Kei Nishikori Reveals Why He’s Inspired by Roger Federer

Published 04/19/2021, 1:20 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Cup – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 6, 2021 Japan’s Kei Nishikori in action during his group stage match against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


Kei Nishikori’s tennis career so far has been a roller-coaster ride with few highs and a lot of injuries that took him out of the game. He was a consistent performer on tour when he was injury-free (from 2012 to 2016). He had a few memorable victories against top players like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and also won the Olympics singles Bronze medal in 2016.

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His career had been progressing well before frequent injuries kept him away from the tennis court with the most recent injury being his elbow. He had elbow surgery after the 2019 US Open, and resumed the tour in September last year. Since then, he has managed to reach the quarter-finals in two tournaments – Rotterdam and Dubai Open.

Mar 27, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Kei Nishikori of Japan hits a forehand against Aljaz Bedene of Slovakia (not pictured) in the second round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Japanese players answered fan questions from Twitter recently and explained how his new coach Max Mirnyi’s inputs have been helping him to bounce back and win a title or two on tour.

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Kei Nishikori says Roger Federer is fun to watch

When asked about a tennis player that inspired him while growing up, Nishikori said, “Roger. Just fun to watch. Of course, he is a great player. But, at the same time, fun to watch.”

Roger Federer brings with him excitement whenever he steps on to a tennis court; this is the reason why so many active players consider his style of play engaging and entertaining. Nishikori has played Federer played 11 times, with the Swiss leading their head-to-head race with 8 wins.

Speaking about Federer’s game-play, Nishikori continued, “There aren’t too many players I get excited to watch. He is one of the best. He plays great shots that no one else can do. Fun to watch.”

Both Federer and Nishikori were supposed to play an exhibition match in Japan after the former roped in Japanese clothing company Uniqlo and became its brand ambassador; the exhibition event didn’t take place owing to Nishikori’s elbow injury.

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Kei Nishikori is currently playing at the Barcelona Open and is in the second round after beating Guido Pella, 4-6,7-6(4),6-2.

Read more:

Kei Nishikori Uses Innovative Method to Congratulate Naomi Osaka on Her Australian Open 2021 Triumph

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Kei Nishikori Admits Strict Quarantine Led to His Early-Exit From Australian Open 2021

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Sagar Ashtakoula

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