NEW YORK – Kei Nishikori, whose ascent to No. 9 in the latest world tennis rankings made him the first Japanese man to break into the top ten, spoke on Tuesday about his anticipated return from injury for the year’s second Grand Slam event and his commitment to becoming one of the world’s top five players.
“I believe I’ll be able to play in the French Open,” Nishikori said in a media conference call from his Florida practice facility, where he is currently recovering from the back injury that forced him to retire from the Madrid Open final against world No. 1 Rafael Nadal on Sunday. “I was in pain since the (Madrid quarterfinal) match against Feliciano Lopez. Now, there is still a bit of stiffness when I walk.