Kei Nishikori says he is 'sure' his idol Roger Federer will keep playing tennis for 'another couple of years' and he hopes to play him again.
Federer will turn 40-years-old before the end of the current season, and he is still currently working his way back from the double knee surgery he had last year.
He made a brief return at the Qatar Open earlier this month, beating Dan Evans before losing to Nikoloz Basilashvili. He was expected to play both Dubai and Miami after that, but he opted to withdraw to work on his fitness back in Switzerland instead.
However, Federer going to such lengths to return to the ATP Tour after such a serious injury suggests he has no immediate plans to retire, and Nishikori hopes to play him again before he does eventually hang up his racquet.
“I would play Roger Federer because he is my idol”, Nishikori told atptour.com when asked who his dream final would be against.
“If we can play a couple more times, it would be great because it is just fun to play against him.”
"You get many experiences from [playing] Roger Federer.
“I am sure he is going to play a couple more years. Before he retires, I want to play him a couple more times.”
Just one of the previous 11 meetings between Federer ad Nishikori has been in a final - their first ever match back in 2011 in Basel, which the Swiss star won in straight sets.
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?