Kei Nishikori withdraws from US Open due to knee injury

The 2014 finalist at Flushing Meadows was hoping to make his first Grand Slam appearance since the 2021 US Open

Kei Nishikori, US Open 2014 Nishikori loses the 2014 US Open final to Marin Cilic

Kei Nishikori has pulled out of this year’s US Open on the eve of the event with a knee injury.

The former world No 4 has been out of action all month with the issue, and had pulled out of several warm-up events in the run-up to the final Grand Slam of the year.

Nishikori underwent hip surgery in January 2022, a procedure which was initially expected to keep him out of competitive action for six months.

However, it has been a long and tortuous journey back to fitness for the Japanese player, having only made his long-awaited comeback to competitive tennis in June at the Challengers level and then at the ATP 250 of Atlanta.

He had looked in remarkably promising form throughout his three matches at the ATP 250 event, winning two matches in fine style before losing to Taylor Fritz in the quarter-finals.

But the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist then pulled out of the Citi Open in Washington with the knee injury that has kept him off tour ever since and now forced him to pull out of the US Open.

Nishikori has been replaced in the draw by Australian lucky loser James Duckworth, who lost in the final round of qualifying.

Duckworth will face Felipe Alves on Tuesday in the first round at Flushing Meadows.

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