Japan’s Kei Nishikori said he realized that Karen Khachanov was having ups and downs mentally and he wanted to make the most out of it.
Nishikori, ranked at No. 49 in the world, overcame Khachanov in five sets 4-6 6-2 2-6 6-4 6-4 to reach the French Open third round.
“Noticed that Khachanov was having ups and downs mentally, so felt like my chance would come as long as I kept holding my service games, that motivated me a bit. But at the beginning, I had trouble reading his shots. He lost to me recently so I guess he should take more risk.
“I was not distracted by the wind so much, but when I tossed a ball in downwind side my hitting point was tilted back. My serve is weaker than his (more vulnerable to the wind), so for the impact on serve he had an advantage in the wind. Happy that the wind stopped at the end,” Nishikori said, per Seiadoumogera/Twitter.
“I had two tough matches here, but I felt like I was almost at top 20 player-level, but this feeling may change week by week. I’ve beaten under-top 20 players, that’s a huge improvement for me.”
Nishikori has already played two five setters
In the first round, Nishikori needed five sets to beat Alessandro Giannessi.
“I lost the 3rd set, that was the toughest moment. After losing the set, I was completely stunned, like, oh I have to play another five setter, and when I asked myself if I really wanted to play, I couldn’t find the answer, I lost my heart,” Nishikori added.
“Nevertheless I was able to win, I’m proud of that. My body didn’t want to move but kind of automatically move. I’m impressed by myself, how I managed to win the 4th set even when my mind was not there, but there is a huge room for improvement for today’s performance too.we