Yoshihito Nishioka defeated Kei Nishikori in a straight-set match to clinch the Cincinnati third round. Nishioka said: “Now I can play with the top players. I beat David Goffin in D.C. (Citi Open), so I know I can play against and beat the top guys.
If I need to beat them, I will need to play more aggressive and be ready to play five sets. Three sets is tiring, but best of five is a lot different….especially against the top level guys. I will need to finish points earlier in the rally.
Sometimes I’ll need to grind though, that’s what I do well”. Nishioka tore his ACL in April last year and it took a while for him to come back. But he believes he is on the right path. “After surgery, I haven’t had any problems.
I am very happy about that and I think very lucky too. Most people take longer to recover from this injury…so I feel blessed. It was tough to get back to this level taking a year off. I forgot how to play tennis. I was scared to get moving, but I need to move….that’s my strength.
I had a tough couple months but I know how to play against the top level. I made it to the top 58. I beat Jack Sock, I played Nadal”>and Wawrinka tough…and many other good players. I just need to get myself ready and keep pushing”.
On the match against Nishikori overall, Nishioka concluded: “I was so excited when I saw the draw come out that I had a chance to play him. I was so tight and nervous (against Thompson)….maybe not that great, but I was so tight because I wanted to play with Kei. I never played with him before… but he is my hero. I think he is a hero for all the Japanese (people).”