ACAPULCO, Guerrero — Japan’s No. 1 tennis player Kei Nishikori said that he is aiming to win this week’s ATP 500 tournament in Acapulco, after losing in the final last year, although he accepted that the level of competition is extremely high.
“The level is very competitive and the conditions are tough. Acapulco is not an easy tournament. Last year was a great experience, but the balls were very slow. I hope I can adjust to the conditions better this year,” said the world no. 6.
The former US Open finalist, who was ousted by Spain’s David Ferrer in the 2015 final, added that he feels no pressure to win the tournament, despite being seeded second for the event (behind Ferrer).
“There are lots of great players this year … Ferrer is always a tough opponent. He won last year but I am trying to focus on my own game and take it step-by-step. I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” he explained.
Asked about his start to the 2016 season, Nishikori said that he is satisfied with how he has played so far, reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and winning the Memphis title for the fourth straight year.
“Now I am here in Mexico I hope to continue improving, not only for this event but also in preparation for Indian Wells,” he said.
Nishikori, who begins his campaign against Holland’s Thiemo de Bakker Monday, is joined in the Acapulco draw by Croatia’s Marin Cilic and Austria’s Dominic Thiem. The top seed in the women’s draw is Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka.