Nishikori tests positive for COVID-19

hannahwilks in News 29 Apr 2021
Kei Nishikori is still hoping to be able to play at the US Open despite positive COVID-19 test (Photo by Lev Radin / Pacific Press/Sipa USA)

Kei Nishikori won’t compete at the Western & Southern Open after testing positive for coronavirus.

A former finalist at the US Open, Kei Nishikori is still hoping to be able to play the Grand Slam when it begins on 31 August.

Nishikori announced via social media on Sunday that he had tested positive for COVID-19:

‘This morning while still in Florida, I got tested for Covid-19 and tested positive.

‘I will have to pull out of the Cincinnati tournament at this time. Me and my team will get tested again on Friday at which point I will have another update.’

The Cincinnati tournament Nishikori refers to is the Western & Southern Open, which has relocated from its usual Ohio venue to the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Centre in Flushing Meadows, New York, home of the US Open, to form a two-tournament bio-security bubble with the Grand Slam. Nishikori had been planning to fly to New York from his Florida base on Monday.

The Western & Southern Open begins on Saturday 22 August, and US authorities mandate a 10-day isolation period for those who test positive.

Nishikori’s period of self-isolation would end on 26 August, narrowly allowing him enough time to travel to New York for the US Open.

Nishikori wrote:

‘I am feeling well and have very little symptoms but will obviously be in complete isolation for the safety of everyone.’

He promised an update on Friday.

Western & Southern Open: Latest player information, news, tournament schedules and live streaming

Ranked as high as world no. 4 in 2015, Nishikori made Japanese history when he reached the final of the US Open in 2014, losing to Marin Cilic. He went on to make the semifinals in New York in 2016 and 2018, and has reached the quarterfinal stage at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon a collective nine times.

Nishikori is currently ranked world no. 31, having not played since losing in the third round of last year’s US Open due to an elbow injury.
Former US Open champions Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka have declined to travel to the USA, preferring to stay on European clay, while Roger Federer is not playing after shutting down his season in July to undergo a knee surgery.

But world no. 1 Novak Djokovic will be leading the field, and was filmed practicing at the US Open, while Andy Murray has taken a wildcard. Last year’s finalist Daniil Medvedev is also among those who have posted photos of themselves en route to New York.



On the women’s side, Belinda Bencic became the sixth top-10 player to pull out over the weekend, joining world no. 1 Ashleigh Barty and defending champion Bianca Andreescu on the sidelines, while world no. 2 Simona Halep has not yet confirmed whether or not she will play. But Serena and Venus Williams, 2018 champion Naomi Osaka, former finalist Karolina Pliskova and wildcard Kim Clijsters are all in the field.