Top-ranked Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori has announced that he will skip the Monte Carlo Masters and instead kick off his clay court season in Barcelona.
The Monte Carlo Masters, at which Nishikori has made only three appearances throughout his career, is set to take place next week.
Meanwhile, an ATP 500 event in Barcelona kicks off a week later as its scheduled to be held between April 19-25.
“No Monte Carlo. I want a good hard practice this week with the team to prepare for a tough clay court season,” Nishikori announced on his app, as revealed by Seiadoumogera/Twitter.
“I will start in Barcelona.”
Nishikori, 31, has made eight appearances in Barcelona throughout his career.
The Japanese won back-to-back titles at the Barcelona Open in 2014 and 2015, before finishing as runner-up in 2016.
Nishikori last played at the Miami Masters
Nishikori.made the third round in Miami, before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 3-6 6-1.
“I tried to play sticking on baseline and I was able to play that way in the 2nd set, but it was physically tough and I had no room anymore, couldn’t focus at the beginning of the 3rd set. Sometimes I also rushed in long rallies, couldn’t play with enough perseverance,”
“I kind of pushed myself to the limit to take the 2nd set, that costed me in the 3rd set, mentally I couldn’t keep battling against him. It was physically tough too, I rushed to finish points too earlier.”
Despite the loss, Nishikori left Miami in positive spirits.
“I was able to hit through in rallies & play the way I wanted, that’ll lead to the next step. I still remain good feelings on my play, but I couldn’t keep it through the match, that’s what to work on. I need a bit more that calmness & everything especially against top players,” Nishikori added.