TOKYO: Japanese world number five Kei Nishikori says that the 2016 tennis season has been his most successful results-wise and is targeting a grand slam title in 2017.
In the past season, the 26-year-old had a career-high 58 wins, winning one ATP Tour title (The Memphis Open), an Olympic bronze medal with prize money totalling $4 324 963.
In the grand slams, Nishikori reached the Australian Open quarter-finals, the fourth rounds at the French Open and Wimbledon and the US Open semi-finals, where he lost to tournament winner Stan Wawrinka.
He also reached the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London and got to the finals of the ATP Swiss Indoors, ATP Rogers Cup and the ATP Miami Open.
In an interview with the Kyodo news agency, the 2014 US Open runner-up said that though he had a successful year he needs to win the big tournaments.
“A year that I won most matches does carry some significance but what is important is how much I can win at big tournaments,” Nishikori said.
“Result-wise this has been my best year. I’ve played well against the top-10 players and have been winning against the likes of (Rafa) Nadal and (Andy) Murray, who I couldn’t beat before.
“I’m making fewer mistakes as I get older. I hope to keep building, bit-by-bit.
“I’m confident I have the ability to challenge for world number three and four.
“I need to be more cautious while determining which points in the match I have to focus and how I can win break points in a more assured manner.”