Kei Nishikori withdraws from US Open despite negative Covid-19 test

Kei Nishikori

Former finalist Kei Nishikori has withdrawn from the US Open despite testing negative for coronavirus.

The Japanese, who lost to Marin Cilic in straight sets in the 2014 US Open final, returned a positive sample for the second time last week, necessitating his absence from the ongoing Western and Southern Open in New York.

Despite his latest negative result ahead of the tournament which gets under way next week, former world No 4 Nishikori believes he would not be able to withstand the rigours that Grand Slam matches can present.

He said in a statement on his official app: “I am happy to announce that I tested negative for Covid. I will slowly pick up my practice schedule tomorrow.

“Having said that, I (together with my team) have decided to skip the US Open this year. After such a long break I feel that returning in a best of 5 long-match setting is not smart until I am fully ready to do so.

“It’s disappointing as I love the US Open and have great memories there.”

Nishikori indicated he would return for the shortened clay swing of the season, which starts next month.

A host of players will be missing from the US Open as they have decided not to travel due to the risks of coronavirus.

Defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal, reigning women’s champion Bianca Andreescu, women’s world number No 1 and 2 Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep and Australian Nick Kyrgios are among the highest profile names to withdraw.

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