Former World No.4 Kei Nishikori will now make his masters 1000 event comeback at the Miami Open 2021 since the 2019 Madrid Masters. Nevertheless, the 2014 US Open champion revealed that he played the most challenging match and has ever seen the most fantastic match at the ATP Masters 1000 event.
In a recent Q & A session with an official site of the men’s professional tennis, the 31-years-old Japanese star reminisced his memories of the ATP Masters 1000 events, especially his favourite court, match, opponent, and venue.
However, when asked the greatest match he has ever seen at a Masters 1000 event, Nishikori replied that the five-setters final thriller battle between Spaniard Rafael Nadal and Argentine Guillermo Coria in 2005 Rome Masters.
Kei further added, “I didn’t see it live, but Rafa and Coria in Rome [in 2005] in five sets. I really remember it, and I still watch it sometimes, even now. That was a great, great match.”
“I Would Say The 2014 Madrid Final Against Rafa”: Kei Nishikori on Toughest Match
In a row, when asked about the toughest match he has played at the ATP Masters 1000 event, Nishikori answered that it was a championship match against none other than King of Clay Rafael Nadal in Spain’s capital.
Notably, Kei Nishikori led Nadal 6–2, 4–2 in that match, but he suffered a back injury in the 7th game. Afterwards, the Japanese retired from the final when the host was leading in the decider 3-0.
Nishikori continued, “I would say the 2014 Madrid final against Rafa. It was good and bad. I played (some of) my best tennis. It was a great match and a great start. I was closing my eyes, hitting everything, and it was going in.”
“After the second set, I started feeling my leg. I couldn’t move. Unfortunately, I had to retire. It was a good memory, but also sad because I had a little chance to win against Rafa,” the four-time Masters 1000 event finalist confessed.
However, Nadal and Nishikori have faced each other six-time in the ATP Masters 1000 event. Rafe leads Kei 5-1 in their head-to-head series.