World No. 8 Kei Nishikori will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing elbow surgery on Tuesday.
(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)
Nishikori hasn’t played since a third round loss at the U.S. Open to Alex de Minaur and won’t return to action in 2019 following season-ending surgery on his elbow.
The Japanese star has been battling the injury since the French Open, according to his manager Olivier van Lindonk, who confirmed to press that the former U.S. Open champion needed a ‘small procedure to remove two small bone spurs’ in his elbow.
Van Lindonk said Nishikori underwent the surgery now in hope of being at full fitness for the start of the 2020 season and the Australian Open.
“He has tried to heal this with rest,” van Lindonk said. “But time has proven that rest & rehab was not enough.”
Nishikori registered a 29-14 record for the season, starting the year with a bang as he snapped a three-year title drought by winning the Brisbane International, defeating Daniil Medvedev in the final.
The 29-year-old would go on to reach the semi-finals at 500-level events in Rotterdam and Barcelona, along with reaching the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but he failed to beat a top 10 player all season – compared to seven victories over top 10 stars in 2018.
Nishikori will be one of the biggest stars at next year’s 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, alongside two-time major champion Naomi Osaka.
“After nine years of working together literally day in and day out, I have decided it is time for a new voice. I am forever grateful for Dante’s contributions to my career and we will obviously remain very close friends. I appreciate so much the last nine years and our friendship,” Nishikori said on social media.
Nishikori is still believed to be working with Michael Chang. He will miss the upcoming Paris Masters and Davis Cup Finals in Madrid and will target a return to action at next year’s ATP Cup in January, where he is scheduled to team up with Yoshihito Nishioka for Japan against Spain and Georgia in Perth.