28th NOVENTI OPEN June 13th to 21st 2020

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Interview with Kei Nishikori

I remember you in Monte Carlo. This was the best tournament of the year for you and you are one of the black horses for Roland Garros and then it was a little bit … Fourth round was good but I was expecting more from you. How do you feel? How is your wrist first of all?
It’ been great. Everything is working well. I mean I could do maybe a little better but I mean Thiem went to the final and he is one of the biggest players on clay. So, it’s a shame to lose but he was playing good tennis also and I can’t expect too much because it is never easy after coming back from an injury and I see many guys struggle this past couple of years and some guys disappeared after injuries. So, I’m happy to be back at this level again. So, yes, I am happy with what I’m doing right now.
Generally, which surface do you feel is tougher on your body? Would you say grass, clay or hard court? Which one do you feel gives you more trouble?
Maybe grass because we don’t used to play a lot with this surface and for me the toughest part is the moving part. You know, I can’t use much with my speed on this surface, also different part of the body you've got to use on this surface. So, maybe this one I think.
How happy are you with your first match on grass?
You know, it’s never easy but I think I played very solid this match today. He’s never an easy player, especially I think on grass he can be dangerous. He was coming to the net really well and if he got that second set, you know, it was really tight in the last couple of games in the second set and you never know what is going to happen in the third. But I think I’m very happy with the way I was playing today even though the first match is never easy and I’m looking forward to playing next round.
How are you feeling physically? In the last three years you were not lucky here, you retired with injury? So, how are you feeling this year?
It’s never easy playing this surface. So, hopefully I can try to be physically strong this week and hope nothing happens this week. And I try to enjoy this week as I always enjoy playing grass court and you’ve got to use different shots and you’ve got to come in a little more, play aggressive and I hope I can do all this week.
How do you put those last three years out of your mind? Probably when you came you were like ‘oh, Halle again’. Does that play on your mind as you enter the court?
Well, a little bit because it didn’t go that well the last couple of years getting injuries, not even this week, Wimbledon, because I’ve got to still learn some things. But, you know, you can’t really stop injuries. You know, I think I did what I have to do. I think I worked really hard the last couple of weeks for these three weeks and I think my body is getting stronger after the injuries. So, I hope I can stay healthy these three weeks.
There is another player, who had a lot of problems with his wrist, Juan Martín del Potro. Do you guys talk about something like that, what helped him to come back?
Well, actually Kim Clijsters helped me a lot. I did rehab in her academy and she and her physio helped me a lot for my comeback. Yes, she gave me a lot of different advice. Many guys have left, same spot. But for me it’s right and not so many guys have right side. So, it is a little bit rare for me. But they put in some time. Everybody takes time for the wrist. So, you’ve got to … I think for I got to still be careful and take care every day and I’m sure it’s going to take a bit more time to get a hundred percent and especially this surface is never easy for my wrist. So, I’ve got to stay focussed for my wrist.
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