Kei Nishikori: “Medvedev and Zverev are emulating Novak Djokovic”

With tennis stopped waiting for the new season, some tennis players reveal their feelings about the best athletes and the most interesting young people on the ATP Tour. Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori, former world number 4, spoke with Shingo Kunieda and focused in particular on world number 1 Novak Djokovic.

This year the two have faced each other on several occasions, but Kei, also now in the final stages of his career (he is 31 years old but several physical problems behind him), has never created any real problems for the Serbian champion.

Speaking instead of Nole, the Japanese clarified how some tennis players are increasingly imitating the Serbian champion’s game and way of being on the pitch. In particular, Nishikori referred to the current numbers two and three in the world, namely Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev, also the last two to have beaten the Serbian legend.

Kei Nishikori on Novak Djokovic

Speaking with his Asian colleague, Nishikori said: “Both Medvedev and Zverev, following in the footsteps of Novak Djokovic, tend to analyze probabilities and it is more important for them to try to avoid unforced errors than to take stock. They play safely, try to avoid mistakes and are constantly defending and in this way they manage to be absolutely dominant in the ATP Tour.”

Medvedev and Zverev are also the two finalists of the ATP Finals in Turin where the German won the title (after having also beaten Nole in the semifinals). The last time Nishikori beat Novak Djokovic was even the distant semifinal of the 2014 Us Open (the Japanese lost in the final to Marin Cilic). Since then Nishikori has lost 17 times in a row to Nole, including this year’s US Open and Olympic Games.

Nishikori knows the Big Three well, has lived their era for better or worse and has challenged them on many occasions. In 2021 Kei tried to return to excellent levels, but the physical difficulties and a condition that appears quite distant compared to the times in which he was in the Top Ten make him a tennis player that has now appeared to be in decline.

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