Tennis: As Hawaii Open closes out 2019, players look ahead

The day after a rain-soaked Christmas in Honolulu, players scheduled to compete at the 2019 Hawaii Open looked ahead to next season, sharing their thoughts at the pre-tournament Media Day at Ward Village.

However, one of those tapped to headline the event and defend his title withdrew at the last minute.  Kei Nishikori made the trip to Hawaii but decided that his right elbow needed some more time to heal before he could enter tournaments again.

“The elbow is doing well.  It’s on a good process,” Nishikori said of his injury that initially started to bother him at the 2019 French Open.  He ultimately elected to undergo surgery for it in October.

“I’m going to see week by week when I can come back,” he added.


Taking Nishikori’s place was 18-year-old American wild card Brandon Nakashima, who later defeated Christian Harrison in the first match of the event, 6-0, 6-1, that evening.

Sam Querrey is heading into a couple of busy months.  After competing in Hawaii, he’ll head back to California before the Australian hardcourt swing leading up to the first Grand Slam of the year.  He then travels to New York for a tournament, awaits the birth of his first child, and then it’s back to competitive play at Indian Wells.  “This will be my fourteenth year on tour,” he said.  “So I’m just hoping to enjoy it, have a healthy year, win another title – maybe two – and have a run at a Grand Slam.”

Misaki Doi of Japan, however, firmly has her sights on one tournament in 2020.  “It’s going to be the Tokyo Olympics next year,” she said.  “This is my hometown.  I hope I can reach that goal and if I play, I want to play well.”


The men’s and women’s Hawaii Open singles events take place at the University of Hawaii through Dec. 28.  Other competitors include multiple Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber, Danielle Collins, Yanina Wickmayer, Taylor Fritz, Jordan Thompson and Alyssa Tobita.

Photos: Media Day – 2019 Hawaii Open
all photos by Kwai Chan / Meniscus Magazine

Video: Kei Nishikori, Angelique Kerber, Danielle Collins, Taylor Fritz, Alyssa Tobita – 2019 Hawaii Open
video by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine

Video: Sam Querrey, Yanina Wickmayer, Misaki Doi, Jordan Thompson, Christian Harrison – 2019 Hawaii Open
video by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine