Kei Nishikori admitted he realized his comments would make all the headlines only after he revealed he contemplated retirement this year. In a recent interview, Nishikori - who missed the entire 2022 season - revealed there was a time this year when he felt "very depressed" and thought about ending his career.
Nishikori, who will be turning 33 in late December, is a former Grand Slam finalist and a former top-5 player. Recently, Nishikori met 41-year-old Roger Federer, who was in Tokyo for the Uniqlo event. Now, Nishikori is motivated to return as he feels he could potentially play as long as Federer did.
Nishikori: Federer played until 40, maybe I can do something similar
"I casually mentioned that I thought about retirement, but afterwards I realized it would go into headlines, I was like, oops, I blew it. It was honest feeling, so I might not be able to hide it, or I might express it to wash away my gloomy feeling, I don't know.
I've made much effort and it's a shame to bring it to naught due to injury. I'm not sure if this is the right way to say it, but I feel like I'm kinda talented and I have reached the position that not so many people can reach, that makes me feel like it's too good to give up.
If my career-high ranking were 100, I might not have thought like that, and it would be disappointing to end my career due to injury.
Federer played tennis until 40, so I think I can keep playing five more years at the least and seven more years at the most," Nishikori told Asahi Sports.
Nishikori, who underwent a hip surgery in January, was targeting to return during the North American hard court swing. Unfortunately, Nishikori suffered setbacks and ended up missing the entire 2022 season.
If my career-high ranking were 100, I might not have thought like that... and it would be disappointing to end my career due to injury.
Federer played tennis until 40, so I think I can keep playing five more years at the least and seven more years at the most." @asahi_sports — äºèå (@seiadoumogera) November 30, 2022