Kei Nishikori, 33, reveals he thought about retiring when he suffered an ankle injury just as he was preparing to make a comeback to tennis after hip surgery. In 2022 January, 2014 US Open finalist Nishikori announced he surgically repaired his hip injury.
Initially, Nishikori believed he would be ready to return to action just after 2022 Wimbledon - at the start of the North American hard court swing. However, the recovery took longer than expected and Nishikori was nearly ready to return only eight or nine months after the surgery.
But just as Nishikori was nearing a return from hip surgery, he suffered an ankle injury. That injury turned out to be a big blow for Nishikori, who didn't return until this year's June.
Nishikori: I wasn't sure if I'd play after the ankle injury
“After eight or nine months of rehab after the hip surgery I was almost ready to come back when I sprained my ankle.
It turned out to be complicated and much worse than what I first saw. That set me back another four or five months. Once or twice I almost thought [about retiring]. It was mentally shocking to be so close and then to have a second injury.
I wasn’t sure if I could come back from that. So that was the toughest time," Nishikori told the ATP Tour website. After winning the Palmas del Challenger last month and then appearing in two more Challenger tournaments, Nishikori returned to the ATP level this week in Atlanta.
In his first ATP match in nearly two years, Nishikori defeated Jordan Thompson 7-6 (5) 7-6 (5). For Nishikori, the main thing right now is to stay healthy for a longer period and also try to rediscover his old form in the process. In December, Nishikori will be turning 34 years old.