Roland Garros

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Paris, France

Kei Nishikori

Press Conference

K. NISHIKORI/K. Khachanov

4-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We have to ask the tough questions. A few days ago you said you always play five sets because you love playing five sets. I understand in today's match you said you actually hate five sets but it just has to be done. What do you love most about playing five sets and what do you hate most about playing five sets?

KEI NISHIKORI: Well, today because of my energy level was not great. I had a four hours first match, four hours today. After the third set lost, I keep telling myself if I want to keep playing. There was no answer for me, but I just keep playing.

My body say no, but my mind was just keep playing. So I was able to win the fourth set without thinking anything. Of course, fifth set you want to fight till the end. Even though I was tired, I was keep playing. At the end I got my chances coming and I grab it, play good I think the last game.

Well, it makes tough playing four hours two in a row. I'm aiming to the final, this is not the best start of the tournament. That's the only thing I don't like it. I feel like playing five matches already (smiling).

I just try to get good recover tomorrow and fight another one next.

Q. How do you feel to be back competing at this level again? It's been a while in a Grand Slam that you were able to do this. What do you know about your next opponent?

KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, that part I'm really happy compared to end of the last year, compared to last year this tournament, I'm playing much better this year and fighting for two four hours match. I don't think I could do that last year.

My level was pretty high. Even though I'm not having great result, I think the Europe season was good for me: Madrid and Rome. I only lost to top-10 players. You can say I'm not beating top-10 players right now, but I think things are getting much better for me. I think I'm on the way to top 10 again. Yeah, I'm really enjoying this moment.

Yeah, I'm not really know about Laaksonen, to be honest. I seen him before, of course. I don't know what tactics I have to use. I have to check with my coach and we'll see.

Q. You have a wonderful record on five sets. Nobody has done better than you. You have won 26 out of 33. Does this mean to you when you are in the fifth you are confident with this record?

KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, because everybody telling me I have good records, sometimes I have to think that I have to keep building my record after going five sets. That's little bit giving me pleasure, too.

I think fifth set I'm really playing good tennis, more than any sets. Even though I'm tired, I think I'm playing better and more free, more aggressive, not being passive. Yeah, I think I do many good things, especially in the last set.

Q. Was it more difficult and you were more in trouble, in your opinion, when you played Giannessi or Khachanov? Two different players, Khachanov is more known. You were closer to lose maybe with Giannessi because you were down a break in the fifth set.

KEI NISHIKORI: I don't know. That's tough to say. Both good player. Maybe because of Giannessi, we played first time, so that makes little bit tougher. He played much better than I thought. That's the only thing makes little bit tough playing first-time player. Could be for next opponent, too.

But Karen, we played a lot of matches and we know how to play. I kind of know what I have to do. I think he took little bit risk today. He played little more aggressive. He used some different shots that he normally don't use, so that makes it little bit tough today.

I mean, you can tell both matches was tough.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
108239-1-1063 2021-06-02 17:31:00 GMT

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