ATP Tour

Nishikori coy on love interest

2014-11-18 20:00
Kei Nishikori (AFP)

Tokyo - Japan's Kei Nishikori has confessed on Tuesday to feeling a tad envious of his tennis rivals being cheered on courtside by wives and girlfriends, but showed lightning footwork to dodge the six million dollar question.

"Tennis players are always on the road so it must help relieve some of the stress for the players who have their partners travelling with them," the 24-year-old told a news conference in Tokyo.

"It would be nice to have someone like that with me on tour one day."

Nishikori, who has climbed to number five in the world after a breakout year in which he became the first Asian to reach a grand slam final, has been romantically linked with former Olympic gymnast Honami Tsuboi.

But when probed on the subject, he executed a perfect stop volley to end the discussion.

"I have lots of people who support me - my family, my team, coach, my big sister," he said.

"A fan once asked me to marry them (during a match) but I wasn't confident enough to offer a response."

The Japanese superstar also admitted that he had felt like a small boy among giants at last week's ATP Tour Finals in London, but warned the world's top three Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal: the bigger you are, the harder you fall.

"I felt like a little child at the Tour Finals," Nishikori said ahead of a fun-match against Andre Agassi this weekend and a welcome two-week break.

"I was the smallest of the eight players, but I feel I have weapons other players don't have - maybe extra quickness and a different style of play.

"I have a little power too."

Nishikori added: "I've learnt how to handle the pressure in big matches. And I really hate losing. It's my biggest motivation."

He described Federer, who has won a record 17 grand slam singles titles, as the player he fears the most, despite the Swiss maestro being in the twilight of his illustrious career at 33.

"Federer is still the most frightening," said Nishikori, who beat Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals this year before losing to Croatian Marin Cilic in the championship decider.

"The way Federer pulls off wonder shots, almost nonchalantly. He has it all."

Having lost 6-3, 6-2 to Federer in round-robin play last week in London, Nishikori went down 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 to Djokovic in the semi-finals.

"The way Djokovic is playing now he looks untouchable at times," said Nishikori, who won four titles in 2014.

"But this has been my best season ever and I'll look to build on it by winning a grand slam title next year."

Read more on:    atp tour  |  kei nishikori  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.