For the second time in three years, Kei Nishikori will end the season outside the top-10, struggling with injuries and missing all the action after the US Open. The Japanese has been sidelined for a couple of months due to a wrist injury but he is determined to leave setbacks behind him once again and kick off the 2020 season in a strong spirit.
Kei will travel to Hawaii Open at the end of the year and will lead Japan at the ATP Cup in January, extending the cooperation with Michael Chang and adding Max Mirnyi to his coaching staff ahead of the new season. Mirnyi is a former doubles no.
1 and the winner of 52 ATP titles from 98 finals, playing on a high level until the very last moment and spending 20 years in the top-100. The Belarusian will try to improve the Japanese's net coverage, as Kei intends to bring even more aggression to his game to shorten the points and save himself from grueling rallies that would hurt his injury-prone game.
At the end of October, Nishikori underwent a procedure to remove two small bone spurs in his right elbow, having to skip Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris, London and the Davis Cup Finals. Also, Nishikori parted ways with Dante Bottini who had been working with him for nine years since his time at the IMG Academy.
Kei had stayed in the top-10 until the end of October, 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.
He was the semi-finalist in Rotterdam in what was his final notable result before April and Barcelona where Daniil Medvedev toppled him in the battle for the title match in a 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 far from perfect physical shape.
There, Kei ousted Marco Trungelliti and Bradley Klahn before losing to Alex de Minaur in four sets in what turned out to be his last match of the year.