Kei Nishikori describes Roger Federer, recalls their matches



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Kei Nishikori describes Roger Federer, recalls their matches

Kei Nishikori revealed he enjoyed pretty much every match against Roger Federer even though in the majority of them he ended on the losing side. Nishikori, 32, played against Federer for the first time in 2011, when the Swiss beat him in the Basel final.

After losing to Federer in their first match, Nishikori then won their next two meetings. Federer responded by winning their next six meetings, before Nishikori defeated the Swiss again at the 2018 ATP Finals. Their last meeting came at 2019 Wimbledon, when Federer beat Nishikori to take an 8-3 lead in their head-to-head.

Kei Nishikori on playing Roger Federer

"All matches against him are impressive. I lost in many of them but it's a huge experience to play him, I learned much from every match. When I played him for the first time in Basel, he slayed me so easily, like, it flew by in 10 minutes.

I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere and also my admiration for him. After that, I've started considering him an opponent to beat though he is my idol. His matches are fun, cool, filled with amazing shots, just perfect. That's something all of us admire," Nishikori told Daily Online.

Federer, 41, retired from pro tennis after the Laver Cup. Nishikori, who clashed against Federer 11 times on the main level, says he will always remember the Swiss as a very cool guy.

"Roger is quite the same on and off the court, very cool on the court, funny and cool off the court too, I don't have any of his (embarrassing/funny) episodes. Had a training block w/him when I was 16 or 17, that was a really great experience for me, I'm grateful for that," Nishikori revealed.

Meanwhile, Nishikori didn't play a single match in 2022 due to injuries and setbacks.