I have always found it difficult to engage on a fan level with Kei Nishikori.
He is super talented but for me there is an issue which has been there for as long as I remember.
The weight of the world is on his shoulders.
The attention, expectations and pressure he has received during this career from media, fans and of course being one of the high profile players to have come out of Asia.
For me, Kei just looks; stressed and lethargic quite a lot of the time which does give you confidence watching.
I didn’t see anything from him today which changed that, even the win against Federer I still felt like he just didn’t connect.
This win against Federer on Sunday night could go either way for Kei. He either uses it to propel or it pushes him back.
Usually big wins for any player means they will propel but that pressure continues to mount on him.
It’s been an odd year for Kei. To get here was great following his issues with injuries, he began his year around March/April on the challenger tour and has 7 top 10 wins which is his most in a year since 2014 when he made the US Open final.
Next up for Kei we have to see what he can bring to the court against Dominic Thiem. His fate will likely be out of his hands now but he will want to end the year on a high and following Sunday’s heroics and Tuesday’s collapse there is a lot of work to do to be considered a contender not only here but in the future at the big tournaments.