According to his agent, Kei Nishikori has withdrawn from the upcoming Rome Masters where he was to play Ernests Gulbis in the first round. The 24-year-old had to retire today in Madrid final to Rafael Nadal.
From Nishikori's agent Olivier van Lindonk: Kei is pulling out of Rome,will fly back home to Bradenton, Fla to get ready for the French Open
— Randy Walker (@TennisPublisher) May 11, 2014
Nishikori was leading Nadal by a set and a break when at 4-3 in the second the Japanese received treatment for an ailing back. Nadal took the second set then three games into the third set Nishikori retired to lose 2-6, 6-3, 3-0 ret.
“There is a lot of confidence I get from this tournament by beating [Ferrer] in three sets and playing well in the final today,” said Nishikori.
“It’s going to be very exciting at [Roland Garros] because I’ve never feel like this on clay. I’m very confident of whatever I hit going for winners. I can hit from either side – forehand or backhand – so it’s a very good feeling that I have on clay right now.”
Nishikori had won 14 straight matches and was 9-0 on clay this year.
“I’m very sorry for Nishikori,” Nadal said. “He’s an unbelievable player that will fight to be in London. I am sure of that. I really hope that the injury is not too bad and he will be able to compete in Roland Garros.”
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