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Kei Nishikori withdraws from US Open

Former world number four Kei Nishikori believes he would not be able to withstand the rigours that grand slam matches can present.

Former finalist Kei Nishikori has withdrawn from the US Open despite testing negative for coronavirus.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

Kei Nishikori reached the 2014 US Open final (Adam Davy/PA)
Kei Nishikori reached the 2014 US Open final (Adam Davy/PA)

"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 one and two Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep and Australian Nick Kyrgios are among the highest profile names to withdraw.

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26 Nov 2000: Tim Henman of England with the trophy after his straight sets win over Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia in the final of the Samsung Open at the Brighton Centre, Brighton.
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