Kei Nishikori: I played just too many hours in Australia

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Kei Nishikori: I played just too many hours in Australia

Kei Nishikori is looking forward to making his first appearance at the Rotterdam Open. The Japanese player will open his campaign against Pierre-Hugues Herbert and in an interview ahead of the tournament, Nishikori, who features as the only top-`10 player in the draw, said: "I never won a tournament in January and the first time I won in Brisbane finally, and it's a great start.

A little disappointing finish at the Australian Open, I got injured, but I feel good now, and playing this week here, first time playing in Rotterdam. I hope I can do well. I am feeling well. I just played too many hours in Australia so a little bit unlucky too but had some good matches and I thought it was a good experience."

Nishikori retired from his Australian Open quarter-finals match against Novak Djokovic due to a back injury. Explaining what he did from then, the 29-year-old said: "It took maybe one week and a little bit to get 100 per cent, but now physically I am going well.

I practiced well last week in Florida. It's going to be an interesting challenge this week. It's a strong tournament and many good players are playing, so it will be tough. A couple of guys withdrew but it's gonna be a tough tournament.

I used to play (this week) in Memphis and last year in New York, but I like indoors and that's why I chose to come here. It's really interesting (to) play new tournaments and I love coming to Europe. It's a little bit cold, too cold but I love this country, nice city, nice facility, so I really hope I can enjoy this week."

Asked about the difficulties a player goes through when being injured, Nishikori concluded: "You lose rhythm, you lose your tennis and also confidence. I think that's the biggest thing, you lose confidence if you are not playing a couple of months and you have got to regroup again from almost zero."