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October 10, 2018

Kei Nishikori

Shanghai, China


3-6, 6-0, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you comment on your opponent's game, his playing style, his strengths and weaknesses and his potential?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah. I was surprised actually in the first set how he played. He was playing very solid. Well, he was hitting good serves, very good forehand, backhand. Everything was working well.

So I was a little bit surprised how he plays very quick. But, you know, I just tried to focus what I have to do in the second, and I knew I'm going to get some chances and maybe he drop his level a little bit.

You know, maybe first set he was playing, you know, maybe top 50, top 30 tennis. I thought about losing the match maybe, but second and third I think I was focused almost every point. So I was happy with my tennis in the end.

Q. Can you tell us what did you do in the last two sets to change the momentum?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, obviously he dropped his level maybe. He was missing more than first set.

But I think I played little better. I start changing a little bit. I tried to be little more aggressive and hitting deep and using angle, using all the different shots and things got better.

Well, third set it was close, but I was playing better than first and second, so I was able to win the match.

Q. He's only a few days away from his 19-years-old birthday. Do you remember how good you were when you were 19 years old? What's your ranking at the time and at what level of tournament you were playing?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I won 250 when I was 18. I don't know. I don't remember much, but I think when I was 18 I wasn't thinking much and, you know, I think I was like him, you know, playing, sometimes close my eyes and hit the ball.

That sometimes very good, but I have more, after ten years, I have more experience. And I was maybe more calm after losing first set and maybe experience helped.

But, you know, I see many good things about him. I was happy to see how good he plays. I'm sure in couple years he's gonna be really good.

Q. We all know that you went to America by the support of tennis foundation. I heard some junior players from there always training. Could you share with us some training like junior players? Because I heard last year one or two players won the Orange Bowl, the champion.
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, I don't want to say you cannot do what training in Asia, you cannot be top level, I don't want to say that. But for me what helped is many top players was in IMG Academy at that time, and I was able to experience with hitting with those guys, you know, Tommy Haas, like top 50 players.

And then, you know, you feel like you can compete with them. Yeah, you get a lot of experience from them. And also traveling-wise, it's much more easier, you know, stay in Europe or U.S.

I think maybe it's easier, but you can see, you know, Zhang is doing well, and yeah, I see many great young juniors from China too. So I hope we can see more players from China, and they have, I think, a lot of good opportunity. But for me it's helped to be in U.S.

Q. You have two coaches, Michael Chang and Dante. Are they responsible for different parts?
KEI NISHIKORI: No, they working together. I mean, Dante is traveling every week 24/7, so maybe he has more tough job, but they always working together. Yeah, they giving me good influence and good advice and always push me to the top level. Yeah, everybody on my team working together.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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