World no. 9 Kei Nishikori has drifted further away from the ATP Finals after withdrawing from the next week's ATP 500 event in Vienna. Troubled with an elbow injury, Kei hasn't played since the US Open and had to skip Tokyo and Shanghai to pretty much ruin his chances of battling for the elite eight in London, even if he shows up in Paris.
Also, Kei will have to seek the new coach, splitting up with Dante Bottini who had been working with him for nine years since his time at the IMG Academy. Kei had the opportunity to play at the ATF Finals on four occasions, reaching the semi-final on debut in 2014 and 2016 to Novak Djokovic while failing to pass the group in 2015 and 2018, suffering convincing losses to Kevin Anderson and Dominic Thiem a year ago.
Despite scoring only 29 wins so far in 2019, Kei still holds the position he had at the beginning of the season, kicking off the campaign with the title in Brisbane before retiring at the Australian Open in the quarter-final after passing some tough obstacles en route to the last eight.
Kei was the semi-finalist in Rotterdam for his final notable result before April and Barcelona where Daniil Medvedev toppled him in the battle for the title match in the tight deciding set. The Japanese was the quarter-finalist in Rome, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, gaining a few ranking positions but losing them after competing at only five matches following the All England Club, failing to score a win in Montreal and Cincinnati and heading to New York with low confidence and not at 100% physically.
There, Kei ousted Marco Trungelliti and Bradley Klahn before losing to Alex de Minaur in four sets, his last match on the Tour so far. Nishikori is scheduled to play in Paris and the Davis Cup Finals but we are yet to find out will he recover in time for any of those events and extend the season full of ups and downs.