Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori believes he’s been playing a lot better since the Tokyo Olympics. Nishikori, a former world number 4, reached the quarter-finals of the Tokyo Olympics before losing to world number 1 Novak Djokovic. Nishikori failed to win a medal in Japan but still said it was a good experience.
Last week, Nishikori reached his first semi-final since 2019 at the Citi Open in Washington before losing to American Mackenzie McDonald. “Well, I feel like I’ve started to play better since the Olympics. I’m not sure why, but maybe it was big tournaments and at home too, I’ve known the venue for a long time and you? I don’t know why, but yeah, from the first game against Rublev I started to play so much better and I got more confident.
I mean, it was a good experience, “said Nishikori of his Tokyo experience via Max Gao.” Of course, it’s not a shame that we didn’t have an audience, but I mean, it was still fun and I enjoyed it. I mean, I could have won a medal better but lost to a great player.
But still it was a good experience. ”
Nishikori from the Toronto Masters
After reaching the semi-finals in Washington, Nishikori returned in Toronto, beating Miomir Kecmanovic in his opener of the tournament. Nishikori had shoulder pain throughout the game against Kecmanovic and was eventually eliminated from his second round match.
“I’ve been in a bit of pain since last week so I’ll see how well I recover. With those shoulder concerns, I just tried to make the first serve. The surface is fast, so when I put in my first serve As with the slice serve, I wasn’t attacked as much.
If I had got more free points on my serve it would have been easier, but I think I did well, “said Nishikori after beating Kecmanovic.