A confident Yoshihito Nishioka wins second career title: "You have to grab it and just take it"Oct 03, 2022
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A confident Yoshihito Nishioka wins second career title: "You have to grab it and just take it"
"Don't be shy, and just go for it," said the Korea Open champion. "That's very, very big for Asian tennis players."
Published Oct 03, 2022
Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka is happy to hear he gets on Denis Shapovalov's nerves—on the court, anyway.
The 27-year-old Japanese won his second career title with that tactic, upsetting the world No. 24 seed at the Korea Open in Seoul. During the trophy ceremony, Shapovalov joked about his frustration with Nishioka's game.
"I always try to be annoying," Nishioka said with a laugh. "If he feels like that, then my plan was working."
Nishioka is known for his footspeed and defence, but he knew he also had to counter his opponent's flashy shotmaking.
"But I didn’t need to worry about that if it was too good," he said. "I just focused on playing many balls and putting pressure on him, and if I had chances to just go for it.”
That assertive approach is something he wants himself and other players to use more often.
"You have to grab it and just take it," said Japan's current No. 1, having also defeated top seed Casper Ruud on his way to the title in Seoul.
“Don't be shy, and just go for it. That's very, very big for Asian tennis players."
Having already lifted a ATP trophy helped his belief heading into the match.
"I had a lot of confidence to win the tournament," he said. "That was the big difference from the first title.”
Earlier this year, Nishioka had also made it into the final in Washington, upsetting Andrey Rublev before he lost against Nick Kyrgios. He likes the mental approach of Rafael Nadal, winner of 22 Grand Slams.
“[Nadal’s] attitude is like a king," Nishioka said of his fellow southpaw. "Even when he loses, he looks like a king. I think I can learn the mentality and attitude."
Nishioka's victory lifts him 15 spots to a career-high No. 41 in the rankings.