Kei Nishikori Compares His Recent Troublesome Phase to Juan Martin del Potro and Haas’ Injury Layovers

Published 03/02/2021, 3:33 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)


Former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori is competing at the Rotterdam Cup 2021. In his opening round match, he registered a win over Canada’s rising star Felix Auger Aliassime. At first, it seemed a tough contest as Kei took the first set 7-5. However, as he settled into the match, the second set was sealed 6-1, helping him proceed into the next round.  

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However, the recent few years have not been the best for Nishikori. He has suffered from a wrist, shoulder, and elbow issue too. Kei had to undergo surgery on his elbow towards the end of the 2019 season. In the previous year, he featured only at the French Open and made an early exit in the second round. 

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 17: Kei Nishikori of Japan celebrates winning match point in his second round match against Ivo Karlovic of Croatia during day four of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 17, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Kei Nishikori: “Sometimes you cannot play because of the injury”

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After his win at the Rotterdam Cup 2021 yesterday, Nishikori spoke to Essentially Sports and stated, “You know, it’s tough to say it was because of me not doing enough or you know, just how I was born you know, with my body so, I think some of them have you know, great body and sometimes you know, like someone like Del Potro or Tommy Haas has had many surgeries have great talent but you know, sometimes you cannot play because of your injury so I tried to think.”

The 31-year-old player spoke about his recovery process and reflected on his win against a great opponent in Auger Aliassime. He felt positive about returning back to doing what he’s known best for. 

Tennis – ATP Cup – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Kei Nishikori during his group stage match against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

 The Olympic bronze medalist added, “I just tried to look forward to doing Rehab and I spent a lot of time you know with my shoulder last year my wrist my elbow had surgery two years ago so not easy Of course, I am really happy to be back on the court playing and get a victory from someone like Felix, you know, great player. I’m really happy to be back on the court competing again. Good things are waiting.”

In his career so far, Kei Nishikori is considered one of the best players in Asian history. He beat Novak Djokovic in the 2014 US Open, which helped him qualify for the final. In doing so, he became the first Asian male player to achieve that feat. Over the years, Kei has been a constant threat on Tour and has registered wins against all the top guns of the sport. 

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Rohan Kollare

574 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and 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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