Tennis Prose



Nishikori Flying High In Atlanta

Kei Nishikori has been MIA for almost two years with assorted injuries but the 33 year old’s career is finally back on track.

This week in Atlanta, his first ATP main tour event since October 2021 in Indian Wells, Nishikori, wearing a striking dark green Uniqlo outfit and cap, has won two tough matches this week vs. Jordan Thompson 76 76 and last night’s victory against Juncheng Shang 64 76.

“It was a tough battle, but I was very excited on the court,” Former world no. 4 Nishikori said in his on-court interview about competing with the Chinese 18 year old. “I felt pretty good, especially playing under [the lights]. I felt very good on the court today.”

Nishikori is now in the Atlanta quarterfinals against Taylor Fritz, a player he owns a 2-0 head to head record against.

“It’s always tough coming back from injury, I was out for almost two years,” Nishikori said. “I just came back, played the last couple tournaments and coming into here, I’m feeling pretty good. Luckily I won two rounds here and happy to play another one tomorrow.” 

Nishikori won his first tournament back a month ago in Puerto Rico Challenger by beating American teenager Michael Zheng in the final 62 75 but then he lost at his next two Challengers, to Denis Kudla in Bloomfield Hills R16 46 63 36 and Alex Michelsen in Chicago QG 67 63 16.

But those matches served to help Nishikori, currently ranked 439, to regain his comfort in combat on court against the world’s best. Nishikori looks very very sharp this week, moving extremely well and striking accurately from the baseline. Co-coach Max Mirnyi is in Atlanta but long time coach Michael Chang is not.

Nishikori has won 12 ATP titles and over $25m in prize money.

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1 comment

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 28, 2023 at 8:33 am

    First saw Kei win Delray Beach at 18 vs Blake in final 2008 as a qualifier in just his sixth ATP tournament, still going strong fifteen years later. In all those years no controversy or trouble, deserves ATP Sportsmanship Award.



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