“I believe victory will come”: Kei Nishikori Optimistic on Pressure and Winning a Grand Slam

Published 12/06/2020, 1:00 AM EST
Kei Nishikori of Japan playa a backhand his match against Grigor Dimitrov during day five of the 2019 Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)


The Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori has been competing at the big tournaments since 2007. Winning 12 ATP singles titles until now, the 30-year old has reached his highest ranking of Number 4. His best achievement at a major tournament is finishing runner-up at the 2014 US Open. Waiting for his first major title, the current World No. 41 talks about the pressure associated with it.

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Nishikori ended the drought of 96 years for Japan when he won a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. For the medal, he defeated the Spanish great Rafael Nadal. Additionally, he is the only male Japanese player to date to ever make it into the Top 5 tennis players. But, even so, he aims to win the biggest glory in tennis.

“I have pressure about that”: Kei Nishikori

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Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – September 27, 2020, Japan’s Kei Nishikori during his first-round match against Britain’s Dan Evans REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

For all professional tennis players, everything looks inadequate without a Grand Slam title. Kei is no different than any as he still misses a major title in his trophy cabinet. However, putting up great expectations must also bring pressure on him.

The Japanese said, “I still haven’t won a Grand Slam, I have pressure about that, my coach always tells me about that too.” But, before pressure, the 30-year old Japanese is optimistic that determination can lead him to the title.

“If you try things right in front of you with all your might, have practice & training, and prepare yourself mentally, I believe victory will come as a result,” Kei added. Although the Japanese missed the Australian Open this year due to an injured elbow, he might play next year.

“I feel pressure to win during a match”: Nishikori

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 30: Kei Nishikori of Japan reacts during his Men’s Singles third round match with Alex de Minaur of Australia on day five of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 30, 2019, in Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

In tennis, a player is required to put all at stake in every match to go ahead in a tournament. Sometimes that can take a toll on the player’s mental stability. Instead of the opponent, one’s self-balance becomes more important in the game.

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“I don’t feel much pressure actually, from who should I feel pressure, I don’t know. I sometimes feel pressure to win during a match for sure,” Nishikori said.

Moving forward, the Japanese will be charged enough to fulfill his dream season where he lifts a Grand Slam title. Attaining to the tough conditions in Melbourne Park will also be a key factor to decide Nishikori’s fate. Do you think he will, one day, lift a Grand Slam title?

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Purav Joshi

818 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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