tennis in those countries. One person in particular who wants to help is Michael Chang. Chang, who is of Chinese origin, opened a tennis academy in China with the aim of bringing the world’s most populated country to tennis recognition.
The 40 year-old Chang doesn’t just stop at China. He has also supported players from other South-Eastern countries, including Kei Nishikori, a top 20 player from Japan. The two recently played an exhibition match followed by a private Q&A session where Chang gave Nishikori some tips on how to succeed at the top level. The video has been placed below (by ranchu1224). It is absolutely fantastic that people like Chang are willing to help after spending most of their life playing. Most would be wanting to settle down after retirement, but it just proves how much some people care for the game.