Kei Nishikori Withdraws From Indian Wells

Kei Nishikori (

Former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori has pulled out of this year’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Nishikori, who reached the quarter-finals of the event last year, has been forced to withdraw due to illness. He was set to play his first Masters 1000 tournament since recovering from a wrist injury. Skipping the Australian Open, the 28-year-old staged his comeback at two Challenger events in America earlier this year. Winning a title in Dallas. On the ATP Tour, he recently reached the semifinals of the New York Open before suffering a first round loss to Denis Shapovalov in Acapulco.

“Unfortunately I have to pull out of the tournament today. I have been sick for over a week and tried everything I could to get better. Unfortunately today, I am not strong enough to go and play a match.” Nishikori said in a statement.
“I am very sorry as I love this tournament and wish Tommy Haas and the team a great event. I really look forward to being back next year.”

It is unclear as to what the nature of Nishikori’s illness is. It is the first time he has missed the Masters event since 2010. He had been at the venue all week practising prior to falling ill with no signs of being troubled by his wrist.

The loss of the Japanese No.1 is the latest of a series to hit the tournament. Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, David Goffin, Richard Gasquet and Nick Kyrgios are all absent due to injury.

As a result of his absence, Nishikori is set to drop to 30th at best in the ATP Emirates rankings. The Japanese player has been continuously ranked inside the top 30 since October 2011.

Replacing Nishikori in the main draw will be lucky loser Ruben Bemelmans. The Belgian world No.113 lost in the second round of qualifying to Tim Smyczek in straight sets earlier this week. He will take on Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer in what will be his first main draw appearance in Indian Wells since 2012.

Nishikori was a potential third round opponent for Novak Djokovic, who begins his campaign later on Sunday.


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