Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori feels that he has started playing much better since the Tokyo Olympics. Nishikori, a former world No. 4, made the Tokyo Olympics quarterfinal before losing to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Nishikori failed to win a medal in Japan but still said it was a good experience.
Last week at the Citi Open in Washington, Nishikori made his first semifinal since 2019 before losing to American Mackenzie McDonald. "Well, I feel like from the Olympics I have started playing better. I don't really know why, but maybe, you know, it was big tournaments and also playing home, I know the venue for a long time, and, you know, I don't know why, but, yeah, from the first match against Rublev, I started playing so much better and more confidence coming up.
I mean, it was good experience," Nishikori said of his Tokyo experience, per Max Gao. "Of course little shame that we didn't have any spectators, but, I mean, still, it was fun and I enjoyed. I mean, better I could get a medal, but lost to a great player.
But still, it was good experience."
Nishikori out of the Toronto Masters
After making the Washington semifinal, Nishikori returned to action in Toronto and beat Miomir Kecmanovic in his opener at the tournament. Nishikori dealt with a shoulder pain throughout the match against Kecmanovic and he ended up pulling out of his second round match.
"I've been feeling a bit of pain since last week so will see how well I recover. With that concerns about shoulder, I just tried to put first serve in. The surface is fast, so when I put my first serve in, like slice serve, I didn't get attacked so much.
If I had got more free points on my serve it would have been easier, but think I managed well," Nishikori said after beating Kecmanovic.