A continuing elbow injury to Kei Nishikori will sideline Asia’s top player for another month, with the world No. 8 now set to miss not only his home Japan Open in Tokyo but also a high-profile October exhibition with Roger Federer in the capital.
The Florida-based Nishikori advised of his injury plight on social media.
“These past days I sat down with my medical team to continue monitoring my arm/elbow,” he wrote.
“This has been bothering me since the French Open off and on. The good news is that there is great progress, it’s healing, and I am finally close to being pain free.”
But the 30-year-old added: “Structurally my arm and elbow look good – but ewe are not 100 per cent there yet.”
Nishikori cited ‘swelling and fluid in the arm/elbow’, adding: “Doctors feel it’s in my best interest to take 3-4 more weeks off without tennis.”
The enforced pause will put paid to the player’s annual appearance at the ATP Tokyo event and will force cancellation of an October 14 exho with Federer put on by the Uniqlo clothing giant which sponsors both men.
Nishikori told fans it “is crucial that I follow this advice to ensure there is no more discomfort in my elbow/arm and the fluid and swelling is completely gone.
“Repetitively hitting tennis balls for 3 to 4 hours per day just won’t allow the arm to completely heal.”
The downtime means also means a Nishikori absence from the Shanghai Masters next month, highlight of the autumn Asian swing.
While the Tokyo absence of two-time winner NIshikori will be a blow to Tokyo organisers, there could be more bad news if ATP No. 1 Novak Djokovic also fails to front up.
The Serb who had to quit in the US Open fourth round with shoulder problems, has not given any firm indication as to whether he will resume on court in the Japanese capital when play begins September 30. Djokovic is set to compete at the tournament for the first time.