Nishikori eyes successful 2016 after London exit


Kei Nishikori is determined to take his game to another level and make his presence felt in 2016 after Roger Federer knocked him out of the ATP World Tour Finals on Thursday.

The eighth seed from Japan needed a victory over the 17-time grand-slam champion to have any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals in London, but was beaten 7-5 4-6 6-4.

Nishikori has had his injury problems in a year in which he has won three titles and the 2014 US Open runner-up hopes next year proves to be more fruitful.

He said: "I think for me it's important to win a title, especially big ones, Masters, going further in a Grand Slam especially, because I didn't do quite as well this year. Plus I missed three Masters this year, but still I'm in the top 10.

"If I can do a little better than this year, I think I can go a little higher each year.

"I'm trying to work on to come into net a little more. I think I doing really well. I am improving a lot this year. I want to keep doing that.

"I think is going to be really important, making a lot of first serves. I have to raise the percentage a little more. Try to be healthy, I think that's most important.

Nishikori broke Federer's serve five times and showed great character to fight back from 3-1 down in the first set and 4-1 in the second and third to make a game of it.

The 25-year-old was buoyed by his performance, but knows he gave himself too much to do.

He added: "I thought I was playing very good. Especially returning, I was making lot of returns. Second serve, I think I was attacking really well. I think that's why I able to break that much.

"But each set I didn't start well. I think everyone he broke first and I was kind of (on the) defence all the time. That was my big mistake.

"I mean, in end really it was a close game. I think just couple points that I didn't play quite well enough. But, yeah, it is a shame to lose like this. I thought I was playing well."