Kei Nishikori feeling 'comfortable' on court for first time in years

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Kei Nishikori feeling 'comfortable' on court for first time in years

2014 US Open runner-up Kei Nishikori is feeling comfortable on the court once again as he is hoping to potentially win it all in Washington. Nishikori, a former world No, 4, has had a tough couple of years. The Japanese underwent a season-ending wrist surgery in 2017, before he underwent a season-ending elbow surgery in 2019.

Nishikori is now ranked at No. 67 in the world but he is hoping to climb up the rankings before the season ends. This week at the Citi Open in Washington, Nishikori has made his first semifinal of the season. On Friday, Nishikori beat South African Lloyd Harris to make his third semifinal in Washington.

"Feel like I can play that long rallies without errors in forehand nor backhand for the first time since I came back from wrist injury," Nishikori said, per Seiadoumogera/Twitter. "Earlier this year I said I kind of got back on form little bit, but this time, ball fits comfortably in my hand, I can make shots without thinking anything and have subtle feelings, like, can recognize opponent's lob is just out even when I'm standing close to the net."

Nishikori aims his second Washington title

Nishikori captured his first Washington title in 2015 after recovering from a set down to beat John Isner in the final. En route to making the Washington semifinal, Nishikori also beat Sam Querrey, Alexander Bublik and Cameron Norrie.

Nishikori avoided facing No. 1 seed Rafel Nadal in the quarterfinal after the Spaniard suffered a shock loss to Harris in the round-of-16. "I'm happy with the result here so far, I always lost to a top 10 player after getting a couple of wins, couldn't be on a winning streak.

It's important to get more wins in the tournament where all of top 10 players are already out," Nishikori noted.