Japanese world number nine Kei Nishikori has become the latest injury casualty of 2017. He has decided to end his season because of a wrist issue and will now return to competitive tennis in 2018.
Nishikori, who had missed the Cincinnati Open because of the same issue, is the third high-profile player in the ATP circuit to call it quits for 2017, following in the footsteps of Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka.
According to a media release, Nishikori heard a pop in his shoulder while serving and once he was checked by a few wrist specialists, the decision to take a break was taken.
Two days ago during practice in Cincinnati, Kei hit a serve and heard a ‘pop’ in his wrist. ‘We saw another specialist today to get a second opinion. On top of that we have sent MRI results to three other wrist specialists to ensure we get several independent opinions from specialists.
After consulting with all of them, it has become clear that Kei has a tear in one of the tendons in the right wrist.
At this stage we have elected not to do surgery and Kei is in a cast. After the swelling comes down in the next weeks, we will evaluate next steps. Kei will withdraw from all the 2017 tournaments and work hard to be ready for next year.
Nishikori last played at the Canadian Masters where he went down to Gael Monfils in the round of 32. His 2017 season hasn’t been the best, with a fourth round exit at the Australian Open, a quarter-final ouster at the French Open and a third round defeat at Wimbledon.
Amidst all of this, Nishikori made it to the final of a tournament just once, losing to Alexandr Dolgopolov in the final of the ATP Buenos Aires in February.
His wrist issues have been around for a while and even forced him to withdraw from the Barcelona Open, before he gave Novak Djokovic a bye before the start of their quarter-final at Madrid.
While Nishikori did make it to the semi-final of the Citi Open in Washington, his defeat in his last match of the year, to Monfils, came in stunning circumstances – Nishikori had four match points in the final set before going down to the Frenchman.
With Andy Murray struggling with his hip injury, it would be interesting to see if Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal enter the 2017 US Open as the only two top players of note.