Fitness concerns plague Kei Nishikori ahead of US Open
New York: U.S. Open 10th seed Kei Nishikori remains concerned over his fitness following a three-week injury break with the Japanese number one raising doubts about his prospects of making it past the first round in New York.
The world number 11 skipped warm-up tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati after having a cyst removed from his right toe earlier this month and has just resumed training ahead of the final grand slam of the season starting next week.
"I had doubts about my decision (to play at the U.S. Open) but I am going to take a chance," the Kyodo news agency quoted Nishikori as telling reporters in New York on Friday.
"However, to be honest I have some concerns about my physical fitness."
The injury-prone 24-year-old, the first Japanese to break into the top 10 of the men`s singles rankings, lost to Briton Daniel Evans in the first round of the U.S. Open last year.
This year he will play 180th-ranked American Wayne Odesnik in the opening round.
"I haven`t had match practice and I don`t know if I will be able to keep up when it comes to quick movement," Nishikori added. "If the pain comes back on the day of the game I don`t know if I will play.
"I don`t know if I will be able to get through the first round."
Nishikori`s best performance at Flushing Meadows came in 2008 when he reached the fourth round as an 18-year-old.