For the uninitiated, Pikachu is one of the fictional species that appear in the iconic Japanese franchise 'Pokemon'. Pikachu is, in fact, one of the most beloved species in the entire franchise.
Nishioka, ranked No. 61 in the world, has one ATP singles title to his credit and has peaked at No. 48 in the rankings. The Japanese player has played against Federer once in the past; the Swiss legend won their first round match at the 2018 US Open in straight sets.
In a recent interview, Nishioka was asked to relate tennis players to Pokemon creatures. The 25-year-old, a self-confessed Pokemon fan, claimed that just like Pikachu, Roger Federer is loved unanimously.
"I think everybody love it (Piakchu). For sure, it's gonna be Roger Federer," Nishioka stated. "I think in men's tennis, the most famous player is Roger Federer. Maybe wrong, but I think like that. Everybody loves Pikachu. So I think Roger Federer."
During the interview, Nishioka also likened Aussie Nick Kyrgios to 'Lizardon' for being 'strong' and 'emotional'.
"I think Nick Kyrgios," Nishioka said. "I don’t know why but I think he's really emotional on the court. He's strong, strong guy. And then big serve you know. Very powerful."
Nishioka related Russian Daniil Medvedev to the ‘Mewtwo’ species because the Russian can be 'very focused' and doesn't laugh 'too much' on the court. He went on to name himself when asked about the tennis player that resembles 'Gekkouga', because people call him 'a ninja'.
Finally, Nishioka likened compatriot Kei Nishikori to ‘Mew’ (the small one), since Nishikori 'is very talented' and 'can do everything'.
#1Weektogo - Roger Federer sets the countdown for his return
Meanwhile, the countdown continues for Roger Federer's return to the tennis after a year-long absence. The Swiss legend posted an update on social media this Friday, sending his fans into a tizzy.
The Swiss legend is scheduled to make his long-awaited comeback at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha next week.
Roger Federer has not played since the 2020 Australian Open due to a knee injury, for which he underwent two surgeries. But the 39-year-old has still maintained his ranking in the top 5 due to the COVID-19 adjusted ranking system implemented by the ATP.
Besides Roger Federer, the Doha draw will also feature Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov, Gael Monfils and Roberto Bautista Agut.