2014 US Open runner-up Kei Nishikori stills feels tired from his Tokyo Olympics campaign but he was happy that he managed to make a positive start to his Washington campaign. Nishikori, a former world No. 4, saw off American Sam Querrey 6-4 6-3 in the Washington first round.
"Honestly I still feel tired. Played better than expected, but it was just my first match, I practiced only yesterday here, still didn't feel a ball well and the condition here is different form that in Japan. But I was able to win in two sets, so think I'm still in right track," Nishikori said, as revealed by Seidoumogera/Twitter.
Nishikori, now ranked at No. 67 in the world, reunited with his coach Michael Chang in Washington and he hopes that will help him. "I'm reunited with Michael for the first time since the last time he came to Florida in May or June, but we have had conversation after almost every match, didn't feel like I have not seen him for a long time," Nishikori revealed.
"We've started practicing together only yesterday, he never changes something right before a match, so I didn't receive particular advice yet. We will talk each other after this to be ready for the next match."
Nishikori getting back to his old form
Nishikori underwent a season-ending surgery after the 2019 US Open and he only played four tournaments last season. Two years after his surgery, Nishikori is feeling that his game and feelings on the court are returning.
Nishikori is hoping to have a positive campaign in Washington and then also make notable runs at the Toronto Masters and Cincinnati Masters. "I want to earn ranking points (through Washington & two Masters) don't know if it was a matter of timing (that I was able to get good feelings in Japan), but anyway I felt like I've regained my tennis for the first time in 2 years, so will try to keep those good feelingsasters).
Think it's the most important to play good matches like this right now, want to get many wins. I'm gonna keep good feelings that I achieved in Japan," Nishikori added. "I don't know if it was a matter of timing (that I was able to get good feelings in Japan), but anyway I felt like I've regained my tennis for the first time in 2 years, so will try to keep those good feelings."