(May 26, 2014) For the first time in his career, Kei Nishikori has lost in the first round of a major. The No. 9 seed fell to Slovakian Martin Kilzan at the French Open 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-2.
The top Japanese player still visibly suffering from a back injury he sustained during the Madrid Open final a few weeks ago, where he was forced to retire from the match. Nishikori won his first clay court title in Barcelona last month.
Coming into the tournament Nishikori said that he wasn’t 100 percent. He was broken 10 times during the match and made 40 unforced errors.
“It really sucks, I have to say, a lot of injuries,” Nishikori said. “It’s tough for me, but I guess this is my tennis life. I have to take care of my body and injury will come again, for sure.”
For Nishikori’s coach Michael Chang, it’s the 25th anniversary of his French Open win as a 17-year-old.
At No. 10 in the world, he is the highest-ever Japanese ranked player.