JAPAN - Tennis star Kei Nishikori, who became the runner-up at the most recent US Open, has declined an award from his native Shimane Prefecture, saying he is still "a work in progress," according to Shimane Gov. Zenbe Mizoguchi.
Following such a response, the prefectural government put off honoring the native of Matsue, the prefecture's capital, Mizoguchi said Wednesday.
The Matsue city government also has decided not to give him a similar award at this time.
Nishikori, who became the first Asian man to reach a Grand Slam final, was contacted about the awards, the prefectural government said.
Both the prefecture and city received a response from him, saying: "My roots are in the city of Matsue, as well as Shimane Prefecture, where I grew up until the age of 13. I'm honoured [to receive the offer], but I'm 24 years old and still a work in progress. My goal is to be ranked No. 1 in the world, so I'm working hard to realise that dream."