9/22/12 2:53 AM | Johan Lindahl
Japan's Kei Nishikori will not let current political rowing between his native country and China over a set of disputed islands color his tennis.
The national No. 1 is set to compete as scheduled in next month's Shanghai Masters.
Nishikori, 23, has ranking points to defend after reaching the semifinals in Shanghai a year ago. "I played well last year, the first time I made the semis of a Masters. That was my dream tournament and the people were very nice.
"My goal this year (is) to win a tournament especially in Asia with three tournaments coming from next week, so that is going to be very important for me to do well in this fall season."
Anti-Japanese demonstrations have broken out in cities across China as the territorial dispute heats up in East Asia. The uninhabited bits of rock surged into the regional political spotlight when a pair of Japanese activists landed on one of the islands in the East China sea. Beijing called the move a provocation and threatened further action in what has so far been a war or words.
But like much else in tennis, the game goes on, with world No. 17 Nishikori fully concentrated on his own job. "It should be fine, I don't want to get too much into it as my job is playing tennis and doing my best on the court. Anything can happen, but hopefully not."
Japan and China have had a controversial history going back centuries, with the Japanese invading China in 1931. Nishikori lost in Shanghai last year to eventual champion Andy Murray.
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