Kei Nishikori has revealed that his main goal for the 2016 season is to win his maiden grand slam title.
Nishikori had a decent showing at the Australian and French Opens this year, reaching the quarter-finals in both tournaments, before he withdrew in the second round of Wimbledon due to a calf injury and lost in the first round of the US Open.
However, while the Japanese sensation was unable to clinch his first grand slam title in 2015, he still won the Memphis Open in February, the Barcelona Open in April and the Citi Open in August.
“Producing good results in big tournaments like Grand Slams will be important,” Nishikori told reporters at the IMG Academy.
During the recently concluded season, Nishikori rose to fourth place on the world rankings, which was a career-high for him. However, his bad form towards the end of the season saw him finish the year ranked eighth.
With the new season fast approaching, Nishikori admitted that he is eager to break into the top five again.
“I’m totally settled now and want to get into the top five as soon as I can,” he said. “I think (Milos) Raonic and (Marin) Cilic will come up there again and make it more of a dead heat next year.”
Nishikori added that he has pinpointed a number of areas that he needs to work on with coach Michael Chang after watching videos of his matches this year.
“We’ve watched videos together from this year and checked what can be enhanced,” he said. “I’m mentally fresh but have been training hard so I’m physically tired. I’ll tune myself up before the Australian Open.”
Nishikori is set to begin his season at the Brisbane International, which starts on January 4, but the 26-year-old also acknowledged that he is determined to do his country proud at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“It’s a busy schedule so there is a worry but I hope to be at my peak for the Rio Olympics as well. I don’t normally have a chance to go to Brazil so I’m looking forward to it,” he said.