Kei Nishikori Set To Return By End Of May

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori has had his fair share of struggles the last couple of years. However, the 33-year-old is due to make his long-anticipated return at Little Rock, Arkansas in two weeks

Kei Nishikori returns

The Japanese player had hip surgery in 2022 and had hoped to make a return to the circuit about six months after the operation. However, unfortunately, this did not happen, as the Olympic Bronze Medallist and US Open finalist has been bothered still by a foot injury.

The Japanese had been a consistent Grand Slam competitor, having made at least the quarterfinal in each of the four majors. Nishikori also made the semifinal twice at the World Tour Finals. Having to undergo surgery is never good for players. Recovery times vary depending on age and of course the surgery itself. Emma Raducanu has just undergone her third surgery in an attempt to sort out i all her issues at the same time.

The former Japanese #1 announced he hopes to return to the tour in May. The 33-year-old plans to start on the Challenger circuit. This is a good opportunity to get some matches under his belt. Nishikori will want to start winning and get his ranking back up. The Japanese is currently outside the top 800 and will need to build back up to get into Grand Slams and other main tour events.
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Managing expectations

Nishikori will be rusty when he starts back, not having played a match since 2021. However, starting on the lower level is a good thing, as there are plenty of ITF and Challenger tour events throughout the season. Some cities have multiple weeks, so without having to travel the 33-year-old can build up his matches.

The Japanese posted on his social media clips of him hitting balls on the court in Florida. Nishikori has been missed on the tour, and it will be good to have him back competing at the highest level.

Main Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports