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Nishikori adds Max Mirnyi to coaching team ahead of 2020 season

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 1 Dec 2019
  • Former world No. 4, Kei Nishikori has added former doubles No. 1, Max Mirnyi to his coaching team ahead of the 2020 season
  • Nishikori has not played since the US Open due to an elbow injury
Kei Nishikori (PA Sport)

Former world No. 4, Kei Nishikori has added Belarusian, Max Mirnyi to his coaching team ahead of the 2020 season.

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Mirnyi joins Michael Chang on Nishikori's team, and will work with the world No. 13 on a full-time basis. 

“Excited to announce that Max Mirnyi will join the coaching team (with Michael Chang) full-time in 2020! Excited what the future holds,” Nishikori said in a statement on his Instagram account.

Mirnyi arrival comes less than two months after Nishikori split with former long-time coach, Dante Bottini, whom the Japanese had worked with since 2010.

Before retiring at the end of last season, the 42-year-old Mirnyi enjoyed a very successful playing career, reaching No. 1 in the world doubles rankings, and peaking at No. 18 in the singles'.  He spent 57 weeks on top of the doubles rankings, claiming 52 tour-level titles, including six Grand Slams. He also has an Olympic Gold Medal from the London 2012 Games, when he teamed up with compatriot and former women's No. 1, Victoria Azarenka in the mixed doubles. 

Mirnyi was not as prolific in singles, but he did put together a very good career, reaching a career-high No. 18 in August 2003, and winning his solitary title in Rotterdam during that same season.

“I am excited about the opportunity to have a chance and help Kei,” Mirnyi said. “I have known Kei for a long time from the days of my active playing career. Training and spending a lot of time at the IMG Academy in Bradenton. So, I hope that this progression will be natural for both of us personally and on a professional level.”

Nishikori is looking to get his career back on track after his 2019 campaign was truncated by an elbow injury. The 29-year-old had a good start to the season, winning the Brisbane International in the opening week of the year- his first title in almost three years- but he wasn't at his most consistent through the year, suffering opening round losses at Masters 1000 tournaments in Miami, Monte Carlo, Montreal and Cincinnati. However, he did reach the quarter finals in three of the years four majors (Australia, Roland Garros and Wimbledon), and was in the top ten up until the final week of October. He has not played since a third round loss to Alex De Minaur at the US Open after being sidelined by an elbow injury which required surgery in October. 

Nishikori is scheduled to return to action next January when he represents Japan at the inaugural ATP Cup. Japan are in Group B alongside Spain, Georgia and Uruguay, and will play their round robin matches in Perth from 3-8 January.


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Nishikori adds Max Mirnyi to coaching team ahead of 2020 season

Former world No. 4, Kei Nishikori has added former doubles No. 1, Max Mirnyi to his coaching team ahead of the 2020 season.

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