4 years ago Kei Nishikori made the US Open final.
Wins against fellow top 10 players Raonic, Nishikori and Djokovic saw him reach his first major final. His performances were exceptional as he made his first major final but is still searching for that big career title win.
In the final against Cilic his game didn’t have any steel or adaption to the circumstances he found himself in and four years on I see him being no closer to a big win.
His win/loss record against some of the best on the tour currently reads at;
Nadal – 2/10
Djokovic – 2/15
Federer – 2/5
Del Potro – 2/6
Murray – 2/9
Wawrinka – 4/4
Cilic – 8-6
22 wins and 55 defeats in 77 matches against the fellow challengers.
After Wimbledon he did take time off last year with injuries something that has held him back during his career but did make a return around Miami to the tour.
Kei turns 29 at the end of the year and there aren’t many more opportunities for silverware for the remainder of the season and the target for him has to be the World Tour Finals but is currently 1000 points off the mark so that is pressure to get back there.
Kei has no major or Masters titles to his name yet and is 0-5 in the two categories combined and has lost his last 5 finals without a title since February 2016.
Right now, I don’t see an improvement on where he was a few years back.
His run at the US Open this year showed me that as well. His performance against Cilic was fantastic as it were when he saw off Djokovic in 2014 but he could not adapt to the way Novak was playing in the semi-final and it was a walk in the back.
His win/loss against the tours best is 28% and this is not what is needed and I felt watching him against Novak he waved the white flag quite early. I think the ship has sailed. Some players do achieve more in their 30’s but with the current young crop of players making a lot of noise I don’t see it happening right now.