Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori is again hampered by a back injury and that's the reason behind his withdrawals from Vienna and the Paris Masters. After losing to Daniel Evans in the Indian Wells Masters second round, Nishikori was looking forward to playing Vienna, Paris and Stockholm.
Unfortunately for Nishikori, he skipped this week's Vienna and on Thursday he pulled out of the Paris Masters. According to Japanese media, Nishikori's agent confirmed the Paris withdrawal news and said that the Japanese is still undecided on Stockholm.
However, the chances of seeing Nishikori in Stockholm are slim as he has likely finished his season. There is a concern among Nishikori's team as the 2014 US Open runner-up has been dealing with a back issue since his youth.
.@nikkan_sports_ says his withdrawal from Vienna was due to back injury and people have been concerned about the injury because Kei has often had a back problem since his youth https://t.co/alQsqyuDD8 — 井蛙堂 (@seiadoumogera) October 29, 2021
Nishikori praised by Rafael Nadal
Recently, Nadal said Nishikori would be a regular Grand Slam semifinalist a top-5 player if he managed to stay healthy.
"Kei is obviously a top player having been playing for a long time on the Tour. Unfortunately he has been hindered by repeated injuries. Without these injuries he can be definitely one of top five players and make semis at Slams regularly," Nadal recently told Number Web.
"Injury proneness kind of depends on luck, I think it applies to Kei. He is really professional, I'm sure he is working on everything to prevent injuries." Nishikori has had a rough last few few years on the Tour but Nadal is confident the Japanese can return to his old tennis.
"Playing on the Tour is more demanding for players' body than you think. You have to tactically withdraw from some events at times to deal with physical burden. Given his potential, I'm sure he will be able to be back to the top level, no doubt," Nadal acknowledged.
"Believing in himself, working on training and dealing with burden imposed on his body as I said, he can definitely improve again."