10.13 Kei Nishikori
13 October 2011 K. NISHIKORI / S. Giraldo (7 6, 4 6, 6 3)
An interview with: KEI NISHIKORI
Q. It's the first time you make the quarterfinals in an ATP 1000 tournament. What makes you get this breakthrough?
KEI NISHIKORI: To get a quarterfinal?
KEI NISHIKORI: It is really special for me. It's only few times playing Masters, so it really means a lot to me, this win.
To beat Jo the other day, it means a lot to me to beat a top 10 player. Played a tough match again today. I'm really happy, you know, to get a quarterfinal here.
Q. Many people think Asian men are not strong enough to survive on the top of men's tennis, but you did well. Can you tell us how tough was it to compete with the usually taller and stronger players than you, especially the powerful player like Tsonga?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yes, it is always tough to play against them 'cause I used to very short. Even now I'm not the biggest guy on the tour. It's always tough to play against them.
But I think I have more speed than them. I can, you know, change up with pace. I can do different things against them. It is not easy to play with big guys, but I'm getting used to it and I'm getting confident. Now it's not big problem for me.
Q. As an Asian player, could you give suggestion or advice to our Chinese young men players?
KEI NISHIKORI: I played Davis Cup a few years ago against China. I know Wu Di and Ma (phonetic). When you see them practice, I always surprise how they play and I think they are good enough to play on tour. I guess I never see them in a match.
I guess if they know how to win the match, get more experience, they could be top hundred soon I think. So I guess they needs more experience.
Q. All three wins you got this week were in three sets. You always come back. Shows you're a mentally very strong player. Are you naturally born that way, a strong boy, or is that the way Japanese people are?
KEI NISHIKORI: I don't know, it's just me I guess. Honestly, I want to win in two sets but, I don't know, I always losing first set and I always come back. It's something I have to change, otherwise I can't win the tournament because I'm losing a lot of energies.
I have to change this. But it's always been like this, you know, to come back.
Q. We know you were troubled by some injuries a couple years ago. The match against Tsonga you also asked for several medical timeouts. Do you think physical fitness is the biggest obstacle for Asian players to play at this level?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yes, it is different body, Asians and other country. I mean, I had an injury my elbow, had surgery. No tennis for one year. I had a really tough time there.
I know I have to play without injury. That's my goal: to be playing with no injuries. Like now I can get to quarterfinal. I'm hurting, but not the big one. If I can stay healthy, I think I can get more ranking better.
Q. So you found a solution about how to play without injury?
KEI NISHIKORI: I mean, I was hurting, but it's not like I can't walk. I was hurting, but in the match I'm into the match so I don't really feel the pain. I mean, still it was bothering me today. But I won today. I think I have to handle these injuries all the time.
Q. It was just mentioned you will get your best ranking for Japanese players. What is your goal in your career in ranking, top 10 or top 20?
KEI NISHIKORI: I want to be No. 1 in whole career. That's my goal. I think there is a lot of things I have to do. But for now, this year, I want to get top 30 if I can. Yeah, top 30 is my next goal.
Q. Japanese football is getting better and better because you have a training program when people are young. Does Japan have a similar training program for young tennis players? Are you a product of that, if there is?
KEI NISHIKORI: I think they have, but I live in U.S. more. I moved when I was 13. I trained more in U.S., so I don't really know how they working. But, yeah, if you see the Japanese soccer team, they getting better. A lot of young guys are coming.
Yeah, I guess the training program is better now.
Q. You mentioned the injury you had a few years ago. When I talked to a Japanese journalist at the US Open, she said you are obviously a very talented player, but the injury you had let you miss a golden time in your career. You are already 21 or 22. When you were 19, you showed a lot of talent. Even Rafael Nadal said you could be a top 10 player one day.
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it's always my goal to get a strong body. Especially end of this year I'm going to a new place to train myself, see a new trainer. That's always my goal: to get a good body, no injuries. I can get a better ranking than now. I really think I can do it.
So he was hurting.
Hope it will get better tomorrow!
Both Kei and Dolgo are creative players who have a lot of variety in their games. So it should be a very interesting match if they can play to their potential.