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Tennis Australia issued a statement on Monday saying Nishikori had withdrawn from the season-opening major at Melbourne Park and from the ATP Cup, a new international men’s team event which starts next week and will be played in Sydney,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.
‘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.