Coach Dante Bottini reflects on his time with Kei Nishikori
by DZEVAD MESIC | VIEW 4968
Argentine tennis coach Dante Bottini hasn't been working with Kei Nishikori for three years now but he has kept a good relationship with the Japanese and he was happy for the time they shared together. Bottini guided Nishikori to a Grand Slam final and a top-5 ranking, before the two decided to split in 2019.
Now, Nishikori works with Michael Chang and Max Mirnyi. "Kei and I had good chemistry from the beginning. The first year went very well for us and we stayed together for another nine, something very unusual. It was very nice to experience the whole process of how he evolved as a player and a person," Bottini told La Nacion.
Bottini and Nishikori have kept a good relationship
In October 2019, Nishikori took to Twitter to announce he and Bottini decided to end their partnership. In his message, Nishikori showed respect to coach Bottini. "After 9 years of working together literally day in and day out, I have decided it is time for a new voice.
I am forever grateful for Dante’s contributions to my career and we will obviously remain very close friends. I appreciate so much the last 9 years and our friendship," Nishikori wrote at the time. Meanwhile, Nishikori hasn't played in any tournaments this year as he is recovering from a hip surgery he underwent in January.
While sidelined, Nishikori's ranking has taken a big hit and the Japanese is now ranked at No. 104 in the world. "As I said earlier, first of all, I want to return to the ranking so far. First, I still have some goals so that I can return to the top 10, but eventually I will return to that position," Nishikori said.
"So that I can fight in the second half of the tournament instead of the current (Rafael) Nadal or (Novak) Djokovic in the first round." Nishikori hopes to be able to compete at the Us Open this year.