21 April 2018: Kei Nishikori (English)

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Kei Nishikori
Press Conference

3-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you feeling after qualification to the final? I guess you didn’t have this expectation coming to Monte-Carlo.
KEI NISHIKORI: Feeling great. Yeah, it’s only my second time. But I always enjoy playing this tournament. Great place to play tennis. I’m happy to be back in final in Masters again. It’s been long time for me.

Hope I can have another good day tomorrow.

Q. You played a solid match. How did you manage to come back, not to get worried?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I know I wasn’t playing too bad from the beginning. Maybe had one bad game. He breaks. He took a chance. I tried to focus same thing as first set. I think I was doing well with my service game. As soon as he had one bad game with his service game, I tried to focus again. It was really tight game. Could be go both ways.

Happy to finish very strong in the end. Yeah, was I think great match for both of us.

Q. Only three months since you have come back to competition. What are the aspects of your game that you’re happy with and what are the aspects you think you can improve to get back to the top level you ever had?
KEI NISHIKORI: I think I’m getting closer. Every match improving for sure. This week I think only clay it’s more easy for me to get my rhythm back. There is more rallies than hard court. I feel like I’m getting there close.

Tomorrow is different opponent. He’s been dominating crazy this week. I know it’s going to be tough. Yeah, for me, I think improving every match. Yeah, I feel very confident right now.

Q. This is the toughest possible challenge on clay, playing Rafa. What is the only way you can try to beat him? Is the right wrist completely healed?
KEI NISHIKORI: It’s getting there. My wrist, on clay it’s little bit different than hard court. Little bit sore still. It’s only last match tomorrow, so…

Yeah, Rafa has been hitting very, very heavy, especially his forehand. Backhand also. He’s been playing very solid this week.

Hope I can find, you know, the way to beat him. Yeah, especially on clay he’s the king. So, yeah, will discuss with my coach tonight.

Q. The last five times you played Nadal, you won two times. The fifth time was the one where you were winning in Madrid, where he was playing very well before he got injured. Does that give you some confidence? Do you have the key to beat Rafa, even if he’s dominating?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I’m sure there is a way to beat him. But, you know, to see him this week, looks little bit difficult.

But, yeah, the match in Madrid, for sure that gives me little bit confidence. Different situation here, but… Yeah, I’m sure it’s little bit tougher to play him on hard court or clay court.

I know it’s going to be tough to play Rafa on clay, but I think I’m getting there, like what I used to play couple years ago. Yeah, hope I can play good tennis tomorrow.

Q. Do you think to serve well, to try to be as aggressive as possible, can be the key points for tomorrow?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, for sure. You got to play aggressive to beat Rafa. You cannot just put in a ball play. He’s going to use his forehand, yeah, be done. I got to play aggressive, for sure.

Yeah, for sure I got to serve well with my service game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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