Kei Nishikori said Wednesday he will miss Japan’s meeting this weekend in the Davis Cup quarterfinals against the Czech Republic due to a nagging groin injury.
Nishikori beat former World No. 1 Roger Federer to reach the semifinals of last week’s Sony Open, but the 24-year-old had to withdraw from the best four with pain in his left groin.
He underwent an examination after returning to Japan. The quarterfinal round against the two-time defending champion Czechs gets under way at Tokyo Ariake Colosseum from Friday.
Nishikori will focus his attention on getting healthy for the French Open starting May 25, hopefully making a comeback at the Barcelona Open being held from April 21. The 21-year-old Taro Daniel will be his replacement.
“I came home with the intention of playing, but I didn’t get a good diagnosis. It feels like inflammation,” said the 18th-ranked Nishikori. “I am disappointed. In this condition, there’s no way I could have been ready in time to play from Friday.”
In February, Nishikori scored three victories in the World Group first-round tie against last year’s semifinalist Canada to help Japan advance to the Davis Cup quarterfinals for the first time since the current tournament structure started in 1981.
Japan coach Minoru Ueda was still upbeat despite the loss of his ace player.
“We unmistakably have the home advantage. Chances will come our way,” Ueda said at a news conference. Go Soeda, who was feeling ill, did not attend.
A total of five singles and doubles ties will be played over the three days, and the team with three victories advances to the semifinals.