Former world No. 4 Kei Nishikori and 36th-ranked Alexander Bublik have withdrawn from an ATP event in Melbourne.
Melbourne 250 update:
OUT: Bublik, Nishikori
— Entry List Updates (@EntryLists) December 26, 2021
Nishikori had an unfortunate end to the 2021 season as he was forced to withdraw from the last four tournaments he had on his schedule.
On the other side, Bublik finished his season late as he represented Kazakhstan at the Davis Cup Finals.
Recently, Nishikori opened about his struggles with injuries.
“I’ve never wanted to stop playing though I’m always feeling like it’s tough, yeah I often feel it’s tough, I’m not in the mood, I hate it… but I’ve been somehow escaping,” Nishikori said.
“I usually get deeply depressed for a while, at the moment that I get injured or I’m told about surgery, but after that I somehow come back because I still have motivation and passion for playing tennis again.”
Nishikori reveals his goals for 2022
Nishikori would like to return to the top-20 and once again make deep runs at the Grand Slam level.
“I’m still about No. 50, need to be back in the top-20 or 30 to get seeded at the Grand Slams. Want to come back to the position to make semis at the Grand Slams in the next couple of years, that’s one of my motivations, the atmosphere of Slams is special,” Nishikori said.
Nishikori, who is set to turn 32 on Wednesday, recently shared an advice to juniors.
“Enjoy it, you’ll realize how important it is to enjoy as you get older. You might want to quit at some point, but after getting though that you can be filled with happiness (of playing). It would be nice to learn how to overcome tough times while you’re young,” Nishikori advised. “If I reach the top, no.1, I think that encourages them (younger players) to believe that they can also achieve (things like that), and promotes tennis. For that I’ll try to show them myself trying hard.”