Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
Re: Kei Nishikori
Extracted from ZooTennis blog - there're some discussion of Nishi's game and some comments from Kei.
Nishikori and Cirstea Take Luxilon Titles
©Colette Lewis 2007--
Kei Nishikori, the No. 4 seed, overcame a slow start to defeat unseeded Mike McClune 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-1 in the boys' final, while top-seeded Sorana Cirstea started quickly in her 6-2, 6-1 victory over No. 3 seed Anastasia Pivovarova in the girls' match that followed.
McClune had requested the boys' final be moved up so he could catch a flight to Tallahassee to make a qualifying deadline for the challenger there, and the original schedule of the boys following the girls was reversed, with action beginning an hour earlier.
McClune's start indicated that he was ready; he won the first nine points of the match, and didn't face a break point until the seventh game. But Nishikori converted it, and when the 17-year-old from Japan saved five set points serving at 4-5, it was apparent he wasn't going to allow McClune a quick and tidy first set. And although the 17-year-old from Irvine, California took the tiebreak and came up with an early break in the second set, Nishikori began to move with his customary speed midway through the set.
"His weapon is his mobility," said Gabriel Jaramillo, who coaches Nishikori at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton. "He moves very well."
McClune's forehand began to produce more errors than winners, and his serve, which was so effective in his first two wins, wasn't as reliable against Nishikori.
"My served failed me," McClune said. "I don't know what happened. I was serving great all week, and I just couldn't find it today. My serve got worse throughout the match and so I had to just grind with him and on most days he's going to win doing that."
Nishikori, who admitted that nerves played a role in his slow start, credited his forehand and a change of strategy for the turnaround.
"In the second set, I changed my mind, sometimes go to net," said Nishikori, "and don't miss. I was pumped up and moving well."
Between the second and third sets, Nishikori requested a trainer, and his shoulder was treated, an injury he partially attributed to his workouts with world No. 1 Roger Federer the previous week.
But there were no signs of physical problems in the way he played in the third set; in a complete reversal of the first set, he took the first three games easily, missing nothing, while McClune couldn't recapture the form he displayed in the first set.
Both McClune and Nishikori will concentrate on Future and Challenger level tournaments in the upcoming months, and according to Jaramillo, the goal for Nishikori is to raise his ranking sufficiently to get into the U.S. Open qualifying.
With the Luxilon Cup win, he has a spot in the qualifying for the 2008 Sony Ericsson, but right now he is looking forward to some rest.
"I'm taking a couple of weeks off," Nishikori said, after posing for photographs and signing autographs after the match. "I am so happy, it's great to win a big tournament."
__________________ATP Tokyo 2012, ATP Memphis 2013 Champion Kei Nishikori
Kei Nishikori | Yen-Hsun Lu | Somdev Devvarman | Yeu-Tzuoo Wang | Di Wu
Hyeon Chung | Dennis Istomin | Ze Zhang | Go Soeda | Tatsuma Ito | Yuichi Sugita | Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi | Rohan Bopanna | Danai Udomchoke | Tsung-Hua Yang | Hiroki Moriya | Mao-Xin Gong | Hyung-Taik Lee | Paradorn Srichaphan | Takao Suzuki
Fernando Gonzalez | Max Mirnyi | Jo-Wilfried Tsonga | Tommy Haas | Ricardas Berankis | Xavier Malisse | Andreas Seppi | David Ferrer | Juan Martin Del Potro | Tim Smyczek | Olivier Rochus | Victor Troicki | Horatio Zeballos | Lleyton Hewitt | Nick Kyrgios | Mario Ancic | Peter Luczak