Rafael Nadal: Healthy Kei Nishikori would be regular Major semifinalist, top-5 player

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Rafael Nadal: Healthy Kei Nishikori would be regular Major semifinalist, top-5 player

Record 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal absolutely believes that Kei Nishikori can return to his best game and once again be one of the best players on the Tour. Nishikori, 31, has been hampered by injuries in recent years and now he is trying to get back to his old level.

Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up, is now ranked at No. 52 in the world and he hasn't made an ATP final since the January of 2019. "Kei is obviously a top player having been playing for a long time on the Tour.

Unfortunately he has been hindered by repeated injuries. Without these injuries he can be definitely one of top five players and make semis at Slams regularly," Nadal told Number Web. "Injury proneness kind of depends on luck, I think it applies to Kei.

He is really professional, I'm sure he is working on everything to prevent injuries."

Nadal absolutely sure Nishikori can return to his best

"Playing on the Tour is more demanding for players' body than you think.

You have to tactically withdraw from some events at times to deal with physical burden. Given his potential, I'm sure he will be able to be back to the top level, no doubt," Nadal acknowledged. "Believing in himself, working on training and dealing with burden imposed on his body as I said, he can definitely improve again."

Nadal himself is dealing with injury issues as he was forced to prematurely end his season in August due to a foot injury. Nadal, a former world No. 1, is hoping to be ready for the start of the next season and have a big 2022.

"Things are going better. He has set his sights on starting in Australia. He will be fine. I'm convinced. The idea is to have a great year 2022. He will put his all into it," Toni Nadal told Voices of Sport.