Kei Nishikori is eying up his top ten places again after admitting there are no more excuses now he is feeling healthy again.
Nishikori climbed to number four in the world in 2015, and was a fixture in the upper echelons of the ATP rankings for quite some time. However, the couple of years have seen him battling injuries with his ranking slipping to 45 as a result.
He is back playing well again in Rotterdam though, and can earn a semi-final spot if he beats Karen Khachanov.
“I don’t feel certain weaknesses in specific parts of my play, so if I can get top 10 player-like mentalities to sink into my mind, I think I can be back into top 10,” Nishikori said.
“I’m kind of convinced that I’m getting back my good feelings, at least I don’t feel like I’m short of good feelings when hitting balls, so I can’t use that as an excuse anymore.
“I’m happy to reach the quarterfinal and play decent matches against good players. I’m kind of relieved and motivated by that.
“As long as I have frustration that I can’t play as usual, it’s difficult to lift me up and that exhausts me mentally too.
“I’m happy that I’ve got out of that. I had trouble holding my serve in the last couple of matches and let my opponents play comfortably, and sometimes I can’t get into a match well.
“So I still have things to work on, but I’m almost there.”