‘I can finally see myself competing with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal again,’ says Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori says he can see himself being able to compete with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal again for the first time in months.

Nishikori was a fixture in the top ten a few years ago, but he has seen his game severely hampered by elbow and shoulder injuries since.

He looked much more like his old self in Rotterdam this week though, beating Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alex de Minaur before losing out to Borna Coric in the last eight.

And, while he wishes he could have gone further, he says it has been a really important week for him.

“I’m getting more confidence, but not 100% yet,” Nishikori said after the quarterfinal.

“Sometimes I still hesitate [to follow through fully on shots]. It was not great today, but last two matches were good.

“If I can keep playing matches like them, I keep getting better. Hopefully this week will be a springboard.

“Finally I’ve started feeling like I can compete with players like Novak Djokovic or Rafa Nadal to some extent.

“In Australia, I played Medvedev and I felt like it would be difficult to compete with top players.

“I hardly had a picture of that, but I think I’ve got some confidence this week.”

Despite his improved form in Rotterdam, Nishikori believes he still has work to do in terms of developing his game back to his former level, although they appear to be mainly mental now.

“I played some matches in a row for the first time in a while,” he said. “I was feeling a bit heavy today, didn’t play at best on defence and made easy mistakes.

“My shoulder is fine, I think it should be OK next week. I think I could have stepped forward more often in today’s match and especially in the match against [Alex] de Minaur.

“I still can’t move forward spontaneously, I’m discussing about the issue with my coach.”

Please follow Tennisbuzz on Twitter and Instagram, and you can like us on Facebook by clicking here.

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?

Other News

Rafael Nadal has prompted ‘unprecedented interest’ in Citi Open, says tournament chief

Rafael Nadal has 'the whole town buzzing' for his first ever appearance at the Citi Open, says the event's tournament director.Nadal skipped Wimbledon and...

‘There is nothing better than this,’ declares Alexander Zverev as he wins Olympics gold

Alexander Zverev says the is 'nothing better' than winning an Olympics gold medal after he heat Karen Khachanov in the final.Zverev became the first...

Olympic bronze medal is ‘best title of my career,’ says Pablo Carreno Busta after Novak Djokovic upset

Pablo Carreno Busta described his Olympics bronze medal as 'the best title of his career' after beating Novak Djokovic.Carreno Busta faced the world number...

‘This is for Roger Federer and Martina Hingis,’ says Olympics gold medal winner Belinda Bencic

Belinda Bencic won the women's singles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics before dedicating it to compatriots Martina Hingis and Roger Federer.Bencic was not...

‘I have played with pain and exhaustion,’ admits Novak Djokovic after Olympics disappointment

Novak Djokovic revealed he is suffering from 'abnormal pain and exhaustion' after he left the Olympics without a medal.Djokovic lost his semi-final to Alexander...

‘I feel terrible,’ admits Novak Djokovic as bid for Golden Slam ends in Tokyo

Novak Djokovic says he 'feels terrible' after his loss to Alexander Zverev in the Olympics semi-finals.The world number one started the match brilliantly and...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Don't miss a thing from Tennisbuzz - get all the latest tennis news, exclusive content and competitions, and tennis trivia teasers all delivered to your inbox.

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here