Nishikori seeking French Open glory

“I can go as far as I want,” says Coco Gauff

Nishikori has enjoyed a much success on clay in the past month as he retained his Barcelona Open crown, reached the semi-final of the Madrid Open and the quarter-final of the Rome Masters. 

As a result of this, many pundits believe that Nishikori only trails world number one Novak Djokovic on the list of favourites to win the French Open. 

While Nishikori himself admits that his performance on clay has substantially improved, he feels that it might take him a couple more years before he triumphs at Roland Garros.

"I think it’s going to take some time to win a Grand Slam, but I love how I feel at the French Open," he told The Independent. "I feel differently at Roland Garros to how I feel at other Grand Slams. I’ve been playing well on clay, so I think I have a chance in the next couple of years."

The Japanese sensation revealed that his recent success on clay can be attributed to coach Michael Chang, who won his only Grand Slam title at the French Open in 1989. 

Nishikori is grateful for the time and faith Chang has invested in him and now hopes to make his coach proud by having a highly successful run in Paris. 

"I worked with him on clay courts for the first time last year and he told me a lot of good things," Nishikori said. "That’s why I changed how I play on clay. I am going more for my shots and coming to the net a little more than before.

"I’ve been feeling really comfortable on clay because I have more time to set up my forehand. I can use a lot of different shots – drop shots and high balls. You can mix up a lot of shots, so it’s actually more fun to play on clay."

Your browser does not support iframes.