Kei Nishikori Tokyo Olympics 2021

Kei Nishikori reveals key to improved form after ending unwanted drought

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

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.