Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori admitted he feared he would lose in the French Open first round.
Nishikori, a former world No. 4, overcame qualifier Alessandro Giannessi in five sets 6-4 6-7 (4) 6-3 4-6 6-4 to set up a second round meeting against Karen Khachanov.
“Today for the first time in while I felt like I would lose in 1R, especially at 2-4 in the 5th set. I was not calm. For the last three games, I just tried to go for it, and fortunately that went well, I was lucky,” Nishikori said afterward, per Seiadoumogera.
“I took those games by myself, but at the same time luck also helped me.”
Nishikori, who is set for a tough second round.matchuo against Khachanov, admitted he has many areas to improve.
“I have many areas for improvement. I had trouble with dealing with his high balls, couldn’t find a way to handle those balls until the end,” Nishikori said.
“For some points, I wish I could have done in a different way, but I couldn’t execute that during the match. I also lost easy points, that costed me playing the 5th set.”
Nishikori hopes to be more consistent
“I can’t keep good level, it will change with getting more confident, but I have to win matches for that. I’m really eager to improve the aspect, but I’m still have difficult time making my mind and body come together,” Nishikori added.
“It’s tough period after comeback, and even when I’m fine there are some ups and downs. I feel like tennis is too much hassle (smile).”
Nishikori also reflected on Naomi Osaka’s decision not to do interview at Roland Garros due to her menta health wellbeing.
“In tennis, first of all you can’t speak with anybody, having no conversation can make you depressed, and you even feel extra pressure on the tennis court, that’s the most difficult. You always have to make decisions just on your own and you need some confidence to hit through,” Nishikori said.