Kei Nishikori reveals his next plans after winning first tournament back

Nishikori made his long-awaited return to tennis last week.

by Dzevad Mesic
Kei Nishikori reveals his next plans after winning first tournament back

Kei Nishikori, 33, revealed he plans to play two more Challenger tournaments before returning to the ATP level. Nishikori, who was sidelined since 2021 October, made his long-awaited return last week at the Palmas del Mar Challenger in Puerto Rico.

In his first tournament back, former world No 4 Nishikori made it all the way after beating Michael Zheng in the final. Nishikori is planning to play again in early July as the Japanese is targeting back-to-back Challenger appearances in Bloomfield and Chicago.

Nishikori is aiming to make his ATP return in late July as he has requested wildcards for the ATP events in Atlanta and Washington. "Hi everyone, back home in Bradenton. Very happy with the result. I feel great. My next tournaments will be Bloomfield CH (July 3) and Chicago CH (July 10).

I have also requested wildcards in ATP Atlanta and ATP Washington. Hope to see you guys soon. Thanks for all the kind messages," Nishikori tweeted.

Nishikori made the perfect return

In Puerto Rico, Nishikori won five matches - he clinched four straight-set wins and just one three-set win.

After winning the title, Nishikori admitted it could not have gone any better for him. "I'm very happy to win the title this week in Puerto Rico, also the way I played was pretty high level. I could not ask for more on this, able to play five matches in a row and my body is okay, that is most important.

I hope I can keep going," Nishikori said after winning the title. Also, Nishikori admitted that he didn't expect to win the title in his first tournament back. "Winning this tournament was more than I expected. I can't believe I could play like that. The way I played the final has made me think I could play on the (top-tier ATP) tour," Nishikori said.

Kei Nishikori