Kei Nishikori facing fight to be fit for US Open after testing positive for COVID-19
Kei Nishikori has tested positive for COVID-19 just two weeks before the US Open is due to start in New York.
The Japanese tennis star, who is a former world no.4, has pulled out of the upcoming Western & Southern Open ahead of the August 31 start date at Flushing Meadows.
In a statement on his official app, Nishikori said: “Hi everyone, I have some unfortunate news today. This morning while still in Florida, I got tested for Covid19 and tested positive. I will have to pull out of the Cincinnati tournament at this time.
“Me and my team will get tested again on Friday, at which point I will have another update. I am feeling well and have very little symptoms, but will obviously be in complete isolation for the safety of everyone.
“We were planning to fly to New York tomorrow, but will obviously now stay in Florida. Next update will be on Friday.”
Nishikori, currently ranked 31 in the world, has not played a competitive match since undergoing elbow surgery in October last year, although the ongoing pandemic has meant he has missed less tennis than he might ordinarily have done.
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Several high-profile tennis stars – including defending champion Rafael Nadal 0 have already withdrawn from this year’s US Open over fears of contracting the coronavirus.
On Saturday, Belinda Bencic, a US Open semi-finalist 12 months ago, became the latest player to pull out of this year’s tournament.
The 23-year-old from Switzerland, who lost to eventual champion Bianca Andreescu, has confirmed she will not be travelling to New York later this month.
She wrote on Twitter: “I have made the difficult decision to skip the US swing in New York and will return to the starting tour in Rome next month.
Her decision means three of last year’s semi-finalists – Bencic, Andreescu and Elina Svitolina – have withdrawn, meaning the only one of the four competing this year will Serena Williams.
The world number one, Ashleigh Barty, also pulled out because of her concerns surrounding coronavirus.
The Cincinnati Masters, also being held at Flushing Meadows, begins on August 21 with the US Open beginning a week later.