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'He's my favourite player - tennis needs him,' Kei Nishikori backs Andy Murray to regain ranking

Andy Murray frustrated Rotterdam

Kei Nishikori says old foe Andy Murray is his favourite player, and he believes tennis still needs the British ace.

Nishikori has had some brilliant battles with Murray over the years, but both have suffered their injury problems in recent years.

While the Japanese star has suffered, Andy Murray has been hit harder by his hip problem that eventually needed major resurfacing surgery.

He appears to be firmly on his way back now though, despite his spirited defeat to world number eight Andrey Rublev in Rotterdam.

Nishikori also appears to be over the worst of his injury problems, but he says he has not endured the same pressure as Murray.

“Luckily, nobody asked me about retirement yet," Nishikori said.

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"So not saying [I have had the same pressure] and definitely he did much, much better stuff than me.

“It’s a little bit stupid to ask him when he’s gonna retire because that’s something he’s gonna decide.

“He’s the only one, he knows how he feels about the body.

“He’s not in the best shape yet, the way he’s moving right now, but I hope he can come back.

"He’s my favourite player and we had many battles. I’m hoping he can come back to top 10 again and top five. I think we need him.”

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