MT 1

Japan is internationally known for the value it places on education and fine arts. Like any country, though, Japan also loves its sports heroes, especially those who shine on the global stage.

The media’s most recent athletic darling is professional tennis player Kei Nishikori. Currently the number-five singles player in the world according to ATP rankings, Nishikori’s earning fame and fans outside of Japan as well, so perhaps its fitting that this video combines his biggest tennis victory to date with music and visual effects from another international superstar who originated in Japan, Nintendo’s Mario.

At last year’s US Open, Nishikori put in an outstanding effort, advancing all the way to the finals before falling to Marin Cilic in straight sets. Nevertheless, his performance marked the first time in history that a Japanese male singles player advanced to the final round of one of pro tennis’ Grand Slam events.

Nishikori’s semifinals victory came over Serbian Novak Djokovic, who was then, and is now, the top ranked-player in the world, which made the feat especially impressive. And that makes it even more impressive is adding the trails of light and announcer from the 2000 Nintendo 64 game Mario Tennis.

MT 2

MT 3

YouTube uploader karasumicats has produced a remarkably smooth mashup of the video with digital effects and audio lifted from the game. As a matter of fact, if you’re the kind of person who ordinarily gets bored watching tennis matches, you might find yourself wishing that all TV broadcasts of the sport would get this treatment.

MT 7

MT 10

The short video shows only the deciding match point, which is capped by a jubilant Nishikori raising his arms in triumph before receiving a celebratory handclasp from the defeated Djokovic.

MT 8

At just 25 years old, Nishikori is still in his athletic prime, and with his career still on an upswing, there’s no telling how high in the ranks he’ll rise. Still, it’s got to be comforting for the native of Shimane Prefecture to know that once his tennis days are done, his growing list of options now include becoming either a video game hero or a samurai, whichever he decides is the best fit for his post-pro athletics life.

Source: Kotaro 269
Image: YouTube