Nishioka Excited About Return Of Elite Tennis To China

Tuesday, 19 September 2023 at 21:00
Yoshihito Nishioka responded to an interview, revealing his excitement for the return of the ATP Tour to China
World No. 46 is already prepared to kick off the Asian tour at the ATP 250 Zhuhai Open against Frenchman Terence Atmane. Nishioka will be the 8th seed in a main draw that features top favorites like world No. 15 Karen Khachanov and world No. 23 Jan-Lennard Struff.
The Japanese star expressed his excitement in an interview with the ATP about playing in Asia again and analyzed his game, highlighting how to counteract the height of his opponents, as he is one of the shortest tennis players within the top-100.
“I don’t play with power, so I have to think about how to play my points, and always have to make big plans as to how to beat my opponents before I go on to the court,” he said.
“Sometimes I think my tennis is interesting to watch, because some other players don’t do it like I do. That is the reason some of the bigger players don’t like it, that they start to panic a little bit,” Nishioka added
“But that is the way I play. I have to do things differently.”
Nishioka recalled some of his great results this year, highlighting the fourth round appearances at the Australian Open and Roland Garros:
“It is always special when you do well in a Grand Slam and it was my first time in the Round of 16 at the Aussie Open and also at the French Open. It was a great feeling,” he said.
“But that was interesting, because I started to feel more pressure because I had to keep the seeding, keep the ranking. I was thinking too much. I started to feel that pressure.
“That is the reason that, after the French Open, I didn’t do so well on the Tour. That is something I have learned from this rise and I think I had to change (things) a little bit.”
The 27-year-old tennis player is the highest-ranked Asian and has won both of his titles there, the first one in Shenzhen in 2018 and again in Seoul in 2022. Nishioka reached his best ranking as world No. 24 in June 2023.
“I was very close to the Top 20 but when I thought too much about what it is, then (I put) a little bit too much pressure on myself, (which was) different from normal,” he said.
“It is always good to come back for the Asian Swing and it is the first time the ATP Tour events are back in China after COVID, so I really am very excited to be able to play here,” he said.
“I won my first ATP Tour event in China and I have played well here. It is always enjoyable to play in China and to compete in Asia again."
“If I can play much, much better, that will be great,” he concluded.

27yo Yoshihito Nishioka beats Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 7-6(5) to win a second career ATP title in Seoul, four years after the first. Played *so, so well* all week, top 10 tennis most of the time. Nice to see Shapovalov playing this well again. Got a good draw in Tokyo next week.


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