James Blake mentions the following similarities between Nishioka and Rios:
- The short backswing on the backhand.
- the power from the corners
- exceptional hand and eye coordination
And I would add
- the foot speed
- the disguise of his shots and explosive racquet head speed
The last point I am referring to is how on the same preparation a player can hit the ball 10 to 15 mph faster than another shot with the same backswing. Juan Martin Del Potro also has this unexpected pace that blows by his opponents.
James Blake talked about the problem solving of Marcelo Rios on his way to world number one. He overcome his short height (one of the shortest number ones) by taking the ball early. And James adds that Marcelo was a pioneer of the jumping two-handed backhand.
James Blake then talked about his own experience playing against Nadal and the importance of taking his forehand on the rise. Blake had a decent record against Nadal.
It's exciting to see how similar a style to Marcelo Rios can be effective in today's game. I have seen Kerber have success with a similar style on the women's tour. But Nishioka is upsetting Nadal with his style of play. He is in these long rallies with a chance. Lefties have a special spin. Best of all, Nishioka is forcing Nadal to play more of an opening up the court style of play. This style could be of tremendous value for club players.
Kohlschreiber is another player who likes to open up the court. He did so beautifully when he beat Andy Roddick in the 2008 Australian Open. Yet he can't seem to cross the finish line in big matches. Today he squandered 8 match points losing a 20 -18 tiebreaker to Andy Murray. I just want to see a modern player open up the court with the angles as much as Marcelo Rios. I feel if this player has stamina and a positive attitude there is no limit to their success on tour. This makes me want to take advantage of the opportunity I have to reach my tennis potential. I must get in great shape. This will allow me to turn defense into offense during important matches.