Nishikori 'Accepts' Injury Situation But 'Motivated' To Return After Australian Open

Nishikori 'Accepts' Injury Situation But 'Motivated' To Return After Australian Open

by Nurein Ahmed

Kei Nishikori has learned to "accept" his injury situation as he plots another comeback from injury next season.

Nishikori, who turns 34 in under two weeks, has announced that he will miss the 2024 Australian Open, which is set for a historic Sunday start next season. The former US Open finalist is still troubled by his knee injury at the ATP 250 event in Atlanta last July.

Back then, Nishikori was still in the early stages of his comeback from a truly horrifying hip procedure in February 2022 in which some of his bones were trimmed.

Nishikori revealed in an interview at the time that it was the most feasible surgery that prevented him from undergoing hip resurfacing surgery like the one Andy Murray did to extend his playing career.

After healing, he sprained his ankle, which delayed his return in 2023 until the summer, when he played on the ATP Challenger Tour. Nishikori won his first tennis tournament since October 2021 at the Palmas del Mar Challenger.

Everything pointed to a major resurgence in his form and fitness in such a short time, but brutal luck struck less than two months again after his return when he suffered a knee injury playing against Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals of Atlanta.

Since the end of July, Nishikori has been missing on the tennis circuit but has recently spoken to Japanese media, where he issued an update regarding his injury and long-term future in the sport.

Nishikori won't play any tournaments in January and targets playing Challenger tournaments between February and March. His main ambition is to play Grand Slams again, and he admits his motivation is undiluted.

"It was a tough year but my motivation hasn't gone away. Feel like I've accepted what's happened and taken it well, and I'm more like fighting than struggling. My goal for next year is to play Slams again and play through a whole year."


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