Kei Nishikori, 31, reveals his joy for playing tennis hasn't declined yet so there is no reason for him to walk away from the game yet. Nishikori, a former world No. 4, is coming off a couple of injury-plagued season but he is still hoping he can return to his best and achieve some notable things.
Nishikori, now ranked at No. 47 in the world, was forced to end his season prematurely and withdraw from the last four tournaments he planned to play in 2021. "The root of my motivation is, the joy (of playing) has not declined yet.
It sums up everything. Sometimes I feel tiredness, but I'm never tired of tennis. I can still enjoy in some way, think that good balance is still going on," Nishikori said.
Kei "The root of my motivation is, the joy (of playing) has not declined yet.
It sums up everything. Sometimes I feel tiredness, but I'm never tired of tennis. I can still enjoy in some way, think that good balance is still going on" @Tennis_Classic_ (photo @UQAmbassadors ) pic.twitter.com/eoUgF42yAP — 井蛙堂 (@seiadoumogera) December 4, 2021
Nishikori praised by Rafael Nadal
Recently, 20-time Grand Slam champion Nadal said Nishikori would be a regular Major semifinalist and a top-5 player if he was able to stay healthy.
"Kei is obviously a top player having been playing for a long time on the Tour. Unfortunately he has been hindered by repeated injuries. Without these injuries he can be definitely one of top five players and make semis at Slams regularly," Nadal told Number Web.
"Injury proneness kind of depends on luck, I think it applies to Kei. He is really professional, I'm sure he is working on everything to prevent injuries." Former world No. 1 Nadal believes Nishikori can return to his best.
"Playing on the Tour is more demanding for players' body than you think. You have to tactically withdraw from some events at times to deal with physical burden. Given his potential, I'm sure he will be able to be back to the top level, no doubt," Nadal acknowledged.
"Believing in himself, working on training and dealing with burden imposed on his body as I said, he can definitely improve again."