Tennis-Japan’s Nishikori ends 2021 season with back injury


Japan’s Kei Nishikori has ended his season with a back injury, the former world number four has said. The 31-year-old, currently ranked 49th in the world, appeared in the ATP Masters 1000 event last month in Indian Wells, where he lost in the second round to Dan Evans.

As the Indian Wells approached, Nishikori retired from the ATP 250 event in San Diego just hours before his opener against Briton Andy Murray. Nishikori then withdrew from an ATP 500 event in Vienna and the ongoing Paris Masters and also withdrew from next week’s tournament in Stockholm before announcing his decision to end his season.

“I hurt my back a few weeks before San Diego and it continues to bother me,” he said on Twitter. “It’s been a long year, coming back from injury and looking forward to the offseason. I’m also looking forward to having a solid pre-season training to make 2022 a great year.”

Nishikori, who peaked in a career fourth shortly after becoming the first Asian man to reach a major final at the 2014 US Open, has been plagued with injuries in recent years and has struggled for consistency.

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