Kei Nishikori has been on the tour for quite some time. Currently ranked at number 9 in the world the former US Open finalist from three years ago still looks a million miles away from winning a major but what does it come down to?
Kei is a talented player who has been hampered by injuries throughout his career but if you take that out of the equation you’d have to question his decision making which at times is bizarre.
I watched Kei earlier in the year against Bellucci in Rio and I remember writing about the match and the word I used in the title was ‘lost’ and in the article ‘panic’. Getting over the finishing line does seem to be an issue and we saw this against Monfils the other day.
Nishikori took the first set 7-6 and led the second and the third by a break but got caught and you’d have to say he can only blame himself. To be a major winner you have to be ruthless and he does play good tennis but it’s not effective when it matters and that isn’t down to the shot selection but the lack of ruthless instinct.
Monfils played a stunning few points at the end to win but Kei was a spectator and should have won the match at 6-3.
Kei plays a very good shot and does the worst thing in tennis, he admires it. He stops moving like he’s waiting for a bus. Where is the ruthlessness? Never think it’s won until it is. Why not approach the net at this stage to close the rally and hopefully win the match instead he lost 5 points in a row.
If anything Nishikori got caught up in the circus of the tie-break and forgot there was a match to win.
The decision making and strategy just isn’t there right now for me and it is a shame. To think there will be no Stan, Novak and maybe no Andy in New York so you need to bring your A game!