Nishikori vows to come back stronger after injury layoff

New York: Japan’s Kei Nishikori is hopeful of returning from his lengthy injury layoff at the start of 2018 and looking forward to challenging for major titles and a place in the top five next season. The 27-year-old was ranked ninth in the world before sustaining a season-ending wrist injury ahead of the Cincinnati Masters in August and joined a host of top players including Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka on the sidelines. Nishikori says he might return at January’s Brisbane international, the Australian Open warm-up where he finished runner-up earlier this year, but is wary of rushing his recovery.

“I can’t say when I’ll heal from my injury so I’m trying not to rush anything,” Nishikori told Japanese media. “I’m aiming for the Brisbane International but it could be February, or even March, who knows. I want to make sure I’m in top form when I’m back on tour so I’m in a position to win a Masters or grand slam title. “I also hope I’m mentally stronger and hungrier next season.” Nishikori, who underwent elbow surgery and was sidelined for almost a year in 2009, chose rehabilitation instead of surgery to treat his wrist injury. — Reuters