ATP Finals: From playing on Challenger Tour to reaching US Open semis, Kei Nishikori's remarkable comeback from injury


How Kei Nishikori certified for the ATP Finals

Kei Nishikori in motion throughout his quarter-final conflict towards Roger Federer on the Paris Masters. Reuters

Kei Nishikori’s 2018 has been exceptional, for a complete host of causes. The Japanese World No 9 endured a torrid 2017 marketing campaign, which noticed him sidelined for 5 months because of a wrist damage, the newest in a string of accidents which have haltered him at each stage of his profession. Nonetheless, Nishikori has pulled off an unimaginable comeback since returning to motion, forcing his approach into the top-10 with some wonderful performances which have seen him ever so near profitable main titles.

Whereas trophies have eluded him this time round, he managed to place collectively memorable runs to the Wimbledon quarter-finals and US Open semi-finals. His campaigns in each the Grand Slams have been ended by Novak Djokovic, who additionally managed to steal the title of come-back of the yr from the Japanese star. Nishikori was additionally denied a victory in entrance of his dwelling help on the Japan Open, after beating the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Richard Gasquet en path to the ultimate, the place he fell to Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Kei Nishikori’s 2018 in 280 characters

Kei Nishikori managed to qualify for the ATP Finals regardless of starting his season by enjoying within the ATP Challenger Tour. He turned solely the third ever participant qualify after profitable an ATP Challenger Tour title, which he picked up at The RBC Tennis Championships of Dallas in February.

Kei Nishikori’s quirks and superstitions

The 28-year-old Japanese has spoken of his superstitions on a number of events, saying that he by no means calls his dad and mom throughout a match, solely phoning them up after it is over. This quirk has caught with him for years, with first stories about it relationship again to 2008, when he was an up and coming 18-year-old.

One factor you did not find out about Kei Nishikori

When Nishikori was studying his commerce on the Nick Bollettieri Academy, he was often called Venture 45. This was in reference to retired Japanese tennis star Shuzo Matsuoka, who was the highest-ever rated Japanese male singles participant on the time, ranked at 46. Nishikori was a fan of Shuzo, who would later go on to turn out to be Nishikori’s mentor. Nishikori surpassed Shuzo’s rating in October 2011, when he reached rank 30, shortly after he beat then eighth-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on his option to the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai semi-finals.

Kei Nishikori’s greatest efficiency of the season

Nishikori has been a livewire since returning to the game and has pulled off a number of huge victories. Two of Nishikori’s earliest victories over prime 10 gamers got here back-to-back on the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the place he defeated Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev within the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, however got here up quick towards an in-form Rafael Nadal within the closing. Wins over Grigor Dimitrov within the Italian Open, Diego Schwartzman and Marin Cilic on the US Open, Dominic Thiem at the Vienna Open and Kevin Anderson in Paris spherical out his hit checklist for the yr.

Kei Nishikori’s head-to-head file towards Group Lleyton Hewitt opponents

Kei Nishikori 2 vs 7 Roger Federer

Kei Nishikori 5 vs three Kevin Anderson

Kei Nishikori three vs 1 Dominic Thiem

For the remainder of the profiles of contenders on the ATP Finals 2018, click on here

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