Veteran Japanese player Kei Nishikori has said that the game has not seen a like Carlos Alcaraz. The young Spaniard recently bested Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final at Centre Court in a five-set thrilling contest.
After the loss, Djokovic himself admitted he hasn’t faced a player like Carlos Alcaraz in his glorious career and he has got the best of three worlds (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic himself).
Nishikori feels Alcaraz looks like Rafael Nadal but he has more speed than his idol. Alcaraz too has a never-say-die attitude on the court like the veteran Spaniard.
Meanwhile, Nishikori made a winning return to the tour by registering a straight-set win against Australia’s Jordan Thompson in the round of 32 of the Atlanta Open. The Japanese made a comeback after spending 21 months on the sidelines due to injury and he is motivated to take on young players like Alcaraz, Holger Rune, and Jannik Sinner.
“One thing I hope to get the chance to do is to play against these great young players like Alcaraz, Rune and Sinner at some point,” he told the ATP.
“That’s part of my motivation to try to play for a few more years.I don’t think we have seen anyone like Alcaraz before. He looks like Rafa but he has more speed.”
“Good defence, unbelievable forehand and he has a good backhand too.”
Nishikori had last played in the Indian Wells 2021 before suffering a hip injury. The Japanese revealed his comeback story and said he wanted to take time after he went under the knife.
“My hip was not too bad, not like Andy,” Nishikori said.
“We shaved some bone away and also I had a little bit of a tear in the labrum. Had I kept playing without the surgery then I may have had to do something like Andy did. But fortunately, I found out before it got really bad.
“I talked to James Duckworth, who had the same surgery and I was really surprised how quickly he came back to playing. But he told me that he had some issues, so perhaps he came back too early. I decided to take a little more time.
Nishikori will take on China’s Shang Juncheng in the second round of the Atlanta Open on Friday.