Japan tennis ace Kei Nishikori’s amazing run in the Sony Open tennis tournament in Florida came to an unfortunate end on Friday. He withdrew from his semifinal match against World number 2 Novak Djokovic after his left-groin injury flared up once again, forcing him to give the Croatian a walkover to the finals.
Nishikori had a surprising run in the tournament, beating both No. 5 Roger Federer and No. 4 David Ferrer in back-to-back matches. He needed three sets to win both matches, spending a combined five hours in two days. It took its toll on the World Number 20 and not even a 48 hour rest before the semifinal was enough for Nishikori to be fit enough. He apologized to his fans on his Facebook page, saying that he was very disappointed to pull out from the tournament, which was very special for him. “I am obviously very sorry for any fans that wanted to come out for this match,” his message read. He promised to work with his medical team so that he can come back to the tour as soon as possible.
In the other semifinal match-up, Thomas Berdych also had to withdraw because of injury from his match against World Number 1 Rafael Nadal. This was the first time since 1968 that an ATP Tour event had two walk-overs in the semifinals. Nadal said it was very unfortunate for the tournament. “Sorry for Kei, sorry for Tomas, and sorry for the tournament, especially sorry for the fans,” he said afterwards.
[ via SI.com ]