Japan's Kei Nishikori has added Brad Gilbert as his new traveling coach for the 2011 season. Gilbert, who coached Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray, will travel with Nishikori to about 15 tournaments, but also remain in his role as an analyst for ESPN.
"Kei is a fierce young competitor. He knows what he wants from the game of tennis,” Gilbert said.
Currently ranked No. 98, Nishikori returned to the tour in February after an extensive recovery from elbow surgery. He won four Challenger titles and reached the third round of the U.S. Open, but only won three ATP tour-level matches.
“I am excited about the addition of Brad to my team,” said Nishikori. “Brad’s knowledge as a former top player, as well as his coaching success, is something that can help me become a better player.”
Nick Bollettieri, who trains Nishikori in Bradenton, commended the move.
“As a coach, Brad adds the little things to a player that make a big difference in the higher echelon of the game. Brad’s long-term relationship with the Academy and me as a student, a player, and a guest coach, make Brad a great addition to consult Kei’s coaching team.”
Nishikori will also continue to travel with his full-time coach, Dante Bottini, but will spend a week at Gilbert’s home in California before heading to the tournament in Chennai, which begins at the start of 2011. Gilbert will not coach him there, but will be with him at the tournament in Adelaide and at the Australian Open.
—Ed McGrogan & Matthew Cronin