Kei Nishikori had a great 2018 season. In the first quarter of the year, the Japanese skipped the Australian Open and competed in two Challengers, after having left the top-200 of the ATP rankings. Then, he won a title and is now back in the top-10 of the ATP ranking.
In addition, he is also the first alternate at the ATP World Tour Finals and could play the event if Rafael Nadal or Juan Martin del Potro withdraw because of injuries. At the Rolex Paris Masters, Nishikori lost to Roger Federer in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. 'I'm exhausted right now, I ran out of gas today (Friday),' Nishikori admitted in press conference.
The 28-year-old confirmed he will go to London even as an alternate. 'I'm gonna go to London even if I can't play London (as one of the eight), so I try to be ready for it,' said Nishikori. He also admitted that his expectations were different this year: 'I was ready for ending this season within top 20 or top 30, I'm really happy to have reached this level.
I feel relieved that I'm getting back my good tennis.' Federer recognized that beating Nishikori was very important: 'Kei is one of the best returners in the game and if you allow him to come into your service games too frequently, he's going to really hurt you.
I think I was able to avoid that and then winning straight sets is always nice. It saves energy for not only what is to come tomorrow or the following week, but for your career. That's why you could be more successful if you win quick matches.
I've done that well throughout my career and it was nice to get one again tonight.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title