22 April 2018: Kei Nishikori (English)

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Kei Nishikori
Press Conference
R. NADAL/K. Nishikori

6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We know the start against Rafa is especially important. Do you think having the break early, but not being able to keep it, made a big difference at the end?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I knew it’s going to be tough to maintain my level because he gives me all the balls back. Not easy to dominate the point with Rafa all the time. I knew it’s going to be tough even though I was up break.

I was kind of out of the gas any more, especially second set. How he plays… He makes every point. He makes tough. I think he was also playing great tennis.

Yeah, not easy to maintain my level till the end today.

Q. Do you take away good information about yourself specifically from this final? How do you see yourself going through the rest of the season?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it was great week for me, I think one of the great weeks I had this week after coming back injury. I’m very happy that made final here. Didn’t quite play well today, but had a great three matches, three sets, last three days. Actually four three sets (smiling). It was long week for me. Happy to maintain my body to play final.

Another tough week coming up, Barcelona. Many top players are playing. Not easy week. But hope I can have one more good week again.

Yeah, I think this clay season is very important for me to get a lot of points and get a lot of confidence like I did this week. Yeah, hopefully I can have a good this clay court season.

Q. What happened when you were up 2-1 in the first set? Did you ask something to the umpire? You were shaking your wrist. Were you afraid you had some problems?
KEI NISHIKORI: No. I mean, I had it all week. My wrist is not 100% playing on clay. I was having tough moments all this week.

I mean, I was handling well. Maybe my body, especially my legs, were very heavy today, playing three sets three days in a row, playing with tough players. It wasn’t easy physically, obviously.

Q. Was it normal pain coming back from injury or is it something you need to get checked, an MRI again?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I don’t know. I think it’s more pain, especially playing on clay you got to use your wrist a little more. You got to hit more spin. Automatically you got to hit spin. I think it makes little tougher than hard court. That makes my wrist hurt little bit.

Well, I got to check every week, every day. It’s not 100% yet, so… I think little pains, it’s not just my wrist. It’s my hands, my arm, everywhere. Yeah, I got to take care every week.

Q. To get back to your top level, do you think it’s just a physical matter, rhythm? Are you working also on some technical adjustments?
KEI NISHIKORI: No, I think I just need some more confidence. Well, for sure this week going to help a lot with my confidence. Playing with top players: Tomas, Cilic, beating Sascha yesterday too. That gives me a lot of confidence.

Tough day today playing Rafa. He was little too good today. But I think I’ve been playing well this week, and I think I’m almost there.

Yeah, just keep believing myself, keep playing tough.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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