November 29, 2021

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Kei Nishikori has COVID-19 – and is out of the US Open

Nishikori

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As if Kei Nishikori hadn’t already had enough bad luck, now he’s tested positive for the coronavirus.

He announced it on his app Sunday.

“Hi everyone, I have some unfortunate news today.

This morning while still in Florida, I got tested for Covid19 and tested positive. I will have to pull out of the Cincinnati tournament at this time.

Me and my team will get tested again on Friday at which point I will have another update.

I am feeling well and have very little symptoms but will obviously be in complete isolation for the safety of everyone.

We were planning to fly to New York tomorrow but will obviously now stay in Florida. Next update will be on Friday.”

(UPDATE: Nishikori said Friday that he had tested positive again – more updates early next week and on Wednesday, he officially withdrew from the US Open).

Nishikori lives and trains in Bradenton, Fla.

Out for a year with elbow issues

Nishikori

The last time Kei Nishikori played was … at least year’s US Open, where he lost in the third round to Alex de Minaur.

After quarter-final efforts at both the French Open and Wimbledon, he had succumbed in his opening matches in Canada and Cincinnati, and the elbow issued that had been plaguing him since Paris became too much.

He pulled out of quite a few tournaments, and underwent surgery to remove two bone spurs in Oct. 2019.

There was certainly optimism as 2020 began that he might be ready to return fairly quickly. But it turned out to be too optimistic.

Now, having had an extra six months to get back to full health, he gets hit with this news.

And now, having to miss Cincinnati (but hopefully not the US Open), he will might himself on a match court for the first time in a year, playing best-of-five sets at a Grand Slam, without a single competitive match under his belt.

No. 46 Lorenzo Sonego of Italy will take his spot in the Cincinnati main draw, with No. 107 Damir Dzumhur squeezing into the qualifying as a result.

Maybe – this is uncharted territory, and it’s not entirely known if additional players have travelled to the bubble. Or if they’re even allowed on site. It may be, just as it is expected to be at the US Open, that doubles players who are on site for that event may be the only players who can step into the draws with late withdrawals.