File - Japan's tennis player Kei Nishikori returns the ball to Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia during the Mexico ATP tournament in Acapulco, Guerrero State, on February 24, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PEDRO PARDO
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Record-breaking Japan superstar Kei Nishikori rose to fourth in Monday's new world rankings, equaling Kimiko Date-Krumm as his country's highest-ranked tennis player.Nishikori, last year's U.S. Open runner-up, now trails only Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal after leapfrogging Britain's Andy Murray, meaning he will avoid the top three until the semifinals at the major tournaments.Nishikori recently won his third successive Memphis Open, his eighth ATP Tour title.China's Li Na blazed a trail for Asian tennis players by reaching No. 2 in the women's WTA rankings last year after winning the Australian Open, capping a remarkable career in which she also captured the 2011 French Open.
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