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TENNIS | Kei Nishikori Tests Positive for COVID-19, Withdraws From U.S. Open Tuneup Event

Ed Odeven




Veteran tennis player Kei Nishikori announced on Sunday, August 16 that he’s tested positive for COVID-19.


As a result, Nishikori has withdrawn from the Western & Southern Open, a hard-court, tuneup event for the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows in New York City. The Grand Slam event is set to start on August 31.


Nishikori, 30, is self-quarantining in Florida.


He was scheduled to travel to New York for the Western & Southern Open on August 17, before testing positive for the virus. The Western & Southern Open was moved from Cincinnati to New York this year due to the global pandemic. The tournament begins on Thursday, August 20.


“I will have to pull out of the Cincinnati tournament at this time. I am feeling well and have very little symptoms but will obviously be in complete isolation for the safety of everyone,” Nishikori announced on his mobile app. He described his health setback as “some unfortunate news.”


Nishikori, who resides in Florida, and his support staff are scheduled to be tested again for COVID-19 on Friday, August 21. 



The world No. 31 turned pro in 2007. The Shimane native reached a career-best No. 4 in the world rankings in March 2015. He’s earned $23.8 million USD in prize money during his career on the ATP Tour.


Nishikori has been sidelined since last year’s U.S. Open, where he dropped a third-round encounter with Alex de Minaur. 


After exiting the 2019 U.S. Open, Nishikori had surgery on his right elbow.


In 2014, Nishikori advanced to a Grand Slam final for the first—and still only—time in his long career, losing 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to Marin Cilic in the U.S. Open title match.



Author:  Ed Odeven

Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward’s [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sundays,  in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter @itsjapanforward.


Ed Odeven is a longtime sports journalist who previously worked for The Japan Times as its chief basketball reporter for nearly 14 years. He also covered a wide range of other sports for the newspaper, including at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Games. A graduate of Arizona State University, Odeven worked for several newspapers in the Grand Canyon State before moving to Japan. He has freelanced for dozens of media outlets around the world.