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An Interview With: Kei Nishikori

Monday, August 31, 2015

Q. The obvious question: You had such great success here last year. To be eliminated from the first round, how disappointing is that?

KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it's very sad to lose always first round, but I think he was playing good tennis. So, I mean, I don't think I played bad. Didn't play great, but still, it's never easy first match. He's a good player. You know, try to think about next one, and I hope I can come back strong next year.

Q. You just feel you were outplayed? He just had a better game today and got the win?

KEI NISHIKORI: I think so. I kind of started a little bit slow, but second and third I was playing good tennis. Also fourth too. But it was just a little less focus my service game, and he was playing aggressive. So it wasn't really easy to play for me.

Q. Specifically what happened in the fourth set tiebreaker? You were in a good spot there.

KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah. I mean, I had match point and I kind of lost a little bit my forehand. I mean, tiebreak can go both ways so maybe I lost a little bit concentration, but he was hitting good serves, too. Maybe, you know, I lost -- especially first couple games in the fifth set I lost my concentration and he returned well, too. I mean, credit for him, too, playing good tennis with these conditions.

Q. Did you feel more nervous going out on the court today knowing that last year you were a finalist here?

KEI NISHIKORI: Not really. Maybe I was tight for, you know, first couple of games, but after that I was playing good. And also, he was very aggressive player, so there was many rallies and it was tough to get rhythm. He hits a lot of dropshot and good serves. I think it's more because of him, you know, I wasn't playing 100%.

Q. Not taking anything out of Paire, but I'd like to ask you, when you say I lost concentration of games in the fifth set, match point, for a professional player like you and your results and your ranking, it sounds difficult for me to explain to a spectator that you can lose concentration in the first game of the fifth set. How can I explain that?

KEI NISHIKORI: I don't know. It was a long match and it's never easy. You know, I had forehand to finish and I couldn't really make it. So took a little bit long time. I shouldn't, you know, thinking too much. But because of, you know, first match in Grand Slam, it's never easy to lose that opportunity. Took couple times some time to get back in the match.

Q. Last year those long matches, you became known for that. Has anything changed in the past 12 months?

KEI NISHIKORI: I mean, it's just one match, so I cannot say something changed. But I think it's more him playing good tennis. You know, it's tough to lose in five sets, but I think I fight to end. You know, it was good match for both of us.

Q. Your physical condition, was it part of the result? At the end of the fourth set you did something with your leg. Were you really tight because it was so humid?

KEI NISHIKORI: No, it wasn't too bad. Maybe fourth and fifth it gets a little bit hot, but physically I was fine.

Q. People always talk about the pressure of coming back to a place you did well. Nobody wants to feel that pressure; at the same time, does it sometimes help to embrace the pressure and feel you have to go out there and perform? Is there something you have to deal with to either take some of it or not take it? What goes on in your mind about that?

KEI NISHIKORI: I think these couple of months I have been maybe -- I say couple years I was feeling pretty good, you know, good confidence and not feeling too much pressure. I tried to focus what I have to do, training and good practice and just play good match on the court. So I try not to think too much about outside things. I think I have been handling really well, you know, all the pressure. I just try to enjoy every match.

Q. The year is not over, but the four slams are over. It's a big part of tennis. What is your summer this year? I mean, do you see it as in a positive way? So-so? You expected more? What?

KEI NISHIKORI: I think it was good. I mean, sad, you know, losing first match here, but I play good tennis in Montreal, too, and I won Washington, you know, first time. I don't know what's happened today, but I think I've been playing good. I think it's been one of the best years so far. Just try to focus again next couple of months and try to aim for London.