Kei Nishikori: I was able to get some nice feelings against Novak Djokovic at US Open

Former world No. 4 Kei Nishikori said becoming a father hasn’t affected his motivation for tennis.

Nishikori recently became a father for the first time and spoke several times about his early experience of being a parent. 

“My motivation for tennis has not changed, it’s not  affected by fatherhood. For me motivation for raising a child or love for my child has nothing to do with motivation for tennis at all at the moment,” Nishikori told Nikkan Sports, as revealed by Seidomougera/Twitter. 

“I have not felt like I’m gonna work hard for my child. I occasionally change my baby’s diaper…praying it’s not a poo every time.

“My motivation has not changed, but I’ve been struggling for a long time since last year (probably he means 2020), for the longest time in my career I couldn’t get back my tennis. From March to August I was worried I could never come back, had many concerns, it was tough.”

Nishikori’s feelings returned in 2021

After struggling with his consistency in the first six months of the 2021 season, Nishikori stunned Andrey Rublev in straight sets in his opener at the Tokyo Olympics. 

“Don’t know why my tennis was suddenly back in the Olympic 1R, I had no sign before. Good feelings came back out of nowhere, I was like, I’m not missing at all, it’s weird! I don’t know why, maybe because it was the Olympics and I was motivated more than usual,” Nishikori said. 

Nishikori allso made the US Open third round, where he won the opening set against Novak Djokovic before the Serb recovered to win 6-7 (4) 6-3 6-3 6-2.

“The most memorable match of 2021 is the match against Rublev, it was enjoyable, but I was able to get some nice feelings against Djokovic for the first time in a while (at the USO). I lost to him quite easily many times in a row except matches in Madrid and Rome (in 2016),” Nishikori revealed.