Nishikori Escapes Monfils, Kyrgios Is Next; Djokovic v Goffin; Miami SF Picks And Pans
by Sean Randall | March 31st, 2016, 10:44 pm
  • 92 Comments

Another Masters events and another surprising Final Four – remember when it used to be the same guys every week? There’s Novak Djokovic back again, so too is David Goffin and newcomer Nick Kyrgios plus Kei Nishikori. That, after an interesting final day of quarterfinal play.

In the matinee, Kei Nishikori solved a steady, restrained Gael Monfils by saving no fewer than five matchpoints to prevail 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3).

After overcoming a set down, Nishikori had control of the match lead 4-2 in the third, especially with Monfils look weary. But things fell apart for the Japenese behind some great shotmaking from the Frenchman (and Kei). And things came to a head with Nishikori serving to stay in the match at 4-5, 0-40. But it wasn’t meant to be.

β€œWhen I was down 4-5, love-40, I thought it was going to be it,” Nishikori said. β€œIt was going to be tough to come back. I tried to play one point at time.

“I saw that he was down a little bit in the tie-break, so I tried to be focused. I did pretty well in the tie-break.”

And I agree, Nishikori had no business winning that match so credit to him for fighting back the way he did. But he should never have lost that break lead in the third.

Monfils has really matured for whatever reason this season – maybe Swedish coach Mikael Tillstrom has finally got him on track. Monfils is almost 30 so it might be a little too late to make a move toward the top, but good for him. He’s playing some of the best, most consistent tennis of his career. That said, when you have 0-40 and three match points you have to convert. He didn’t and he’s out of the tournament.

“At 3-4 I really raised my level,” Monfils said. “I started to be very aggressive, started to go for it, and still had the strong feeling that I could make it.

“At the end, I pushed very hard and definitely had an opportunity to close it out, but Kei fought well. In the tie-break he was just better than me.”

In the night match, Nick Kyrgios continued to prove why he’s the next superstar in tennis by dismantling Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6. Kyrgios, got a quick break, kept up the aggression (and the courtside conversations) against the mild-mannered Milos who was trying to reach his second straight Masters Series semifinal. But the Canadian couldn’t get a read on the Kyrgios serve.

“I came out really energetic and got pretty lucky,” Kyrgios said. “That definitely made me more relaxed.”

So the semifinals are set: Novak Djokovic against David Goffin and then in the evening it’s Nishikori against Kyrgios. On to my picks.

Novak Djokovic v David Goffin
In a true “David v Goliath” matchup, I’m sure there aren’t many picking Goffin here. Unlike Cincinnati last summer where Djokovic has never won, Djokovic is a 5-time Miami champion winning his last 14. And if Goffin can’t close out the Serb from 3-0 up and serving on Novak’s worst Masters court, how is he going to beat him tomorrow?

“I have nothing to lose,” said Goffin. “He won almost everything this year. He’s playing unbelievable tennis at the moment. But I played a great match against him last year in Cincinnati, and it could be interesting to watch the match.”

Goffin shouldn’t re-watch that. Well, maybe just the second and first 10 minutes of the third.

Meanwhile, Djokovic, who leads Goffin 3-0, doesn’t need to rewatch anything. He just needs to play his game and I think that’s what happens here. The speedy Goffin has some firepower – he’s not just a counterpuncher – so if Djokovic keeps balls short it could become an issue. But at just 2-25 v Top 10, I don’t think the Belgian even believes he has a chance here.

The one thing of concern for Djokovic is his back. We saw him have some issues Wednesday night. He says they’re nothing but we’ll find out if that’s really the case or just spin.

So Goffin sounds more than happy to have made back-to-back Masters semifinals at Indian Wells and now Miami. He has to be satisfied. Djokovic, though, isn’t.
The pick: Djokovic in two

Kei Nishikori v Nick Kyrgios
In the night match, the question becomes just how well Nishikori can recover from that grueling 2.5 hour cliffhanger against Monfils?

We know of Nishikori’s history with retirements and other health issues, so this is a legitimate concern. And compounding the concern is the kid across the net.

Kyrgios is hot. He hasn’t lost a set and he just won Marseille last month. And he seems like a streaky kind of player, with that up-tempo style. And the 20-year-old is into his first career Masters semifinal, a stage I don’t think will bother the youngster one bit.

Kyrgios also has the crushing serve, the powerful groundies and he’s got good wheels around the court. So he’s got a lot of weaponry.

But if Nishikori is physically and mentally ok – a big if with him – he’s the all-around better player. And he’s got the experience.

As we saw today, Nishikori is so tough in final sets and that backhand of his is second only to Djokovic’s.

“Kei is one of the greatest players in the world at the moment,” said Kyrgios. “He has an unbelievable return of serve, moves unbelievably fast, hits big from the baseline, and doesn’t have many weaknesses.

“When I played him in Shanghai I didn’t really do too much wrong. He just played a really well in the big moments. I definitely had chances. I know what my game plan is going to be. It’s going to be a tough match, but I’m looking forward to it. He’s a great guy.”

Kyrgios did get a set the only time they played in a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 loss in Shanghai, so I expect another tough match especially is Kei’s struggling. But unless there’s a health issue, experience should win out over youth.
The pick: Nishikori in 3

ESPN will have live coverage of both semifinals at 1pm and at 7pm.


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Kyrgios Handles Monfils, Faces Goffin For Tokyo Title
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Djokovic Powers Into Miami QFs, Faces Berdych Wednesday; Monfils Outlasts Dimitrov, Raonic Rolls
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92 Comments for Nishikori Escapes Monfils, Kyrgios Is Next; Djokovic v Goffin; Miami SF Picks And Pans

chofer Says:

Kyrgios is someone who needs a pass in spite of him being so annoying. He needs to focus more during matches (he stares at the box and stands before receiving, like he’s distratcted or somewhere else, or the match doesn’t matter to him; an annoying trend for sure) But he’s a novel talent who needs to settle down and put his patternless, almost improvisational and apparently disdainful tennis on track, asap. When Nole et all slow down, someone will need to save face for the ATP. I refuse to chase him down. He’s way more entertaining than all the emerging youngsters combined. If he’ll burn out (like Gulbis) will be not only dissapointing for him, but tennis will suffer for this, too. I like Zverev and Coric enough. But Kyrgios is something else. Hope he matures. I just cannot wait for a final with Djokovic. I need to know where he stands against the best at the moment. I know where is Kei (and we all know he is adorable enough to earn our support more than Nick, doh!); but a Nole-Kyrgios final is more intringuing for me at the moment, because for no other reason that’s something that hasn’t happened yet.


Margot Says:

Charisma beats thoroughly-nice-but-you-ain’t-got-it man.
C’mon Nick!


chofer Says:

Kei’s game is like a carbon copy to Nole. Lesser wheels and athleticism; lesser steely determination. Same baseline game with backhands their best weapons. Kyrgios game is so disruptive and unpredictable that could make his match with Nole all the more intringuing for me. Because they are polar opposites. He could collapse under so much consistency. I can see frustration. But I see no fear in Kyrgios, too. Remember: his first two top 10 victories were against Nadal and Federer. That should be the waiver for a future champion. The good thing is that he has the tools. I need to know if he has the shot selection and patience. Reason says not yet. But I want to see that for real. It’s about time.


Okiegal Says:

All he can do, other than play tennis rather well,is looking around to see who all is watching him. I swear he is obsessed with the crowd…..like he needs validation that he is out there on the court
playing. I don’t get it….and that mouth is always going. I think he was vaccinated with a phonograph needle…..he is yappin’ continually about something……lots of good tools for tennis but he is OBNOXIOUS…..


chofer Says:

Okiegal

I don’t think he’s obsessed with the crowd. I just think he is hyperventilating his energy somewhere. On the contrary, I think he’s not paying attetion. Not even when the rival is about to serve, and he stops him because he’s not “ready”. He certainly looks obnoxious this way. Bodo describes him well in an article on ESPN. I’m not justifying his behaviour. I just don’t see a “look at me, I’m a diva” the way everybody seems to see it. Even if he believes he is one, I don’t see in on the court. Maybe it’s the psychologist in me, but it seems to me this kid has either a very short span attention or can’t stand still to be focused which is a sympton of hiding nervousness. Or both. In short, a hyperactive pre-teen in the body of a 20 year old who’s getting away alone with raw talent. There’s no reason he should be winning matches being this way. That’s what’s make him so special to me. Even if he’s obnoxious to a Capital O. McEnroe and Leconte used to be that way. Exhasperating. Time will tell whose career Kyrgios will resemble the most. I’m not dying to be inside of his head. That’s all I know.


anki Says:

Novak is kind of shaky at the moment, just doing enough to get the wins. Great chance for Kyrgios to win his first masters title.


Margot Says:

@OKiegal
He’s young, he’s flashy, cut him some slack do. Saw him at Wimbledon, thought “brat” but he’s really grown on me.
@Chofer
I love the way Nick knows no fear. Part of the joy of being young, with nothing to lose.He does remind me of Mac too.
Really liked your aserbic comment about Kei too, yep far, far more “adorable” than Nick, but…..;)


Okiegal Says:

@Chofer……Exactly, he’s not paying attention…. that is what I’m talking about. He is too busy bobbing around. Maybe he isn’t obsessed with the crowd and like you said trying to hide nervousness. He is a talented guy, and I just bet he would drive a coach crazy and probably would pay no attention to one anyway. He expends lots of energy. I guess he can get by with that since he is so young. Thanks for the feedback. You put a different slant on this colorful character.

Margot, I think he will grow up in time. He just lacks maturity. He is so talented and is on his way up…..if he can keep his head screwed on tight. I will give him a chance…….


J-Kath Says:

Gosh you guys – all of you on this thread – some amusing and scintillating comments.

I’ve always liked Nick (apart from when he hurts people e.g. Stan).

At the moment he’s on a roll …but he’s a bit Jekyll & Hyde – very dodgy for people who would like to bet on him though..


Giles Says:

Hey Margot. Did the brat grow on you after Andy said he likes him???
😚


Wog Boy Says:

I almost fell for it, timber surface for AO2017, good one:

http://youtu.be/zhD3SVCObro


chofer Says:

Okiegal

I think I found the right expression: He’s very suceptible to the environment. He’s not calling attention to himself. On the contrary, I fly buzzing on the second row SURELY will catch his attention first and he’ll ask the fly to be killed. So, for me, it’s the opposite. So many things, so much noise, so much distractions. No wonder Wimbledon suits him like a glove. A graveyard would be his fittiest court. And when he’s bothered, he’s vocal about it.
McEnroe is the only person who could use these odds and turned them head over heels for his benefit. The angrier he got, the better he played. I can’t tell if Kyrgios will be the second one. Let’s see. But his mind, believe me, is everywhere out there. Maybe this is a motivation for him. But I doubt it. Of course, when he’s playing well, he feeds from the public recognition. But he’s not the only one on this. But he’s expressive and vocal, for better or worse.


AndyMira Says:

I’ll say kyrgious in 2..his most greatest assets other than his monster serve is that he has no fear..if he can neautralize another monster server like raonic in straight sets..i think he will do the same with kei..although kei’s game is much more dangerous than raonic with his constant DTL shots..but nick will neutralize that with his own powerful forehand and backhand too..


Margot Says:

@RZ
We’ve got Sockit and Poppit, Jamie and Bruno( what a shame his family name isn’t “Mars”) and now the adorable PH Herbert and the not-quite-but-almost adorable Nick, not not that one, Mahut. Doubles competition looking good.
Was just thinking what a shame, due to technology/surface/fashion/whatever, that all these natural s and v ers are now to be found only in doubles. I suppose Lopez is the exception.


Markus Says:

“…vaccinated with a phonograph needle…” Hahaha!

Okiegal, as long as you can come up with great zingers like that, you can go ahead and insult anybody. I Love it, especially because I can’t stand Kyrgios either.


RZ Says:

@Margot – doubles competition is fun! I just wish that Paes and Querish (not necessarily as partners) could get back in the mix.

There aren’t too many S&V players, but there are some players willing to mix it up at times. I’ve seen Thiem do it on occasion.


Okiegal Says:

@Markus…..Well, he drives me crazy…but he’s got game!! He will be very popular with the majority of tennis fans because they like to follow after controversy. Nick will always be trying to stir things up for attention…..He craves that! I just don’t agree with Chofer….Nick seeks the attention, loves it and thrives on it…..maybe his game is better because of it. This is Nick……love him or hate him. He is fun to watch, that I agree with.


Humble Rafa Says:

Finally God has delivered. Xisca is pregnant with triplets. In any world, it’s better than two twins.

At this point, tennis has taken on the backseat. All the focus is going to be on Xisca’s health and the well being of my children.

Yes, I will marry Xisca, the love of my life, before the babies are born.


jalep Says:

RZ

Do you know what’s up with SanTina? I there some trouble there?

Love PHH and Mahut. Don’t know that much about Klaasen/Ram dubs. Ram has been having a good run in singles. When his confidence is up his serve is ridiculous.

And I’m on team Krygios. Go Nick! Not sure he’ll have consistency over time. His run in Marseille was hilarious. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

Of course I’m still a big Kei fan – but hesitate to pick a winner for today.


Margot Says:

@Giles
Um no…the “brat” grew on me after he was so complimentary about Andy. Showing impeccable taste there, I feel. ;)
Just bored with all the blandness, plus exciting game of course.


Markus Says:

@Okiegal. Yes, Kyrgios has game and is always a threat to beat anybody. Hopefully, he can be mature and behave better, i.e, no nasty comments towards anybody. He can sulk and curse to himself as much as he wants as long as they are not directed to anyone. I guess I have to learn to like him and focus only on how he plays. I have no other young one to pick as a favorite at this time.


Margot Says:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/35940666
Nick youngest player to reach a Masters semi since JMDP and is now youngest into top 20.
Way to go! Hope it will motivate him to keep going.


Margot Says:

Grrr: youngest in top 20 for 7 years.


RZ Says:

@Jalep – I haven’t been following SanTina as much as I should be. My guess it’s regression to the mean – at some point the win streak had to come to an end, and once it does it gives other players hope. The spring will be more telling about whether anything is going on, but my guess is that all is fine with them.


jalep Says:

Margot

On a side note – Nick will pass his good mate Bernie too.

That (should) motivate Bernie? I wonder…


jalep Says:

RZ – Okay, thanks. I’ll calm down.

BMS and Lucie are back πŸ™‚


RZ Says:

I can’t bring myself to cheer for Nick Kyrgios even as an April Fool’s joke. Just can’t do it…


RZ Says:

@Jalep – I’m happy BMS and Lucie are playing together again too. BMS is so much fun to watch!

BTW, welcome back from Miami! We are onto your tennis player alter-ego. :-) http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2016-03-30/22421.php


jalep Says:

RZ πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Yes, that’s me. Lost to that goggle-eyed Swiss Miss! Dang.


jalep Says:

RZ – no way Nick Kyrgios is for everyone. I’d guess there’s more tennis fans who feel like you do and it’s completely understandable.

For me, I realized the past few months that I was looking forward to his matches way too much to deny not liking him.

Not sure I want to watch this Goffin/Nole match. Makes me long for an under 6 foot category in tennis. I’ll stay with it for a bit. The match I can’t wait to see is Kei v Nick.


Green Lady Says:

Humble Rafa is that true, or some April fools wind up ? ….


jalep Says:

Green Lady -

It’s April Fools. But I’ll admit googling to make sure about the rumors earlier, lol – Rafa retiring and Nole having mono.

Goffin got a break?! Nole won’t let him hold, shirley?


Green Lady Says:

Jalep thought so ;)) ….


jalep Says:

Nole breaks right back.

Order restored. Goffin was too nervous to hold. His serve was pretty good vs Simon.


jalep Says:

Green Lady –

Heard this song by Joni Mitchell last weekend and though of you – also it brought back being a young girl and being in love with her voice and lyrics – her poetry is still wonderful after all these years. Hope you like it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQQA5KtDCOs
Lyrics included.


Green Lady Says:

Many thanks Jalep, loved it ;)), CHEERS ….


chofer Says:

Okiegal

Iwish I was inside Kyrgios head to know the truth. But we DO agree he seems distracted most of the time. Whatever the reason for this might be, that won’t help him in the long run. I insist I’ve only seen one player who can cope with that burning head and stiil win many matches: McEnroe. But, in the end, that shortcoming caght up to him, too. So, it’s difficult to see where the aussie is heading. I want to be posotive with him because a) I really like his game and b) The ATP will need someone to carry the torch aftre the golden generation start fadin away (somethinh that is probably happening right now).
There are no reasons I would like him for other reasons. Tennis needs heirs… Kyrgios seems like the potential number one because he has more game than anybody out of his age group, and he seems fearless. But, there will always be a big “if” with him because his mind is a piece of work. So, I have a contradictory feeling about him. But I surely know 100% the sport will benefit if he matures and reach the next level. In the meantime, I do pay attention when he plays. He’s no ordinary player for many reasons I mentioned before. That alone makes him interesting to watch. Unless he can’t tame himself and his tantrums, I will keep supporting his growth.


jane Says:

margot to add to your stat @12:09

“There are two double digit seeds in the semi-finals for the first time since 2007 when No. 10 Djokovic defeated No. 12 Murray.”

———-

was happy to see boris sticking up for novak on twitter. ;)

Boris Becker @TheBorisBecker 2m2 minutes ago
Easy Mr.Cowan ! U go and play in 100 degrees …against opponent with nothing to lose .. .@SkySportsTennis

boffin played well though novak played the big points better. wow, it looked brutally hot. they both went off court after set 1 soaking wet. phew.


jane Says:

^ goffin, sorry, my spellcheck did that!


Wog Boy Says:

Good on Becker, he doesn’t hold back:)


mat4 Says:

@jane:

You were lucky it didn’t change it to “coffin”.


chrisford1 Says:

From a gal I know who read it elsewhere

2015 Miami Open is the 1st time Novak is the oldest player in any semifinal he’s been in.
Neat.


Dave Says:

Old man Nole is still showing those young guys how it’s done.


Okiegal Says:

@choker….Agree with your last comment. I will be watching him tonight and I am picking the “Kid” in three. I do enjoy his game, I will just hit the mute button…….🐊🐊🐊 (crocs in honor of Australia) He will reach maturity at some point….surely!!


James Says:

While Djokovic is still winning this year (so far), he has had tougher matches and sets compared to last year. Speed and stamina are key to his game too, like Nadal. He is very close to hitting that age where both start to go away just that little bit. Then you are everyone’s pigeon, like Nadal is now.

Djokovic doesn’t have the offensive weapons of a Federer to last till age 34 and be No. 2. While his slide may not be as steep as Nadal’s was, He is showing some signs already. Though his mental toughness is supreme, which carries him through the big points better than almost anyone else in history.


Okiegal Says:

@Jane…..don’t you just hate spell check?? Grrr


Okiegal Says:

My spell check said choker instead of chofer..Sorry chofer!!


BBB Says:

James, IIRC, Djokovic only had one bad match during the Australian Open. I don’t think his form between majors matters all that much as he structures his schedule to peak at the majors.


Daniel Says:

Kei impeccable today! Kyrgios DF to give the set to Kei.

Let’s see if he’ll keep this intensity.


jane Says:

crowd trying to cheer on nick but he’s not showing much game today…and kei having a good serving day on the other side.

it’ll be different tomorrow in mid-day heat.


mat4 Says:

Is there a way to “like” James comment? Full of grace and brightness.


jane Says:

yes, okie. but then it has it’s benefits too.


jane Says:

^ its…

the second set is closer…


mat4 Says:

@jane:

Twitter is an illness. Although posting here, sometimes… is also a madness.


chofer Says:

Tactics, concentration and execution beat improvisation, dispersion and impatience today. A battle of a Pro vs a Junior. It was too logic. Good serving day for Kei, congrats. But the Sunday Player will win the whole thing. You know who.

Nick, you will need 2 months training in Guyana at 200% humidity as penance:)


Wog Boy Says:

That was little bit of anticlimax, you can’t beat Nishikori if you don’t take advantage of his slower second serve, Nishikori won more that 70% of his second serve and he had quit a few of them. Still great result for Nick, masters SF, he can move on with a lot of positives from Miami.


chofer Says:

Wog Bog

I 100% agree. But Kyrgios will never be SOLID. What I expected from him, as you said, is that he would be much more aggresive. It turned out the other way round. It’s Novak’s to lose now. He’s the better day player (the fittier) and a formidable Sunday player. And I will never forgive Nish his horrendous match against Cilic at the US Open. That pulled me back from him since that. He was clearly the better player, and he choked badly. He will need to pull a miracle next Sunday to believe in him again. I like his tennis. But I have a feeling that won’t happen.


Humble Rafa Says:

mat4 Says:
Is there a way to β€œlike” James comment? Full of grace and brightness.

No, but you can fly over and kiss him or her.


Humble Rafa Says:

Kia Motors is not bad. He can always be a reliable second tier player.


Pauly Says:

Goffin …. Very impressive player & getting better
Look out for him in the years to come
Djokovic will win the final in straight sets the puppet aka nishikori is too error prone against quality players & lacks that talent others take for granted
Was hope for Kyrgios to win but didn’t play his best nothing to do with the puppet


Pauly Says:

Cilic Would love to get another crack at the puppet
Another thrashing would follow
Nishikori isn’t good until he proves me wrong & wins grand slam eg : French open
When pigs fly


Pauly Says:

Humble Rafa

Second tier player indeed fully agree
The puppet as I call him for obvious reasons
He’s not real genuine player like Federer Nadal Djokovic in their primes
Nishikori is a puppet
After watching him play Djokovic at Australian open just confirmed facts
Watching Cilic maul him at the US Open … Nishikori will never win grand slam not good nor fit enough


Pauly Says:

James

Speed & stamina … Lose them & become everyone’s bunny


kjb Says:

@Pauly

Did you see the Nishi/Djokovic 2014 US Open Semi?


Margot Says:

So “adorable” Kei, beats “charismatic” Nick and the “old” order is restored.
For the time being……….


Michael Says:

Even with an ailing back, I do not think Goffin would be able to withstand the fire power and jaggernaut of Novak.

While Nishikori Vs Kyrgios would be interesting and I would pick the later to go through in three tight sets.


Margot Says:

Michael? It’s “all over now” to quote the ever young..;) Stones.
Although he still looks 12, Goffin is 25, Kei 26.
Both under 6′. Either/neither likely to win a slam? Has Kei even won a Masters 1,000? Haven’t checked.
In fact Stan is the shortest man to win a slam for yoinks, coming in at a measely 6′! In fact with Stan, being a “shorty” is compensated by being so bulky, which means he serves faster than the giants. And moves faster cos he’s shorter.
Win, win.


Pauly Says:

Kjb

Djokovic wasn’t playing great in 2014
Nishikori got lucky & it showed after Cilic mauled him
Cilic was lucky Federer wasn’t playing & Nadal was once again injured plus had appendicitis


Pauly Says:

Kjb

Clarify my comment

Federer wasn’t playing well in 2014 US open
Cilic is one slam wonder
Nishikori hasn’t won one yet doubt he ever will


George Says:

@Pauly: I don’t know what is your problem with Nishikori? He is a multimillionaire, 6th in the world in his profession, totally successful. He will do his best; if he wins he wins, if he loses he loses. Regardless, he will earn a life-changing sum of money for a week of work.


blah Says:

Pauly has something against Nishikori and Asian players in general.


Pauly Says:

Nothing against Asians
It’s just that the puppet Nishikori isn’t in the league of Federer Nadal Djokovic nor Wawrinka
He’s a puppet until he wins slam I’m giving him no respect


Pauly Says:

Nishikori needs the level of Djokovic to drop to beat him
He could never beat Nadal in the past until Nadal’s level dropped bigtime
No chance against Federer not Wawrinka unless their levels fall … Not changing my opinion until the puppet wins slam


George Says:

@Pauly: Do you respect people based on ability to play tennis/their success? What about your family and friends? Are they top 10 ATP/WTA in tennis (or top 100 or top 1000)? Are any of them 6th in the world in their fields? Do they have your respect? Are you 6th in the world in your field?


chrisford1 Says:

Echoing George on Nishikori – He is phenomenally successful. The 5th highest paid male tennis star, net earnings 20 million last year, followed by a reporter and photog “pool” for Japanese other Asian media interests almost everywhere he goes.
Just penned a 50 milllion 4-year deal with UniQlo in early 2016, so his annual haul will probably eclipse Andy at this rate. Like Djokovic, also represented by IMG, has a new massive Proctor and Gamble Ltd.(Asia) contract, sum and details not yet disclosed. And is brand ambassador for some dozen other companies.
There are no crushing expectations on Kei like there have been on certain Chinese and Korean athletes at Olympics – but a medal, particularly gold or losing honorably to a Djokovic or Federer would be bigger than any Slam, according to some Japanese expats I know. Sky would be the limit after that – all leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.Marketability ++++!!!!
Wimbledon or a World Championship are next, by estimation of one Japanese group of businessmen and tennis aficionados on their “Japanese Culture Prestige Scale”.
The other Slams are 3rd tier, but if Nishikori gets one, it still would add another 10 million or so a year.
He does date some pretty hot Japanese, Chinese and gaijin, but goes without a steady, and sometimes many months of dating no one. Japanese media constantly circulates rumors of Kei being with this or that movie star, race queen, Japanese athlete. Or runs a picture of him with some blonde at a public place and tells the public he may be lost to America forever.
When he goes home to Japan, it is insane. He goes with 3 bodyguards and in a tinted SUV to protect him from injury by mobs of overenthusiastic fans.


AndyMira Says:

CF1..as usual full of deep knowledge in everything..i learned a lot from you and other inteligent,smart and genius posters here like mat4,JK,margot,WB,VP,okie,dave,jane,Danica,RZ,michael,markus and sorry if i left any name..


Pauly Says:

George

Until the puppet wins major
Im not changing my mind
He’s useless
So nothing will change my opinion
My brother is famous pizza maker


Pauly Says:

I respect my brother he makes great pizzas


Pauly Says:

Can’t wait for Djokovic to thrash the puppet & finally win the French open … It’s his time now
No one can beat him in majors this year
He will win four out of four plus Olympic gold medal
He deserves it he’s worked hard
But he won’t be around until 34 like Federer
Bring on the clay … Hopefully the greatest clay courter if all time might show up ? I forgot his name ?


George Says:

@Pauly: I got you. It is much more difficult to make great pizza than win a major.


chrisford1 Says:

Andy – I track Kei, but not at the level I follow Djokovic, Delpo, and Cilic (3 guys I picked 2007-09 and swore I’d stick with as future successes. Kei is a guy I like as close to Djokovic in speed, backhand, hand-eye coordination, but injured too much to bank on, as a fan, as I have one wounded duck already in Delpo rooting.
I confess to looking up his financials. I knew he was among the 10 richest in terms of best annual income, but not how much.
Didn’t know about his mega money new deal from UniQlo until I looked it up. I thought he was making about 13 million a year, but its now about 20 million and could double with a gold medal, year end champion, or Wimbledon.
I think Davis Cup would matter more than winning the AO, certainly more than the FO or USO, but a DC trophy needs more Japanese top players than Kei, and there are none.
But as that song when I was a kid back in the 80s went, Nishikori’s future is so bright he has to wear shades.


AndyMira Says:

CF1..is it Andy in your post @ 9:05 refer to me?If so..actually i admire you so much not only because of this post but your other past post as well..you’re always explained every issues with such details..like i said i learned a great deal from your post..i can’t help but feel grateful for your effort..thank you..


Green Lady Says:

Hopefully the greatest clay court player of all time, might show up, i forgot his name?, and this is supposed to be a so called Rafa fan?, come on pull the other one ? ….


Green Lady Says:

Agree with George, Nishikori is a very acomplished top 10 player, a player that beat Novak and Stan over five sets to make the USO final in 2014, before running out of steam against Cilic, but then again theres no point trying to reason with some people ….


gee Says:

Kei can actually play and win without getting special treatment from the bs media & commentators.
Contrast that with the eternally pathetic Roddick, who was allowed to embarrass King Novak and tennis fans outside the usa.

little Roddick literally went insane when Fed, captain Pat McEnroe and John McEnroe laughed at his failure.


blah Says:

According to Pauly’s logic, everyone who hasn’t won a slam in this field is a failure until they do so.

Okay, So Nishikori may not win a slam, but many top ten players in the Fed-Nadal-Djokovic era will finish their careers without a slam. I don’t see you hammering the likes of Berdych and Tsonga, yet everytime Nishikori pops up in the discussion it is the “puppet” remark repeated over and over.

What does that have to do with tennis? No one knows.


Green Lady Says:

Blah fantastic post ;)) ….


George Says:

@blah: Good point.
@Pauly: Explain why do you berate Nishikori alone and not Tsonga, Berdych, Ferrer etc.?


Green Lady Says:

Why berate any player, they all do their best, only the lucky few will make it as elite player, the rest are all playing to make up the numbers, some barely eeking out a living playing tennis ? ….


George Says:

@Green Lady: Pauly could have some reasons. Maybe Nishikori ruined him financially, had affair with his wife, or beat him in an important final. Pauly will tell us what it is.


Green Lady Says:

George i dont know what it is, i just dont get his posts, some of the things about Nadal, whos supposed to be his favorite, i mean believe me dont think the guys perfect by any stretch, and i dont fawn over everything he does, and hes free to be a fan of whomever he likes, but he sounds more anti Nadal than pro Nadal ? ….


Green Lady Says:

^Sorry for bringing Nadal into it, as i know we were actually talking about Nishikori ^….

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