If “Africa Rising” is financial journalism’s phrase for 2014, then men’s tennis journalism is fast becoming accustomed to using the term “Asia Rising”. However, cast aside all thoughts of boom and bust: Asian men’s tennis does not rely solely on Kei Nishikori, the first Asian man to reach a grand slam final last week. Instead, Asian men’s tennis has been evolving quietly over the last decade. As increasing numbers of ATP and Challenger level tournaments have been hosted in Asia so Asian men have had more opportunities to compete, with the following result:
There are more Asian men in the ATP top 200 – 19 – than ever before (i.e. since rankings began in 1973, and to be clear, by the term Asia, I am not including any Australasian players). This includes 6 Japanese players headed by Nishikori.
Number of Asian men in the ATP top 200 (1973-2014) as at July 2014
Number of Asian men in the ATP top 200 (1973-2014) and percentage of ATP / Challenger tournaments held in Asia
The Asian swing on the ATP tour is about to begin. No longer the quiet time between the US Open and the European indoor swing, if the trend contionues, catch the next generation when you can.