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Should Rafael Nadal fail to deliver at Roland Garros like is the norm, Kei Nishikori believes as many as 10 names will be in contention, including himself.
You can certainly understand the Japanese’s fifth seed for Rome’s confidence. He has won two tournaments this year, including Barcelona last month, reached one final and only lost in the Madrid semi-final to an in-form Andy Murray.
“I think everybody has a chance in Paris, especially all the top 10 guys,” said Nishikori. “Obviously Novak Djokovic is playing amazing this year, he’s the toughest opponent like Tomas Berdych and Andy Murray. And for me too, I’ve been playing good on clay so I hope I can do well at the French Open. I think I’m getting close to Novak.
“Rafa’s going to be OK, he’s always the toughest opponent on clay and he’s playing well, maybe not the last one but he played well in Madrid. But he’s going to be back for sure.
“I will try to do well here in Rome. I haven’t done well because I got injured last year and could only play a couple of times.
“I’m really looking to playing this week and the French Open I hope I can do well because I have lots of confidence even if I lost semi-final last week, I’m playing well on clay.”