12 months ago Kei Nishikori's mood was very different compared to now. The Japanese player had fallen outside the top 200 rankings, came back after a wrist injury competing in two Challengers. Now he is an established top ten player again and opened the new season in style defeating Daniil Medvedev in a three-set Brisbane International final.
Recalling his feelings one year ago, when he skipped the Australian swing, the 29-year-old said: 'I was a little bit sad, of course. I always started with this tournament and Melbourne and couldn't make it last year.
So I had to start some challenges, and there was no ATP tournament that week, so I kind of had to choose challenger. But this is, for sure, a better start, because I feel this tournament is always the start of the year; and playing with these guys, these top players this always motivate me.
And playing good tennis, very happy and healthy is one of the best keys for me.' On how he felt after the championship point converted against Medvedev, Nishikori added: 'Just felt very happy because it was a really tight match.
Didn't start well. I was down 3-0 and he was playing good tennis, too. So I mean, of course, to win the tournament is very emotional, and I mean that's why I'm playing for. I was trying every final and every tournament.
And I mean, even if it's 250, you know, played some great matches against Dimi, and today's match it was another good tennis. And I'm sure Daniil is going to be Top 10 soon, so it was a good match again today.'