Yasutaka Uchiyama credits Kei Nishikori for improved mental game

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Yasutaka Uchiyama credits Kei Nishikori for improved mental game

Japanese world No. 138 Yasutaka Uchiyama reveals fellow compatriot Kei Nishikori has helped him a lot on the mental side as he is now more confident and fully believes in himself. Uchiyama, who is enjoying a breakthrough year on the Tour, started his year with a quarterfinal run at the Brisbane International.

Back then, the Japanese qualifier beat Ugo Humbert and Kyle Edmund before falling just short against Jeremy Chardy in his maiden ATP quarterfinal. "He texted me (after the Brisbane run) that when I play good, I can beat anyone.

That gave me a lot of confidence,” Uchiyama said, per the ATP website. “It was very, very special because sometimes I was not believing in myself 100 percent. But after that Brisbane, I could believe in myself 100 percent, so it changed a lot”.

Nishikori, a 12-time ATP champion and former world No. 4, is already considered the greatest player ever from Asia. "Especially Kei (inspires me). He is a Japanese star, so he inspires me a lot to be a better player… He gives me advice for technique, for the tactics, for the mental game. He gives me a lot of information on other players. So it helps me a lot," Uchiyama added.