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The men’s singles final on Monday, Sept. 8th, between Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori was a little disappointing. Nishikori, who persevered so valiantly in his lengthy match against Novac Djokovic, seemed to struggle mentally and physically almost from the beginning. He did not seem to be able to use his famous speedy footwork. Perhaps his physical reserve had been spent by the time his grueling semi-final match ended on Saturday. In addition, the goddess of fortune did not smile on him today. Meanwhile, Marin Cilic seemed almost invincible with his powerful serves (more than 130 m/h) that seemed to come from his height (6’6” – 8 inches taller than Nishikori) as well as his arms and legs. According to Nietzsche, that which does not kill us makes us stronger. One can say Nietzsche’s dictum applies particularly well in sports. It’s a kind of conditioning for an athlete to become a champion: one has to compete against stronger athletes to become stronger. But, usually this conditioning happens only when the one has enough time to recover from the match. Kei Nishikori did not have the luxury of sufficient resting time to recover from the extended match under very difficult conditions of high heat and humidity. So, after all things considered, I can say I am confident Kei Nishikori will one day be a tennis champion in any of the major tennis tournaments.

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