Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori has withdrawn from the Hawaii Open. The 29-year-old flew to Hawaii but wasn't ready to play his first tournament since undergoing an elbow surgery. The Hawaii Open is set to get a new champion as the Japanese was the defending champion at the tournament.
World No. 13 Nishikori had been drawn to meet Sam Querrey in his Hawaii opener, before he pulled out of the event. "Unfortunately, I have to pull out of the Hawaii Open this year. I am not 100 percent ready yet. It is very disappointing as I love coming here and look forward to meeting tennis fans here this week," Nishikori said in a statement posted on his Twitter account.
Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up, hasn't played since the US Open. The Japanese underwent a season-ending elbow surgery in October. In his press conference at the Hawaii Open, Nishikori underlined that his elbow was "getting much better" but he didn't want to rush his comeback. Nishikori will now likely also pull out of the inaugural ATP Cup, which starts on January 03.