NEW YORK – Kei Nishikori said Sunday he will miss next year’s Australian Open as he is “still not 100 percent” ready to compete with the world’s best following the right elbow surgery he underwent in October.
Nishikori, who last played on Aug. 31 in the U.S. Open third round, said in late November he was targeting a return for the ATP Cup, a team event in which players represent their nations, from Jan. 3. He then planned to play at the Australian Open, the year’s first Grand Slam, from Jan. 20.
“Unfortunately, I have to pull out of the ATP Cup and the Aussie Open,” Nishikori, who turned 30 on Sunday, wrote on his official app. “Today, together with my team, we have made this decision.”
Nishikori in November added former world No. 1 doubles player Max Mirnyi of Belarus to his coaching staff, with former French Open champ Michael Chang staying on to provide support in big tournaments.
“This decision was not taken lightly as Australia is one of my favorite places to compete. Together with my team, I will keep working hard to be back on the court as soon as possible. Thanks for all the support,” he said.