Kei Nishikori tries to bend time and follow a different path

by Matt Zemek

There is no rule stating that tennis players have to go to the Challenger Tour, tennis’s version of the minor leagues, when returning to competition after an extended layoff.

Plenty of ATP stars have been injured in recent years — they didn’t play Challenger events when coming back to the court.

Kei Nishikori wants the challenge of the Challenger Tour.

After an Australian Open in which player autonomy became a central topic of the tournament, it’s fitting that one of the more prominent names in men’s tennis is structuring a comeback in a highly individual way. Others wouldn’t go to Dallas or Newport Beach to play in the minors, but the Japanese professional had a plan… and so far, he likes what he sees:


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