Kei Nishikori Tokyo Olympics 2021

Kei Nishikori reveals key to improved form after ending unwanted drought

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Kei Nishikori has assessed the reasons behind his impressive recent results and is hoping to maintain his level until the US Open.

The 31-year-old has pointed to being more focused and steady, and making less unforced errors, as crucial in his most recent tournament runs.

The former world number four has ended a two-year ATP semi-final drought by making the last four at the Citi Open this week. His previous semi-final run came at the 2019 Barcelona Open.

Nishikori also made the quarter-finals at the Tokyo Olympics last week – before falling to world number one Novak Djokovic.

“I think I am more steady now. Less unforced errors in the last couple of months. I was not able to make many balls before, but now I do, and also my confidence is coming up,” the Japanese said in an on-court interview.

The world number 67 defeated Lloyd Harris – who had beaten Rafael Nadal in his previous match – in the last eight in Washington.

“Since last week I think it’s been almost two years I been feeling like this on the courts, like very focus and very steady. Not making too much mistakes, unforced errors,” Nishikori told reporters.

“Yeah, this feeling I want to really – I hope I can carry [on for] couple more weeks until US Open. I think this is, you know, makes me great confidence. Yeah, I hope I can keep going [for] two more matches.”

The 2014 US Open finalist will face Mackenzie McDonald in the last four of the ATP 500 tournament today.

Photo credit: Kopatsch/Sato/Sidorjak

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