Very impressed by Kei Nishikori

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Chicane, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. Chicane

    Chicane New User

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    I drove up to Carson last week to watch my buddy play in the qualies and I had a chance to watch a couple of up-and-coming players. Peter Polanksy, Victor Estrella and Donald Young are really good, but I was especially impressed by Kei Nishikori’s game. Nishi came out of the Bollettieri’s, but he is hardly a baseline basher. The guy has so much variety in his game. On the attack, he really mixes up his shot well (i.e. depths, pace and angles) and I loved the way he used the courts to his advantage. Whereas a typical Bollettieri kid would camp on the baseline and hit the forehand's all day, Nishi takes an opportunistic approach and comes in whenever he can. He does not have a huge serve like Alberto Francis or Polansky, but he held most of his serves (at least from what I saw).

    I had a brief chat with his coach and apparently the Bollettieri team thought Nishi has enough game to turn pro. I would not be surprised if he breaks into the top 100 by the end of this year (he is turning 18 at the end of this year).
     
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  2. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    got see him in L.R about 1.5 months ago. He is very good player with obvious talent. He did get schooled by Young in the L.R. finals but they also won the doubles title together. Also very personable.
     
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  3. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I liked watching Nishikori, too. Saw him play Ryan Sweeting in Carson. But he's not going to be breaking the top 100 any time soon. Maybe in 3 or 4 years. And that's if he does really good on clay. His serve is a huge liability on other surfaces.
     
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  4. J-man

    J-man Hall of Fame

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    Bollteri talks alot of stuff so let's not count on it. But with hard work he can do it. He sounds like a kid who would be a factor in the game if he can keep up the hard work. Did you see any weaknesses in his game?
     
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  5. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    interesting...does he go to school?
     
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  6. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Also saw him in Carson. Had decent volleys but he seemed to have a hard
    time finding opportunites to get to the net b/c his serve wasn't enough of
    a weapon (at least against Sweeting). Overheads may be a possible
    weakness. He let a few deep slice lobs bounce instead of hitting them in
    the air. He appeared to be in positition to hit them but chose to let them
    bounce. Ended up losing control of the net.
     
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  7. J-man

    J-man Hall of Fame

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    Okay so he needs to develop his strategy on the court
     
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  8. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Both of Sunday’s men’s finalists in the $50,000 Countrywide Classic event had to work their way through qualifying with three victories each to get into the main draw. That is eight matches in nine days for both of them.

    Bogomolov came out the winner, with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over the 17-year-old from Hiroshima, Japan, in one hour, 42 minutes. Bogomolov will have time to count his $7,200 prize money on the six-hour drive up the Interstate 5 Freeway to the next Challenger in Yuba City, Calif., near Sacramento.

    This won’t be the last time you’ll hear from Nishikori, who will go from No. 561 to around 400 in the world rankings after his run to the final. He said practicing with Roger Federer for a week during the Sony Ericsson tournament (they’re both with IMG) helped his confidence.

    http://www.usta.com/news/fullstory.sps?iType=921&inewsid=433359
     
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  9. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    No top ATP level weapons and weak serve. His backhand is automatic, his movement is good, and he's got a great forehand, but none of them are weapons yet. What he DOES have going for him is that he seems pretty calm out there and it took him a long time to figure out that he shouldn't stay at the baseline with Sweeting but once he did, you could see he's capable of playing solid all court tennis and he can construct points. It says online that his favorite surface is clay so maybe he can do damage on that surface even though he doesn't have super spinny/heavy shots of even a Ricardo Mello. His looks more like hard court strokes but, yeah, his serve is pretty weak (for a pro).
     
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  10. jmsx521

    jmsx521 Hall of Fame

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    Let's talk about him. Such a great player. Can feel the ball and has smooth power! Won Delray Beach one day... was about to knock out Nadal out of AO... but since then it's been all down-hill.
     
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  11. Chicane

    Chicane New User

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    Look, Nishi is a finesse player. The guy plays an all-court, effortless game and I think that makes him special. He is still making a transition from the juniors to the pros and he is doing really well, considering he's beating guys who have been playing the challengers for years. I hope Bollettieri and IMG can get him wildcards to key tournaments so that he does not have to go through the grueling qualies.

    I'd like to point out that Victor Estrella is an amazing player. He hit the crap out of the ball and he's got an amazing 1-handed backhand. However, he looks like he really doesn't care about tennis and he doesn't have a strategy in his game.

    I also watched two games played by Jason Jung, which is the top juniors player in the LA area. Jason played 5 rounds of matches to win a "wildcard" tournament, which gets him a wildcard to the qualies of the Carson Challenger. I think he has a good game (mini-Lleyton Hewitt) but unfortunately, does not have pro-caliber like Nishikori.
     
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  12. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I'm not knocking him. Yeah, he's not a power player. I was talking about his ATP prospects. "Effortless game?" It didn't look effortless against Sweeting, who for about a set and a half played with the relentless aggression Nikishori might run up against in an ATP event.

    He's young so who knows what might happen. The dude can construct a point. But against Sweeting, the match was on Ryan's racket. If he weren't a mental case, Ryan wins. Finesse players have their work cut out for them once they start running into top 125 opponents no matter their age and experience (Santoro being the most extreme exception). Wish him well, though.
     
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  13. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Guy's fun to watch. It's amazing to see him completely demoralize bigger players by getting everything back. He's the poor man's male version of Patty Schnyder. He got as high as 50. Not sure why he's not always in the top 75. Great hands.
     
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  14. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Went yesterday to see him in the Montreal Q's. He had a bad day and lost:

    Fin. T. Gabashvili 6 6
    K. Nishikori 4 2

    Didn't see anything special, I'd have to get him on a better day, I guess.
     
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  15. ATPattic

    ATPattic New User

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    future star
     
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  16. goober

    goober Legend

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    Heh you may have to revise your prediction. 18 years old and in his first ATP final. Something another highly touted 18 year old hasn't done. :)
     
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  17. MJM2324

    MJM2324 Rookie

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    Woot woot!! SO happy Kei won. Hopefully he and Ayumi (morita) can put Japanese tennis back on the map!
     
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  18. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    True. Maybe I'll stand corrected in a day or two. He did say his favorite surface was clay.
     
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  19. saram

    saram Legend

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    You earned major points in posting this last year. Very well done.
     
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  20. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    I witness a glimpse of what you have talked about here. Very smooth (and effortless) shot productions and movements. Very very impressed with his atheleticsim and hand. He appeared to be very talented although I have watched only one match.

    He may have trained in Bolleteri but Japanese usually train young players on very textbook tennis fundamentals.
    That may have influenced the all-court flavor of his game.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2008
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  21. goober

    goober Legend

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    What?- Japanese tennis is already on the map.

    They own everybody at Soft tennis and they have the best tennis anime series. :mrgreen:
     
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  22. MJM2324

    MJM2324 Rookie

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    Haha, well, yes, Prince of Tennis is beastly. But there hasn't been much Japanese success on either side really. First male japanese into semi's since 1995, I consider that pretty off the map...
     
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  23. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    He will be like a character of "Prince of Tennis"?
     
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  24. racquet_jedi

    racquet_jedi Professional

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    I don't think it is just the Japanese, most of Asia, from my experience with my dad, usually have a game based on textbook principals...

    My dad (I come from a Filipino family) is an all-court player and I can tell from just how he plays that he was taught textbook basics...

    He also has an old-stlye, non-foot release serve...
     
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  25. Leublu tennis

    Leublu tennis Legend

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    The win over Querry tells it all.
     
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  26. mrDamien

    mrDamien Hall of Fame

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    Well, its first final for Nishikori. Good luck boy.........;-).
     
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  27. Pancho

    Pancho Semi-Pro

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    Kei Nishikori is way better than Donald Young. I was sicken the way the media focused on Donald at the Delray Tournament and I am happy Donald lost. Kei Nishikori came out of nowhere, the media didn't even know much about Kei. I am happy that Kei Nishikori is now in the spotlight instead of Donald. Kei Nishikori has so much variety in his shots, his serves may not be the fastest but his aces are so well placed and at only 102mph. Speed of serves are not everything. Kei Nishikori is teh best player of his age and not Donald.
     
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  28. Pancho

    Pancho Semi-Pro

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    BTW, Kei Nishikori is 5 months younger than Donald Young. This shows you that Donald is not the youngest and best in his age anymore.

    Kei Nishikori served as a hitting partner for Roger Federer at Wimbledon. Federer could have picked anyone he picked Kei and not Donald.
     
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  29. Verilious

    Verilious Rookie

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    Anyone have any vids on Kei? Seems like quite the player from what I've read so far...

    EDIT: Surprisingly there are a couple of clips of him on YouTube. This is the best one I've come across so far for anyone who wants to take a peek: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oD2UHevZ6F4&feature=related
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2008
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  30. Pancho

    Pancho Semi-Pro

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    I was so happy that Kei Nishikori is now a Champion on the ATP Tour. Something that Donald Young can't say he has. Kei Nishikori is 5 months younger than Donald Young and now hopefully the media would praise Kei Nishikori instead of Donald Young. Donald Young is no longer the youngest darling of the ATP Tour. Donald has yet to win an ATP match this year when Kei has already won an ATP Tournament!

    BTW, Kei Nishikori has an incredible mental edge over his opponents - he always keep fighting even when he'd down (like Michael Chang and Serena Williams).
     
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  31. MEAC_ALLAMERICAN

    MEAC_ALLAMERICAN Legend

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    Don't hold back Pancho, but Donald Young will still get the attention you hate so much. You just summarized your two recent in posts in one, good job. I understand you don't like Donald Young, but when are you going to stop singing the same song? It's getting a little old.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
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  32. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Ok, Kei spent last 4 years in IMG academies learning and improving his tennis. but he decided not to go to college, while compariot Schwei decided to go to Ohio state and play college tennis. and also Alex Clayton decided to play college tennis at Stanford. Now on hind site, this was a good decision. or Maybe it was a recommendation from Nick Bolletierie himself. Maybe Nick gave Kei some good advice afterall. Anyway, Kei looks like he is ready to win some big titles so why waste time in college i suppose. too bad, he would have been a great addition at Stanford.
     
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  33. Chicane

    Chicane New User

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    What makes Nishi special is his court sense. It's hard to describe and it's hard to see from TV - you've got to be there to "feel" how he is playing the game. Great anticipation and movement really made him stand out. He was 5'9 and 140 last summer - anyone seen him lately? But again, you dont have to be 6 2 and 180 to win tennis tournaments...
     
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  34. Rafael_Nadal_6257

    Rafael_Nadal_6257 Semi-Pro

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    Kei seems like a really nice guy and has a very nice game too...
    Pancho, saw your posts in a thread you created, and it seems you are very anti-DY, while I personally do not care for DY, it seems yours goes almost towards hate...
     
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  35. jjrl2004

    jjrl2004 Rookie

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    Haha nice prediction -_-
    By the time he is 21 or 22 he will be a very good player
     
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  36. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    ^ I thought I was going to have to eat my words a month or so ago. If he can just hold off for a couple more years...
     
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  37. Duzza

    Duzza Legend

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    Just liked to bring this post up :D Not yet bt soon!!
     
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  38. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Those flash cards in your class looks like it is coming in handy.:)
     
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  39. 640x480

    640x480 New User

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    Just watched Blake VS Nishikori.

    He has a weak serve but pretty good placement. Even the guts to hit it out on a 2nd serve. Backhand is consistent and accurate. Forehand is good, not a huge topspin maker, but he can drive it inside out. The running forehand cross court is inconsistent.

    I think he knows how to construct points and is creative. I loved the fake drop shot approach into a driving FH slice for a winner.

    His major liabilities right now are fitness, experience, and serve...all of which can be improved with time. I wanna see him play someone strong but with more consistency than Blake.
     
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  40. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    I have the Nishikori vs Blake match on DVD. If interested in a trade, email me at asyluke@yahoo.com.
     
    #40
  41. EasternRocks

    EasternRocks Hall of Fame

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    Kei is a wonderful player but he lacks expierience, and 'firepower.' After he won Delray Beach, he kind of went down hill, what all typical immature youngsters do after a big tournament victory. His game is a crafty and tricky game. He just broke the top 100 which was nice to see and in years to come, I think he'll become a top 50 player.
     
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  42. jmsx521

    jmsx521 Hall of Fame

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    Kei lost in the quallies... so no FO for Kei!
     
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  43. carlos djackal

    carlos djackal Professional

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    if he is still 5'9" today, i think he will have trouble in the pros with big serving guys, i just don't think a guy that small excels that much in this giants game, he may win tournaments here and there because he has the talent but not consistently....
     
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  44. jrstrat

    jrstrat New User

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    Your original post was from June 07. Nishikori has been in the top 100 since April 28th so it took 10 months vs your 3-4 year prediction.
     
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  45. deme08

    deme08 Professional

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    A guy 5'9'' can not excel in giants game? Ever heard of Davydenko (5'10") No.4 in the world? and David Ferrer (5'9'') No.5? What about Hewitt, Gaudio, Coria... the list goes on.
     
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  46. MajinX

    MajinX Professional

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    stepnak and santoro are extremely short... and they are the top in the world also.
     
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  47. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Top in the world? That's news to me.
     
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  48. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    Thanks, Captain Obvious.
     
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  49. deme08

    deme08 Professional

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    Stepanek is listed as 6'2" and I found it hard to accept him as extremely short. unless you were really talking about stepnak who I've never heard of.
     
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