Nishikori inspired by Murray’s US victory
SINGAPORE - Agence France-PresseRising star Kei Nishikori said yesterday he needed to emulate US Open champion Andy Murray’s new aggressive style of play if he is to challenge the top players in the men’s game.
The Japanese player was hailed as a future promise after he won an ATP Tour title in 2008, aged 18, in only his sixth start on the tour and just a year after turning professional.
However Nishikori’s win in Delray Beach, Florida, remains his only ATP title to date and he currently ranks 17 in the world, well below Murray whose switch to a more attacking-minded game saw the Scot make his Grand Slam breakthrough earlier this month.
“I want to be a little bit more aggressive,” Nishikori told a press conference in Singapore.
“Like you’ve seen Andy, he is coming to the net more and he had a good result this couple of months so hopefully I can play like him, little bit more aggressive, more consistent,” the Japanese star said.
Nishikori said he watched the US Open final and observed that Murray, who has been criticised in the past for being too defensive, was going for his shots especially on the forehand side against Novak Djokovic.
“I saw the final, it was unbelievable like rallies at almost every point,” said Nishikori.
“He was attacking, using more forehand... I think that is what he was working (on) so that made him win the Open and I think he is going to win more and more.” Nishikori, Japan’s top player with a career high ranking of 16 in March, rates his 2012 season as a “decent year” so far despite being interrupted by injuries which sidelined him for two months.
The 22-year-old achieved his best Grand Slam result ever at this year’s Australian Open where he reached the quarter-finals, the first man from his country to achieve the feat.
He also reached the Olympic singles quarter-final in London last month, losing to 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina.
“I had some injuries this May, I lost two months I think without tournament,” said Nishikori.
“But it’s a decent year I think. I did well in Australia and I did good in Olympics.”