Nishikori: Unforced errors cost me

Japan were beaten 3-1 by Great Britain in the Davis Cup this weekend and Kei Nishikori admits a few costly errors are the reason for his five-set loss to Andy Murray on Sunday in Birmingham.

Britain were leading 2-1 going into Sunday’s opening singles rubber which meant that Nishikori had to win to keep Japan’s hopes alive of progressing to the quarter-final stage with a win.

World number two Murray took the first two sets but Nishikori came back strongly before losing 7-5, 7-6 (7-6), 3-6, 4-6, 6-3 in four hours and 54 minutes.

In an interview with the Japan Times, Nishikori said that he made a few unforced errors which was the difference between winning and losing.

“(I made) some unforced errors that I shouldn’t have. But I think he raised his level in the fifth set,” Nishikori said. “I knew he was going to come back because he always does. And I was fine.

“There was no way I was going to give up in this important match. I tried to focus, but he was better in the fifth.

“I thought I was playing good tennis from the first set. Maybe I lost some focus for a few games in the second set. But I started playing better, and focused. I lost the match, and it’s not easy, but I’m happy with my tennis.”

Murray said he felt that his level dropped a bit in the third and fourth sets but managed to up the ante in the fifth for victory in the electric atmosphere in Birmingham. “The first time I was trailing in the match, I thought this match could go either way,” Murray told the tournament’s website. 

“The level of the match was very high for large parts. The first couple of sets, I was playing a bit better than Kei, and his level wasn’t what it was in the third and fourth sets. “My level then dropped in the third and fourth sets. In the fifth, it felt like both of us were playing well at the same time for the first time in the match. “It’s a great atmosphere, very intense with a lot of pressure, when you’re missing chances and very fatigued and stressed.”