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Nishikori likely to miss Australian Open
(AFP) – 20 hours ago
TOKYO — Japan's teenage sensation Kei Nishikori said Friday he may miss the Australian Open in January, the first Grand Slam event of the season, although he has resumed training after an elbow injury.
"I can't make a schedule for the tour until my elbow is completely healed. I still need one or two months to be back to 100 percent," Nishikori told reporters.
"I want to take part (in the Australian Open) but probably I can't."
Nishikori, who will turn 20 next month, has been out of competition since injuring his right elbow in March and underwent surgery in August. He resumed training at the end of October.
"I think it's a start... Hopefully I can move up little by little," said Nishikori whose world ranking has plummeted to 423rd from his all-time high of 56th last February.
"I think my condition is about 70 percent now."
Nishikori was identified as a prodigy in his early teens.
A foundation established by Japan Tennis Association president Masaaki Morita sent him to Florida where he started training at the renowned Nick Bollettieri Academy at age 13.
In only his fifth tournament since his professional debut in 2007, Nishikori caused a sensation by capturing his first ATP title at Delray Beach in February last year at 18 to become only the second Japanese man to win a tour title.
Nishikori's US Open performance last year, where he reached the fourth round beating then world number four David Ferrer of Spain, put him in the world spotlight and earned him highly lucrative sponsorship contracts.
Nishikori eyes comeback early next year
TOKYO, Nov. 27 KYODO
Rising Japanese star Kei Nishikori is preparing to make his comeback to competitive tennis early next year after having surgery on his right elbow in August.
"My elbow has recovered 60 to 70 percent. I'm trying to come back in January or February," the ATP Newcomer of the Year said Friday at National Training Center in Tokyo.
Nishikori hurt his elbow at the season-opening Brisbane International and missed much of 2009, sending him to 423rd in the ATP rankings.
The 19-year-old began to hit the ball three weeks ago and is now swinging the racket without pain.
Nishikori is also working on mechanics with the help of Fusako Sugiyama, the mother of recently retired Ai Sugiyama, to avoid a recurrence of the elbow problem.
Asked if he could be fit in time for the Australian Open in January, Nishikori said, "I want to play, but I don't think I can unless I'm back at 100 percent."
He plans to return to his training base in Florida in mid-December.