Kei Nishikori holds belated wedding ceremony after pandemic scuppered original plans

Kei Nishikori's partner is rarely pictured alongside her man, but the former world No 4 has released images of a very special day for the couple.

While a large proportion of the world was preparing for Christmas Day on Saturday, 2-14 US Open finalist Nishikori and his wife Mai Yamauchi staged a belated ceremony to mark their wedding.

The couple got married back in 2020, but were unable to have a full celebration in the height of the Covid pandemic.

So they gather their closest friends for an event that marked their union in the grand manner.

"On 24th December, I celebrated my wife, dance, wedding and reception," wrote Nishikori on Instagram.

"I couldn't hold it all the time due to Corona, but many many happy returns of the day.

"It's yet another beginning for us. Now to return to the world's top stage again, I'll do my best."

Nishikori is aiming to kick-start his tennis career in 2023, after a series of hip problems saw him sidelined from the game.

He currently doesn't have any ATP ranking points, but the 32-year-old has a status in the game that will ensure he gains entry to top level events if he requests wildcards.

"I was really depressed in the last few months, I even thought about retiring. Mentally, it's very complicated, I've been on the verge of retirement," he said at a Uniqlo event last month.

"I don't know when I'll be back on the tour. My goal would be to be able to play the 2023 Australian Open.

"Right now, the chances of playing the first Grand Slam of the season are 50 per-cent.

"I don't think I have ten more years in my tennis career, so I want to live each day to the fullest."

Nishikori has not played on the ATP Tour since losing to Britain's Dan Evans at the ATP Masters 1000 event at Indian Wells in October 2021.

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