Kei Nishikori recalls 2012 Australian Open thriller versus Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Former world No. 4 Kei Nishikori recalled a 2012 Australian Open thriller against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. 

Nishikori, now ranked at No. 46 in the world, edged out Tsonga in five sets 2-6 6-2 6-1 3-6 6-3 to reach the Australian Open quarterfinal. 

After winning the fourth set, the momentum was on Tsonga’s side but Nishikori bounced back and won the decider to send the Frenchman packing out of Melbourne.

Unfortunately for Nishikori, he was beaten by Andy Murray in his next match at the tournament. 

“It was an intense battle, could go either way. I changed tactics during the match to keep attacking his backhand side even though I had to run around, that worked well. I was really feeling my improvement at that time, it meant a lot,” Nishikori recalled,

Nishikori out of the Australian Open

Last week, Nishikori announced his withdrawal from the Australian Open. 

“Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you a healthy and happy 2022,” Nishikori started his statement. “A little update from me that is less positive unfortunately. Since the end of last year I have been struggling with my hip. It’s not 100% recovered yet and I will have to pull out of the Aussie swing. 

“This is very disappointing as the Australian Open feels like my home Grand Slam. The Asian Grand Slam. And can’t wait to be back next year. I’m working hard on my recovery and will do everything I can to be back on the court soon. 

“Thanks for your support.”

Recently, Nishikori became a father for the first time. 

“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.

Nishikori is expected to start his season in February.