Kei Nishikori becomes latest big name to pull out of Australian Open with elbow injury after Andy Murray puts comeback on hold
- Kei Nishikori has also withdrawn from the ATP Cup which starts next week
- The Japanese player required minor elbow surgery in the off-season
- The world No.13 follows Andy Murray in withdrawing from the Australian Open
- Murray stated the reason for his withdrawal was due to an injury ‘setback’
A day after Andy Murray put his Grand Slam comeback on hold, Japan’s Kei Nishikori has become the latest high-profile player to withdraw from next month’s Australian Open, citing a right elbow injury.
Tennis Australia issued a statement on Monday saying Nishikori had withdrawn from the season-opening major at Melbourne Park and from the ATP Cup, a new international men’s team event which starts next week and will be played in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.
The world No.13, who has not played since a third-round loss to Australia’s Alex de Minaur at the U.S. Open, required minor elbow surgery in the off-season.
Kei Nishikori has become the latest player to withdraw from next month’s Australian Open
‘Today, together with my team, we have made this decision as I am still not 100 per cent ready (or) healthy to compete at the highest level,’ Nishikori said.
‘This decision was not taken lightly as Australia is one of my favorite places to compete.
‘Together with my team I will keep working hard to be back on court as soon as possible. Thanks for all the support.’
Nishikori, who reached a career-high rank of No.4 in 2015, is a four-time Australian Open quarterfinalist (2012, 2015, 2016, 2019) with a 29-7 record at Melbourne Park.
Nishikori has cited a right elbow injury as the reason for his withdrawal from the event
Murray, a three-time major winner, announced on Sunday that he had experienced a ‘setback’ in his recovery from injury and as a precaution would not be coming to Australia in January.
‘Unfortunately I’ve had a setback recently and, as a precaution, need to work through that before I get back on court competing,’ he said via a Tennis Australia statement.
‘I’ve worked so hard to get myself into a situation where I can play at the top level and I’m gutted I’m not going to be able to play.
The news comes after Andy Murray revealed he would also miss the Melbourne tournament
The three-time Grand Slam winner last appeared at the Davis Cup Finals but played just once
‘After the Australian Open earlier this year, when I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to play again, I was excited about coming back to Australia and giving my best, and that makes this even more disappointing for me.’
Even before he suffered his latest setback, the 32-year-old Scot had hinted his participation on clay this year might be strictly limited.
With Wimbledon offering him the best chance of deep progress at one of the majors, it is entirely possible he would skip the French Open to gain maximum preparation for the grass.
His next tournament is now due to be the indoor ATP event in Montpellier at the start of February.
Murray said the reason for his withdrawal was a ‘setback’ in his recovery from injury