Coating Kei Nishikori at Davis cup.
Every once in a great while, an athlete comes along who is not only gifted, but is also talented, smart, and a hard worker.
I recall vividly the first time I saw Kei in Tokyo. It was during the selection process, and I knew instantly that this kid was special.
It always excites me when I have the opportunity to work with a player who pushes my buttons and forces me to work harder as a coach. Kei embodied this attitude, and that gave me the satisfaction and motivation to take him to the top. Before I left Kei, he was on track to become the #1 player in the world.
I have always said, and still do, that to become a good coach, you must have three things:
1) a good wife
2) a loyal staff
3) an incredibly talented player.
Kei was the type of player that every coach dreams about.