Kei Nishikori: My elbow is fine, I'm excited and ready to play



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Kei Nishikori: My elbow is fine, I'm excited and ready to play

Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori is happy to see tennis returning and the US Open receiving the green light but he admits it's not all ideal. On Tuesday, the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the US Open organizers the approval to proceed with the event without fans from August 31 - September 13.

A day later, it was officially confirmed that the season will resume in August and that there will be a few warm up events for the US Open. "I know there are pros and cons of (resuming) sporting events, but I'm happy that US Open is taking place.


Nobody knows if it really happens, but I'll try to watch myself together with all players and be ready for that," Nishikori said, per Sports Hochi and Nikkan Sports.

Nishikori, ranked at No. 31 in the world, hasn't played in almost a year as his last match came at the US Open last year -- where he was beaten in the third round by Australian Alex de Minaur.

Following a third round loss at Flushing Meadows, the Japanese underwent a season-ending elbow surgery. Nishikori was preparing to make a comeback in late-March or early-April but then the season got suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"It will be my first match in a while, I'm really excited. My elbow is ready, I've had good practice and can't wait to play matches," Nishikori said.

Kei Nishikori admits it will be a bit odd playing without fans

Like many other sports, tennis will also return without fans as the safety of the players remains the main focus.

"I'm a bit worried about playing matches without fans, I should have visualization training so that I can play with a feeling of tension as usual even behind closed doors. I may feel a different feeling of tension there with different atmosphere," Nishikori said.

Nishikori, a former world No. 4, hopes the US Open will be one of the most watched sporting events when it takes place. "I want many people to watch US Open on TV. US Open venues had been used as temporary hospital to take care of COV-19 patients, I'll be happy if I can show good tennis in such a place," Nishikori said.

In his lone Grand Slam final -- played at the US Open in 2014 -- Kei Nishikori lost in three sets to Marin Cilic.