Kei Nishikori gives realistic assessment of his chances of successful comeback

Nishikori, 33, hasn't played since 2021 October.

by Dzevad Mesic
Kei Nishikori gives realistic assessment of his chances of successful comeback

Kei Nishikori, 33, admits that the longer he is sidelined the less his chances of making a successful return to tennis. Nishikori, a former world No 4, hasn't played since 2021 October but he is set to play at the upcoming Caribbean Open in Puerto Rico next week.

After undergoing hip surgery in 2022 January, Nishikori was targeting to be ready to play again in the summer of 2022. But Nishikori then suffered multiple setbacks and also contracted an ankle injury. Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up, briefly contemplated retirement last year but then realized that was not the way he wanted to go out.

"I was frustrated with two consecutive injuries to the breaking point to be honest. The longer I'm sidelined the less I'm likely to return to top level, I know the likelihood keeps decreasing, but still I don't think it's impossible, so I'm gonna take the chance," Nishikori said.

Nishikori hopes to play for at least five more years

Even before the hip surgery, Nishikori had a long list of injury history.

But Nishikori has been out for nearly two years and his body is now probably well-healed and rested. Nishikori, who will be turning 34 in December, is hoping to be able to play for five to six more years. "Realistically, I think I can play for five or six more years at best.

Don't know if my body will hold until 40, but it's also possible. Thinking like that, I have no less than five more years, I'm motivated for rehab and doing my best with composure. When I was ready to be back last October I sprained my ankle, it wasn't just a sprain, caused a kinda neuralgia.

I've started moving well without pain since a month ago, now doing pts practice with serve but it needs a bit more time to have stamina enough to play two or three sets," Nishikori recently told Wowow Tennis. It remains to be seen if Nishikori can make a successful comeback.

Kei Nishikori