• Kyodo


World No. 4 Kei Nishikori played through pain but was eliminated by world No. 40 Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals at the Miami Open on Wednesday.

On top of the left knee injury he sustained a day earlier in the fourth round, the 27-year-old was bothered by an aching right wrist at Crandon Park Tennis Center and unable to put forth his best effort and prevent himself from dropping in the world rankings.

“I wasn’t able to play in 100 percent form today,” said Nishikori, who is expected to fall to seventh when the new ATP rankings are released.

“I suddenly started feeling pain in my right wrist in my fourth-round match yesterday and it hurt today too. It’s so disappointing I don’t know what to say,” he said.

Nishikori, who said he wasn’t able to hit serves or forehand strokes properly in the 1-hour, 8-minute match, had cut practice short after only 20 minutes, but decided to take a chance when he heard that his opponent was considering withdrawing due to injury.

“It wasn’t that serious so I decided to play and see how I feel. Without my serves and forehands he was a tough opponent to beat,” he said.

Nishikori reached the semifinals here last year for his best performance in seven appearances in the Florida tournament. Despite his many career accomplishments, Nishikori has yet to win a Masters title.

After a break, he is scheduled to compete in the April 24-30 Barcelona Open, a clay court tournament staged at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona, the oldest tennis club in Spain.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.