Kei Nishikori Australian Open 2021

‘I’ve dropped lower than expected’ – Kei Nishikori reveals ranking ambitions

Kei Nishikori has revealed a ranking target he has set after recently slipping to his lowest ATP position for more than a decade.

The former world number four admitted he considered skipping the Citi Open this week, but said he had to play to try to earn ranking points.

The 31-year-old is currently ranked 67 in the world, and last month dropped to No. 69 – his lowest spot since February 2011.

Nishikori’s decision to play in Washington has been rewarded – as he has reached his first ATP semi-final in over two years.

“I was going to skip the event If I’d reached semi-finals at the [Tokyo] Games [last week], but I couldn’t. Knew it’d be physically tough to play here. Thought about not playing, but need to play considering my current ranking,” the Japanese said in a press conference.

“I’m not a top 10 player, [I] have to play [for ranking points]. My ranking has dropped to lower than expected, I don’t get seeded in any event now. Would like to be back in top 30 [by] the end of the year.”

Nishikori – who will face American Mackenzie McDonald in the last four of the ATP 500 event – also gave his assessment of the courts in Washington.

“Centre court and other courts are completely different in Washington, centre court is very slow while other courts are fast as if in [a] different tournament. Feel like [Rafa] Nadal loves the centre court – slow and bouncy,” added the 2014 US Open runner-up.


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.