World No. 4 Kei Nishikori said yesterday that despite swiftly rising up the ranks, he doesn’t feel any extra pressure from his home country of Japan where he’s such a popular star.
“I’m very comfortable,” said Nishikori after an opening win over Pablo Andujar. “I don’t feel much pressure from Japan or anything. I just try to focus what I can do.
“It’s very honor to be No. 1 player right now in Asia. I hope tennis gets bigger in Asia. You see the Korean kids is doing well again. I hope more guys are coming.”
While he’s happy to be Asia’s best, his sights are set much higher.
“My goal is not to make new records in Asia, it’s to be one of the best players in the world,” he said. “There’s more things to do, but I am having fun on this journey.
“To be No. 1 there’s many things to do. But I think I’ve been doing what I have to do right now. Doing a lot of things to work hard off the court. I worked hard the two weeks before Washington.
“I think stay healthy is the most important thing for me ’cause if I can play well and if I can play every tournaments decent amounts, you know, I think next goal is to win a Masters or Grand Slam. For me, I’m No.5, but I haven’t get any title from Masters or Grand Slam. So I think that’s going to be my next goal.”
The 25-year-old just won Washington last week beating John Isner in a 3-set final, his third title of the year. And last year he made the US Open final.
Nishikori plays tonight against Belgian David Goffin.
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