‘No excuses… his body always lets him down’: Furious tennis fans who paid up to $1000 for Australian Open seats savage ‘serial quitter’ Kei Nishikori for retiring after 52 minutes
- Kei Nishikori was forced to retire hurt with a thigh injury against Novak Djokovic
- The Japanese star had to take a medical time-out after the first set
- No 1 seed Djokovic progressed 6-1, 4-1 and faces Lucas Pouille for a place in final
Kei Nishikori has been criticised by tennis fans for retiring against Novak Djokovic in the second set of Wednesday’s Australian Open quarterfinal.
The eighth seed had come through three five-set matches, including a five-hour epic against Pablo Carreno Busta in the previous round, and was struggling from the start.
He received treatment to his right thigh at the end of the first set but, after going 6-1, 4-1 down, Nishikori shook his head and then Djokovic’s hand.
Kei Nishikori has been criticised by tennis fans for retiring against Novak Djokovic in the second set of Wednesday’s Australian Open quarterfinal
Tennis fans took to social media to slam Nishikori, accusing him of being a ‘serial quitter’
Other spectators pointed out Nishikori had endured almost 15 hours on court before the match
The eighth seed had come through three five-set matches, including a five-hour epic against Pablo Carreno Busta in the previous round, and was struggling from the start
This is the 18th time the Japanese star has retired in a tournament, and the fifth time in a grand slam.
Fans who had paid up to $1,000 to see the match slammed him on Twitter.
One said: ‘Kei Nishikori is a serial quitter. So unfair on those who pay big money to attend the match.’
‘Kei Nishikori doesn’t have the durability to complete two weeks at a Grand Slam. His body always lets him down. Too many long matches. Poor body language,’ added another.
A third fan took to social media claiming he was sick of Nishikori getting a ‘free pass’, accusing the 29-year-old of using too much energy in earlier rounds against lower-ranked opponents.
‘No excuse going to five with Polish qualifier. Five-setter against (Ivo) Karlovic wasn’t physical,’ he wrote.
The Japanese star received treatment to the thigh problem at the end of the first set
Kei Nishikori was forced to retire hurt after suffering with a thigh injury in the match
Novak Djokovic reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Wednesday
Djokovic, the top seed and six-time champion, will now meet Frenchman Lucas Pouille, a maiden Grand Slam semi-finalist, on Friday for a place in Sunday’s final.
The world No. 1 said: ‘I love to battle, especially against Kei, we’ve played so many matches.
‘I hope he can recover, I hope it’s not something that is very serious. I’m sorry for everybody for not having a full match tonight.’
Djokovic had endured his own physical battle against Daniil Medvedev on Monday and admitted afterwards that he was feeling the effects.
‘This is exactly what the doctor ordered,’ he said, ‘Not to spend too much time on the court.
‘I’m in another semi-final and I’ll do everything to get ready for that one.’
The No 1 seed acknowledges the crowd after the conclusion of his quarter-final match
The Serb will now face Frenchman Lucas Pouille for a place in the Australian Open final