Nishikori Aims For Australian Open Title

Nishikori aims for Australian Open title

Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori says achieving good results in Grand Slam tournaments has always been his goal, and that he will strive to win the title at the Australian Open which starts on Monday.

Nishikori clinched his first title in almost 3 years earlier this month by winning the Brisbane international tournament.

The event is considered a prelude to the Australian Open.

In an interview with NHK, Nishikori said he was in a very good mental state, and was able to get off to a good start for the year.

He said the court and tennis balls used in the Australian Open suit him, and that he should be able to do well as long as he can cope with the high speed of the balls.

Nishikori said the many Asian supporters and the small time difference with Japan makes him feel closer to home and that it is easier to play.

He said his immediate goal is to exceed his previous record in the tournament and advance to the quarter-finals.

Nishikori added he is recovering from the last tournament and that he has more time to relax and recuperate until the first match.

Another Japanese tennis star, Naomi Osaka, also spoke to NHK.

Referring to the Brisbane International tournament, in which she reached the quarter-finals, she said she was happy to have started the year off better than last year.

Osaka said she will not complain as much in the Australian Open, and that she wants to have fun and play the game without stress.

She said Australia's hard courts help her a lot, and that her main focus is to be consistent, which is the same goal she had in last year's US Open.

She said she hopes to have the same mental approach.

Osaka added that she knows everyone expects her to do well, and that she just has to be confident.