Former world no. 4 and the winner of 12 ATP titles, Kei Nishikori, has decided to skip the Paris Masters and the ATP 250 event in Sofia. Kei has put a curtain down on 2020, struggling with a shoulder injury and focusing on the upcoming season.
The Japanese claimed seven titles in 2014 and 2015, becoming a Major and the Masters 1000 title contender but losing ground from 2016, winning only two ATP trophies in the last five years! Competing in four ATP events in 2020, all on clay, Kei won just two matches, never feeling comfortable and not wanting to risk anything in the season's closing stages.
Kei hadn't played since the US Open 2019 before making a comeback in Kitzbuhel in September, losing to Miomir Kecmanovic in three sets. In the weeks before Kitzbuhel, Kei had to deal with the coronavirus, working hard after that but not reaching the desired level.
Struggling with arm and elbow injuries, Nishikori had to finish the previous season outside the top-10 for the second time in three years, playing his last match against Alex de Minaur in New York in September. Kei underwent surgery on October 22, working on his comeback and staying at home since March, like all the other players.
Nishikori remained in the top-10 until the end of October, kicking off the 2019 season with Brisbane's title before retiring in the quarter-final at the Australian Open against Novak Djokovic. In Rotterdam, he was the semi-finalist in his last notable result before April, losing to Daniil Medvedev in a tight semi-final Barcelona encounter.
Kei Nishikori will skip the rest of 2020, focusing on the new season.
The Japanese advanced into the quarter-final in Rome, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, gaining a few ranking positions but losing them quickly after embracing 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.
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 encounter so far. A year later, Kei made an early exit in Kitzbuhel, beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas in Rome before suffering a loss against an 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti in straight sets.
At Roland Garros, the Japanese took down Daniel Evans in five sets before losing to Stefano Travaglia in another marathon that proved to be his last match of the season. "I have decided to finish my year. I'm excited to be back on the court but have to make sure I'm 100% when I play matches.
After elbow surgery, coming back was not easy, and it came with some ups and downs, as expected. My shoulder is still bothering me a little bit, so I have now decided to skip Paris and Sofia and put my full focus on 2021; it is an important year coming up. Thank you for all your support, and see you soon," Kei Nishikori said.