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Earlier this year, pro tennis player Kei Nishikori became the first Asian man to make it to the finals of the U.S. Open Championships, and was subsequently the first Asian man to qualify for the star-studded tennis event, the ATP World Tour. He was also the first man in Japanese tennis history to place 5th in the world rankings.

To add to his list of “firsts”, Nishikori is also probably the first tennis star to receive a manga style portrait illustrated by The Prince of Tennis mangaka (manga artist), Takeshi Konomi. Check out the stylish piece after the jump!

At just 24 years of age, Nishikori has been setting records after records in Japanese tennis history, and it’s no surprise that he’s been quite the media darling as of late, making appearances on news programs and multiple commercials broadcast across various channels in Japan. He has also been appointed as an ambassador for the multinational automobile maker Jaguar, and recently made an appearance at an event celebrating the launch of the F-Type Kei Nishikori Edition Jaguar.

After the unveiling of the shiny new vehicle, the CEO of Jaguar Land Rover Japan, Magnus Hansson, opened the door of the new Jaguar and surprised the tennis star with an early Christmas present, a manga style portrait of Nishikori himself, illustrated by the very man who created one of Nishikori’s all-time favorite manga series, The Prince of Tennis.

Nishikori has previously revealed in an interview that he has been a fan of The Prince of Tennis series since he was young, and trained hard to mimic the fancy skills featured in the manga.

▼ Illustration process revealed by mangaka Takeshi Konomi.

Japanese Internet users had split views over the illustration; some thought it looked totally awesome and captured the essence of Kei Nishikori, while others thought that it just looked like a generic Prince of Tennis character, or that it resembled existing characters in the series such as Shishido (without his cap) or Bane.

Not that any of that matters, because Nishikori was obviously delighted at the pleasant surprise. Which manga fan wouldn’t be over the moon to receive a portrait of themselves drawn in the style of their favorite manga, right? If you could have the honor of getting your portrait drawn by a mangaka of your choice, who would it be? Share your favorites in the comments section below!

Source: Global Otaku News, Takeshi Konomi on Twitter
Top Image: YouTube