26th GERRY WEBER OPEN 2018 June 16–24

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Interview with Kei Nishikori

after his win against Jerzy Janowicz

Obviously a tough match today, especially at the end of the second set and the beginning of the third set there were a lot of momentum swings. What do you think made the difference for you in the third set?
Kei Nishikori: I think I lost some concentration in the second set, especially in a couple of my service games and even at 5 all I was rushed a little bit and missed a couple of easy forehands and that, I shouldn’t do, especially at important points. I think finally in the third set I started to concentrate again and I started hitting more. That’s why I was able to dictate a little more than in the second set. It wasn’t easy to stay focussed all the time but I think I fought through a good game today.
We saw today that you are mastering this field in grass. How would you compare the challenge with other fields in tennis?
Kei Nishikori: I’m feeling pretty comfortable on grass. I had a good performance last year and these couple of matches were very intense and playing a good match. So, I’m looking forward to play Wimbledon.
Obviously, you haven’t played him before. How do you prepare for an opponent you haven’t played before. Are you sitting down with your coach and watch videos. Or, do you watch his last match or highlights maybe? How do you go about that?
Kei Nishikori: Yes, I try to look a little bit on video with my coach. Especially my coach looks a little more. And I just make sure that what I have to do. I try to think a lot before the match. What I think is important is the first couple of games to see how he plays, how he hits the first and second serves and try to see the first couple of games.
This is more a general question. You moved to Florida when you were young, seventeen, eighteen, round about that age. If you look back now what would you tell your seventeen or eighteen year-old self maybe to do differently, be more relaxed or what would you say?
Kei Nishikori: I don’t know. I think I did very good things. I had an injury when I was eighteen or nineteen, I couldn’t play tournaments for one year. So, maybe I should have done a little more conditioning stuff before I get injured. Especially, when you become pro you play with the big guys and you get different power and you usually you don’t get used to. So I think preparation is really important, especially when you’re coming up.
In terms of physical strength, how do you compare these kind of tournaments where you need to play day after day compared to a Grand Slam? Is there a big difference or are you coping with this challenge?
Kei Nishikori: I think it’s not too tough because it’s usually only five matches in a week. So, you get a couple of days off the first couple of days. I mean it’s only five matches. If you play five three-set matches that might be tough. But if not I have enough … I did enough conditioning stuff and I also feel more confident on my body. I feel like I’ve got more strength and everything. I’m okay with five or six matches in a row.
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