Nov 25, 2008

Love is in the air for Kei Nishikori and Ai Fukuhara (updated)

Here's another love story in tennis!

A Japanese gossip weekly magazine reported that Kei Nishikori is dating Japanese table tennis star, Ai Fukuhara.

The 20-year old Fukuhara is best remembered as the flag bearer for the Japanese national team at the recent Beijing Olympics.

According to bunny from MTF, the young couple were seen holding hands in the fashionable Harajuku area in Tokyo while Kei was on holiday in Tokyo earlier this month.

Picture credit to this site.

Apparently, they met at the Beijing Olympics, but only started dating recently after Kei came back to Japan this time.

During the Olympics, Ai Sugiyama was sharing the same flat with Fukuhara in the athletes village, and Kei was in the same flat with table tennis player Shun Muzutani. It is said that Sugiyama was the one who introduced the younger Ai to Kei.

After the Olympics Ai was spotted at the AIG Open.

According to bunny who read in Sugiyama's blog around October, Sugiyama has became good friends of Fukuhara since the Olympics.

Fukuhara is 20 and is one year older than Kei.

Fukuhara is very huge in Japan and every of her move has been followed by the press ever since she emerged as a table tennis wonder kid when she was about 10!

However, Kei's management declined the romance and has only said that they are good friends.

If the romance is indeed true then they will have to endure a long distance relationship because Kei will have to go back to the US and while Ai-chan (whom Fukuhara is affectionately called in Japan) will be in Germany to play at the German Open.

(Via menstennisforums.com; Images via sina.com, nikkansports.com )

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