Former world No 4 Kei Nishikori insists he still "has a strong desire" to return to tennis. Nishikori, who will be turning 33 in December, has been plagued by injuries throughout his entire career. In 2022, Nishikori didn't play a single match.
After undergoing a hip surgery in January, Nishikori was targeting to return after Wimbledon. But Nishikori then suffered several setbacks in his recovery and ended up missing the entire 2022 season. "I want to come back to the stage and play tennis soon, I still have a strong desire, only that helps me to keep the motivation to come back soon," Nishikori told FNN News.
Kei is ready to need time to get back in top form, but he is still motivated.
"I want to come back to the stage and play tennis soon, I still has the strong desire, only that helps me to keep the motivation to come back soon"@FNN_News #GoKei pic.twitter.com/4gkaSc8yUz — äºèå (@seiadoumogera) November 25, 2022
Nishikori contemplated ending his career
Nishikori signed up to play some tournaments during the North American hard court swing.
After missing the entire North American hard court swing, Nishikori signed up to play two Challenger events in Canada, in November. But Nishikori was forced to withdraw from events as well and that's how he went without playing a single match in 2022.
"I was really depressed, even thought about retirement. From July to September I was in rehab at home for 3 months, was not able to hit on the court, that was tough mentally. Seeing Roger I finally came to think I can do it until late 30's.
I was in the brink (of retirement)," Nishikori told Daily Online. Going into the 2023 season, there is no guarantee that Nishikori will compete at the Australian Open. "I'm not sure when I will be back, I have not hit balls for the last month (due to ankle injury), aiming to play the Australian Open, but it's a 50-50 chance," Nishikori revealed.
Nishikori hasn't had much luck with his health throughout his career but simply quitting has never been an option for him. It remains to be seen if Nishikori can make a successful comeback to tennis in 2023.