Earlier this week in Brisbane Kei Nishkori addressed the media speaking about what the process was in hiring former World No. 2 and American great Michael Chang.
“We played exhibition two years ago in Japan,” Nishikori said. “That’s first meeting of us. That time I didn’t think he is going to coach me, but end of this year I was start thinking to finding someone advise me more about something I need to get top 10. That was my goal this year and I couldn’t do it.
“I finally find time. I was practicing with him in California two weeks in December. Yeah, it’s been great. He’s so detail and he tells me a lot of things that I feel improving a lot. Yeah, I think it’s good matchup.”
Chang, now 41, made his big splash in 1989 when he won the French Open as a 17-year-old, and was before Nishikori was even born!
“I haven’t seen his play live,” Nishikori admitted. “Like I seen his play, but not on live. So I would see more like Roger and Andre and Pete. But, yeah, he’s not the tall guy; same as me. I mean, he’s American but he’s half Asian. do think we can know more stuff. Yeah, I think we doing great.”
Nishikori finished 2013 ranked No. 17 after standing on the cusp of the Top 10 at No. 11 in July. Nishikori, who’s battled a assortment of injuries already in his career, had some nice wins at the end of 2013 earning wins over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Grigor Dimitrov, Jurgen Melzer and Julien Benneteau. And after a restful off season the newly-turned 24-year-old says he’s feeling in good health.
“I had a month, almost a month off, three weeks off in Japan, and I was in Hawaii for a little bit,” he said. “I practice with Michael two weeks, and I had almost a month good practice and good preparation for this week.”
In his season debut, the second-seeded Nishikori faces Matt Ebden today in Brisbane.
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