Kei Nishikori's ambitions: between ups and downs and great performances. The Japanese is very regular in the results, but he has always missed the last step. Will anything change in the coming months? Perhaps yes, as he himself pointed out in recent interviews.
His main goal is to come back to play and win a Slam final and, why not, win his first ATP Masters 1000 title. And this season the occasion could be one of the important ones. In the Grand Slam tournaments there are always the usual well-known players: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The monopoly of the Majors seems to still belong to them, but there are some outsiders and some young players ready to challenge them. Just think that the French Open will be one of the most intriguing and interesting Slams of recent years.
With Dominic Thiem, Nadal and Djokovic ready to fight, with the rcome back of Federer and some possible surprises, like Daniil Medvedev, Fabio Fognini and the same Nishikori. The stalemate of Djokovic and Nadal, to put it mildly, cannot last forever.
So here Nishikori will have to try to get the most out of the upcoming tournaments on clay courts. Since the beginning of the season, the Japanese won Brisbane against Daniil Medvedev, reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open (defeat against Djokovic), the semi-final in Rotterdam (defeat against Stan Wawrinka), second round in Dubai and third round in Indian Wells (both defeats against Hubert Hurkacz), second round in Miami and Monte Carlo (respectively defeated by Dusan Lajovic and Pierre-Hugues Herbert) and semi-final in Barcelona (defeat against Medvedev).
After a great start tof the year, Nishikori had a decline between Dubai and Monte Carlo, but already in Barcelona his performances rose in level. As often happens in his career, the alternation of periods of ups and downs has come to define.
Now, however, at 29 years, the time has come to realize the good things done in his career, winning the first heavy titles. With the Next Gen still in hibernation and with few players that can challenge the Big Three, the Japanese will have to find a way to make a decisive change to his excellent career.