“Definitely One of the Top 5 Players”: Rafael Nadal Sympathises With Injury-Prone Kei Nishikori

Published 10/20/2021, 4:30 PM EDT
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 09: Kei Nishikori and Rafael Nadal pose with Lola the wombat ahead of the Fast4International Exhibition this evening at the ICC Sydney Theatre on January 9, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)


In recent times, Kei Nishikori has been a victim of a number of injuries. Due to these regular hurdles, he has been unable to sustain himself at the top of his game and maintain a balance when it comes to the rankings. Kei has suffered from issues with his elbow and shoulder. 

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Recently, the Japanese star found support in Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard himself is no stranger to niggling injuries. It will always remain a mystery, the heights that Rafa could have achieved, if not for constant interruptions. Due to that, he could relate to the issues being faced by Kei Nishikori.

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He talked about Kei’s potential and stated, “Needless to say, Kei is a top-class player who has been on tour for many years. Unfortunately, repeated injuries have put a break on his success. Without injury, he’s definitely one of the top five players in the world, and he’s a player who constantly goes beyond the semifinals in Grand Slam.”

(Quotes translated using Google translate)

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Rafael Nadal recognizes Kei Nishikori for his consistency 

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Rafa complimented the Japanese star for staying amongst the top players for many years. Had he not been on the sidelines due to injuries, he would’ve won more accolades in this sport according to Nadal. During his career, Kei‘s best ranking was when became the World No. 4 player.

Rafa was last seen in Washington on a tennis court. However, he did not go deep into the event, as his foot injury did not allow him to compete to the best of his abilities. He flew back home in order to assess the injury. Currently, he has ended his season and is optimistic about coming back stronger in the 2022 season. 

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 14: Kei Nishikori of Japan is congratualted by Rafael Nadal of Spain after winning the singles bronze medal match on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

On the other hand, Nishikori was most recently spotted in the Californian desert, competing in the Indian Wells Masters. Sadly, he was unable to cause damage and exited the tournament after losing in the second round. It will be interesting to see what his next move will be. However, we hope to see him hit those trademark groundstrokes in the near future. 

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Rohan Kollare

1336 articles

Rohan Kollare is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Rohan has studied Sports Management and has a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering Tennis and Formula One.

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