Nishikori Replaces Del Potro In London
LONDON — Kei Nishikori will compete at the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 11-18 November, following the withdrawal of Juan Martin del Potro due to a right knee injury. Nishikori will join Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev, Kevin Anderson, Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem at the elite eight-player event.
Del Potro, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 3 earlier this season, continues his rehabilitation following an injury sustained while competing at the Rolex Shanghai Masters in October, but is unable to recover full fitness ahead of London.
“It’s frustrating for me not to be able to compete in London,” said Del Potro. “It’s a very special tournament and I’ve tried everything possible to get my knee better. The rehabilitation is making good progress, but I need more time. Of course, it’s disappointing for me right now, but I had a very good season overall.”
The 28-year-old Nishikori will make his fourth appearance at the season finale (also 2014-16), having reached the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals on two occasions, his debut in 2014 and in 2016 (l. to Djokovic both times). The Japanese star is only the third player since 1994 to have won an ATP Challenger Tour title (Dallas) and qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals in the same season, following in the footsteps of Ivan Ljubicic (2005) and Robin Soderling (2009).