LONDON – Kei Nishikori was named Wednesday as the 19th seed for the men’s draw at Wimbledon this year, making him the first Japanese men’s seed at the grasscourt Grand Slam since the current world ranking system was introduced in 1973.
The draw will take place Friday for the June 25-July 8 championships at the All England Club.
Nishikori, ranked 20th in the world, was the first seeded Japanese man in a Grand Slam as the 24th seed at the Australian Open in January.
He upset sixth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round to become the first Japanese man to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event since Shuzo Matsuoka did so at Wimbledon in 1995. Nishikori bowed out with defeat to Britain’s Andy Murray in the last eight.
The 22-year-old was forced to miss the French Open due to injury.
Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic and French Open winner Maria Sharapova were named as top seeds for Wimbledon.
On the men’s side, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Murray rounded out the top four while defending women’s champion Petra Kvitova was seeded fourth.