Playing injured

Shanghai Rolex Masters, China

[CR6] Kei Nishikori (JPN) was in discomfort from the very beginning of the match, so much so that his mobility was severely compromised.  Although he would lose the match to [CR60] Jack Sock (USA), it was not an easy victory for Sock.

Nishikori is a gifted player, his reaction time is very quick, allowing him to take away time from his opponents; he also takes the ball extremely early and can punish it with either  his forehand or backhand; he has an amazing court awareness; he has become a better competitor as he has matured; and when not hampered by injury, he is very fast around the court.

Sock must have sensed that Nishikori was not at his best; yet, he had to maintain his focus and play his game. There were some questionable shot selections, and a few too many unforced errors; however, Sock served well and reigned in his excitement enough to get the win.  He won this match, Nishikori did not hand it to him, he competed to the very end despite being in pain.

Sock is an exciting player to watch, the energy he brings to the court is phenomenal.  He is also fearless, it’s what causes him to go for some highly improbable shots; however, as he matures, it would be interesting to see where his game settles.

SCORE:  Sock d. Nishikori, 7-6(5), 6-4

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