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Did we all sleep on the incredible Nish?

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Henman Bill
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Post by socal1976 Sun 07 Oct 2012, 9:36 pm

I know I was very high on this kid when he won the Del Ray beach title to be the first Japanese male player in ages to win a title on the ATP tour. He was very young and promising then. He has battled quite a bit of injury issues and some up and down serving, still he has quietly moved into the top 15 and just won his home title, the first 500 pointer of his career. He is still young, not a prospect or baby certainly; but he is still a couple of months from his 23rd birthday. If he isn't still what you would call a young player he certainly is still classified as a pre-prime player, because I can't help but think that we will see big things from this young man in the future.

His speed right now is the full measure of anyone on tour. His returning is of the highest quality displayed when he smashed Raonic's serve in the third set for 3 consecutive breaks. This was the same Milos who held his serve 18 of 19 times the night before against one of the best established returners and players Andy Murray. The two issues that have plagued this immense talent has been his second serve delivery and his health. Both of these things seem to have been addressed. He has a bit of Davy in him that he is a smaller player with a lot of speed but because of how flat and early he hits it he can hit winners. Very complete package player if he continues to serve well and stay fit, he pretty much has everything else in spades.

I don't know about a slam in his future but I think we could see him as a consistent and strong 10 to 6th in the ranking type of player. And i wouldn't completely write him off from being surprise or dark horse slam candidate in the future.

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Post by lydian Sun 07 Oct 2012, 10:00 pm

Have been tracking this guy since his breakthrough at Wimb in 2008, very talented but wasn't strong or fit enough so started to succumb to injury. Now he's addressed some of that, he's also changed racquet to Wilson Steam Pro (nice racquet BTW) which has benefitted his returns and power on serve.

He's not the biggest at 5'10 but this hasn't held Ferrer back who is generously listed as 5'9. I think there is a window there for him to exploit his talent now vs. 4 years ago. The only thing right now is that he's defending a lot of points in Shanghai and Basel from last year where he did well (SF and F). With a solid finish its not out of the realm of impossibilities that he could qualify for WTF but its unlikely. One to watch for the future for sure.
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Post by Born Slippy Sun 07 Oct 2012, 10:34 pm

Very unlikely to qualify for the wtf unfortunately. If he can stay fit he could well challenge at the top, although I'd still question his serve against the big 4 (not so much of an issue against Raonic).

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sun 07 Oct 2012, 10:55 pm

In the past the pressure of Nishi's status as Japan's only tennis star has worked against him when playing in his own country - good to see he's overcome that.
If we could have a top 5 at the end of 2013, of say, Djoko, Murray, Nishi, Raonic and Delpo, I'd say the game was in a healthier state than it is now. Not necessarily as high a standard, but a healthier state.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 08 Oct 2012, 12:27 am

Hardly an up an coming youngster but yes probably hasn't peaked yet. He looks like he can achieve a top 10 ranking in 2013 or 2014. Definately agree with this very good article.

I wonder how many people have taken love sets off Raonic this year or last year? Can't be many?

I do think the calibre of the field he topped including Berdych and Raonic and Murray (although he didn't directly take out Murray) was very notable.

The only other thing I can think to add is that you never know how things will turn out. Yes, peak ranking of 6-10 looks sensible, and most likely, but...

While world number 1 or a slam looks unlikely, you never know it could happen.

While it is (fairly) unlikely that his ranking today will be his career peak, you never know, it if certainly possible.


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Post by socal1976 Mon 08 Oct 2012, 3:03 am

Henman Bill wrote:Hardly an up an coming youngster but yes probably hasn't peaked yet. He looks like he can achieve a top 10 ranking in 2013 or 2014. Definately agree with this very good article.

I wonder how many people have taken love sets off Raonic this year or last year? Can't be many?

I do think the calibre of the field he topped including Berdych and Raonic and Murray (although he didn't directly take out Murray) was very notable.

The only other thing I can think to add is that you never know how things will turn out. Yes, peak ranking of 6-10 looks sensible, and most likely, but...

While world number 1 or a slam looks unlikely, you never know it could happen.

While it is (fairly) unlikely that his ranking today will be his career peak, you never know, it if certainly possible.


Thanks Henman Bill we do seem to be on the same page with all our conclusions. If he can make a small but significant improvement in his serve then I think he will fulfill the potential we see. His returning was remarkable Djokovicesque if you don't mind me saying. I have to hand it to Raonic he went down coming to the net over and over again and having this kid run down every shot and make some truely jaw dropping passes.

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Post by socal1976 Mon 08 Oct 2012, 3:07 am

JuliusHMarx wrote:In the past the pressure of Nishi's status as Japan's only tennis star has worked against him when playing in his own country - good to see he's overcome that.
If we could have a top 5 at the end of 2013, of say, Djoko, Murray, Nishi, Raonic and Delpo, I'd say the game was in a healthier state than it is now. Not necessarily as high a standard, but a healthier state.

Berdy should be there to as well as Nadal I mean these guys are still 26. Nadal might leave sooner rather than later but I can't see him walking away from this kind of money any time soon. Don't be surprised if that is a large part of the reason federer still does it. In the words of Davy when asked what he liked most about being a pro tennis player in a very simple two word answer:"the money".

As for Nish's status in Japan I can't see that being so hard on him, I mean there are expectations but Japan is a huge country with a lot going on beside Nishi.

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Mon 08 Oct 2012, 8:21 am

I was writing about Nishikori at the end of 2011 as was bogbrush and someone else easily one of the most fluid quick thinking players out there in the world. You could tell when he was a teenager he would be the sort of player who the hard hitters will not fancy taking on, for me he's a more talented version of Davydenko in that he rushes himself and doesn't allow a player to get settled into a rhythm. Good to see a player who is more individual and less 'trained' into a mode of defensiveness.
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Post by lydian Mon 08 Oct 2012, 8:25 am

I would agree with those points JM.
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Post by JuliusHMarx Mon 08 Oct 2012, 8:35 am

Nishi mentioned the pressure after his semi-final (or quarter, not sure) and how this year was the first time he felt he'd managed to overcome the negative aspects and turn it into a positive.
My e-o-y top 5 for 2013 isn't a prediction, just something I'd by happy to see. Another year+ of the same top 5 would do nothing for me, and of the current 5, Fed, Rafa and Ferrer are the ones I'd be least bothered about seeing slip down the rankings.
Berdych would be 28 by then - I'd prefer to see younger players in there.

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Post by lydian Mon 08 Oct 2012, 8:42 am

Yep I wouldn't mind seeing some new blood too. I think Rafa, knees permitting, will stay top 5 for a long time yet - if nothing else from clay points - but I do think Fed may slip outside top 5 next year. I suspect it may be Raonic coming up (although I feel he's slightly overrated in terms of slam potential). I just hope that some of the newer attacking players like Goffin can push up too but I fear he isn't physically strong enough to make the impact needed. Berdy will be t 10 for a while yet, his game is too big not to be there, he'll always have weeks where he just blows people away with his easy power. But who else is going to move into top10 from outside the top 20? Tomic? Hmm, not so sure there. Dimitrov neither.
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Post by hawkeye Mon 08 Oct 2012, 9:43 am

I like Nishikori as he can be great to watch. Ha ha I think Verdasco would approve too because unlike Raonic he actually plays tennis.

Remember going back a few years being really impressed when he stretched Nadal to three sets at Queens. Then the next week saw him on an outside court as he had to qualify for Nottingham. When I say outside court it was just a walk past court with no stands. The thing is many players can play one excellent match even against a top player the difficult thing is to string a few together. Wish I had seen his win over Raonic though as it sounded like it was great.

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Post by The Special Juan Mon 08 Oct 2012, 1:47 pm

Here's highlights. Ignore the stupid bit at the start.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMDarLE1Hgs

It's not quite "History is made at the US Open" at the end but it's a fantastic achievement regardless.
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Post by lags72 Mon 08 Oct 2012, 2:03 pm

lydian - I'd agree that IF Rafa's knees (and other working parts...) can hold up then yes, he will stay top 5 for quite some time. Based on current evidence, not least the lack of fresh new faces to challenge him on clay, hard to see who could push him out

But as for the knees .... it's a big IF.

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Mon 08 Oct 2012, 2:04 pm

To beat Berdych, Baghdatis and Raonic who all saw this as a priority to improve their ranking is what will give him confidence to push inside the top 10. Still has Dubai to come where he made final before.
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Post by The Special Juan Mon 08 Sep 2014, 10:29 pm

Bump. I never thought he had it in him to topple peak Djokovic at a major but credit to him, he's done very well.
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Post by Henman Bill Tue 09 Sep 2014, 12:31 am

Yes I said this was a very good article at the time and looks even more so now. So do we think he will win another slam later or has he missed his best chance?

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Post by socal1976 Tue 09 Sep 2014, 5:49 am

That is why they call me Nostrafreakingdamus. Shame he lost so one sidedly in the final, but credit to both players. I think Nish missed his best chance on the surface most suited to his game in the slams. That being said I could see him win a slam as he has the game to do it. I think the USO is the one he should target because his aggressive early striking is best suited to this surface.

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