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Kei Nishikori the star attraction in Tokyo

Kei Nishikori will play in front of his home fans for the first time since the US Open final, when the Japan Open starts Monday.

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Nishikori, the world number eight, has carried on his form from the US Open - where he lost to Marin Cilic in the decider - with a deep run at the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.

The 24-year-old will carry the hopes of the home nation at the ATP 500 hard-court event, but he will be joined by at least three compatriots in the main draw - wildcards Go Soeda, Tatsuma Ito and Taro Daniel.

Nishikori - champion in Tokyo in 2012 - will fall outside the top four seeds, which will be occupied by Stan Wawrinka, David Ferrer, Milos Raonic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Swiss Wawrinka has not been in action on the ATP World Tour since losing in the New York quarter-finals to Nishikori.

Spaniard Ferrer, ranked fifth - one spot behind Wawrinka in fourth - was shocked at the Shenzhen Open in China on Thursday, losing to Viktor Troicki.

Champion here in 2007, Ferrer will want to bounce back with a strong performance in Japan.

Canada's Raonic has been a losing finalist the past two years in Japan, last year falling to Argentine Juan Martin del Potro - who is sidelined long-term with a wrist injury.

Tsonga, the 2009 champion from France, was a beaten quarter-finalist at one of his home tournaments in Metz in September, going down to David Goffin - but like Ferrer, he will be keen to atone in Asia.

Other top-20 players in the draw include Spain's Roberto Bautista-Agut and South Africa's Kevin Anderson.

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