In a press conference in Rome, Kei Nishikori commented on Mats Wilander's strong criticism towards him. The seven-time Grand Slam winner, after Nishikori's retirement from his quarter-final match against Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open earlier this year, said that the Japanese's chances of winning a Grand Slam title are reducing because of his fitness problems.
Nishikori, answering the question asked by Tennis World USA, said: "I think I'm physically getting better every year. Yeah, I mean, Australia had too many five sets, I think. I think I played four hours, almost every match was long match.
I should have finished maybe quicker. I think that's important to do if I want to win seven matches." On his expectations ahead of the Rome Open, Nishikori added: "Well, hope I can do well. I think every tournament is big.
Of course, this one and Madrid is important. Yeah, I hope to do well. I think I'm playing well. Even last week in Barcelona. I'm looking forward to play this week." On his next opponent Hubert Hurkacz, Nishikori concluded: "He's been playing good.
I think he can play all surface. He show that last week, too. He was playing well. He has great serve, a big serve, plays aggressive. He comes in pretty good. Played good play at the net, too. I think he can be, I don't know, top 20, top 10 I think in few years or maybe this year, too."