“We Need Him”: Kei Nishikori Hopes Andy Murray to Make a Big Comeback

Published 03/04/2021, 7:00 AM EST
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 09: Kei Nishikori of Japan shakes hands at the net after his straight sets victory against Andy Murray during their round robin match during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena on November 9, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


After an unpleasant start to his 2021 season, Japanese star Kei Nishikori is finally back in action. Following an opening-round fall in ATP Cup and the Australian Open, he has found his first win at the Rotterdam Open.

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The 31-year-old must feel off the ledge as he outlived the defending champion Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first round. Soon after, he even defeated Australian Alex De Minaur to reach the last eight of the tournament.

In his post-match conference, the 2014 US Open finalist answered whether he feels similar pressure as Andy Murray. Because the former World No. 1 is also making a comeback, he receives retirement questions routinely after every loss.

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Kei Nishikori hopes Andy Murray reaches Top 5 – Top 10 again

To start with, Kei Nishikori humbly denied having any pressure as Great Britain professional. Furthermore, he also confessed that he has never faced a retirement question before.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL: Andy Murray of Great Britain poses with his Gold medal after defeating Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the Men’s singles final at Olympic Tennis Centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“No. Luckily, nobody asked me about Retirement yet. So not saying and definitely he did much, much better stuff than me,” the Japanese told EssentiallySports.

Nishikori even talked about the three Grand Slam titles and two Olympic Gold medals that Andy Murray has won. Also, he believes that no one but Murray himself would know when he will retire.

“It’s a little bit stupid to ask him when he’s gonna retire because that’s something he’s gonna decide,” Nishikori added. “He’s the only one, he knows how he feels about the body.”

Afterward, Nishikori recalled his time spent on the court with the British professional. Although Murray has not reached his peak, the Japanese star hopes that he will do well this season.

“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 favorite player and we had many battles,” Kei said. “I’m hoping he can come back to top 10 again and top five. I think we need him.”

Most recently, Murray lost his round of 16 match against Andrey Rublev at the Rotterdam Open 2021. But looking at him back on the court, even tennis fans hope for him to deliver good results.

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Who will Nishikori play next?

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

The Japanese star will next face the winner between Serbian Dusan Lajovic and Croatian Borna Coric. While the Serbian upset the top seed Daniil Medvedev in the first round, Borna beat wildcard entrant Botic Zandschulp.

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The draw brings Nishikori to a spot where he can go deeper in the tournament. Let us see how much further he can go from here.

Can Nishikori return to the Top 10 rankings again this year?

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Purav Joshi

670 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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