Nishikori impressed against Murray but there’s still plenty of work to do to become a major contender

Kei Nishikori has picked off some big wins in his career. Against Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and in New York recently Andy Murray but despite this win against the British number one I’m still not convinced by Kei’s ability to challenge the top players regularly as we saw against Wawrinka in the semi-finals.

Panic

Even in tough circumstances you have to remain in control and in the third set at 4-5 30-15 on serve this is when I saw Kei panic going for a to be honest dodgy serve and volley.

serve-v-kei

If you’re going to serve and volley the best choice would surely be the kicker out-wide and not a serve down the middle of the box forcing you to play an awkward volley and quickly in no man’s land. If you are in this position on the third 3 shot of the rally on your own serve you are in trouble.

movement.png

You can see that Stan has the time to pick his spot but just look at Kei, he’s sold himself his body weight is moving to the right and where does Stan go? To the left of former finalist… This happened again in this game and you guessed right it led to Stan winning the set.

Lack of depth!

These courts in New York have a lot of a room so if you are going to play against a player who likes to dominate the baseline you are in trouble if you play with little depth.

lack of depth.png

It wasn’t just playing with little depth but variation it seemed a bit flat and central but there were times we saw that forehand down the line forcing Stan to play the slice and I kept thinking, follow it in and close off the point.

I wanted Kei to do this but he didn’t and Stan this and timed it to perfect he saw the opportunity and went for it and there never seemed to be any doubts.

I want to see Kei step it up to the next level this final in New York was over two years ago now and since then we have seen some impressive wins I loved his performance against Nadal a year ago in Montreal but we don’t see enough of it to put him in a list of genuine major contenders.

ALL screenshots credit to British Eurosport

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