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A win that proved he has reached a different dimension, a testament to his growth. Kei Nishikoris five-set victory over Andy Murray in the quarter-finals of this years US Open was one of the best of his career. Probably one of his biggest since reaching the final in New York in 2014.And it was impressive, coming over four hours and from two sets to one down. But was it, as Japanese tennis veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm suggested, a victory that proved the 26-year-old Nishikori has reached a different dimension? For many the jury is still out.Not that Nishikori has not been successful already. He has won 11 career titles, an Olympic bronze medal, reached the final of the US Open, made three Masters finals, and hit as high as No 4 in the world. But there has been a common theme that seems to have prevented any further progress: fatigue or injury.In the 2014 US Open final he was beaten in straight sets by Marin Cilic, saying afterwards that his body was heavy. After losing in the semi-finals in New York to Stan Wawrinka this year, he said: I was definitely tired, especially in the end. At Wimbledon he did not look fit from the outset against Cilic and eventually retired at 6-1 5-1 down. Nishikori beat Andy Murray at this years US Open There is no doubting Nishikoris talents, but his progression to the very top has been hampered by consistent injury issues. There is also a question of whether he can physically go the distance throughout the two weeks of a Grand Slam.In 2014, one of his coaches, Dante Bottini, said that part of Nishikoris problem with injuries was mental and he didnt really know how to deal with pain and injury.It was a clearly a priority for Nishikori and his team at the time.If I have one goal for next year that would be for Kei to go out there and play 95 percent of the year healthy, said Nishikoris coach Michael Chang in December 2014. To go through the year without having an injury or something happen that takes you out for two to three weeks at a time would be a huge accomplishment and that alone would take his tennis to the next level. Mark Petchey looks ahead to the ATP World Tour Finals Chang also said that he felt Nishikori had an opportunity to win a major on any surface.That challenge, though, has not materialised. While he has performed well at the US Open, he has never made it beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon, has only made one quarter-final at Roland Garros and never progressed beyond the last eight in Melbourne.So what does Nishikori need to do to make the next step up?Perhaps his injuries have just been bad luck. Perhaps he need to lighten his load in 2017 and the years ahead. One aspect that could really help him win a Slam would be his serve Michael Chang I have been playing a lot of matches this year, he said last week. Maybe thats why I have been hurting these couple months, not feeling 100 percent yet.At the moment his body seems as though sometimes it is his toughest opponent.But because of his style of play that might not change. Nishikori does not have a huge serve - of the eight players in London he has the fewest aces in 2016 - and rather he excels with his court coverage and brilliant backhand.But grinding out so many points appears to be taking its toll on the world No 5.Chang admitted earlier this year that one aspect that could really help him win a Slam would be his serve. Michael Chang started working with Nishikori ahead of the 2014 season He added: Its improved a lot over the past couple of years but it still needs to get better and more consistent.Nishikori mixed it up at the US Open by serving and volleying, using the tactic to great effect against Murray in the quarter-finals.Sky Sports pundit Mark Petchey said: Hes definitely trying to protect his serve a bit better this year against obviously great returners.But will that be enough for Nishikori to consistently compete with the best?Ahead of the ATP World Tour finals, he acknowledged: I have to do a little better in the big tournaments, especially the Grand Slams and all the ATP World Tour Masters 1000s.Physically, I got much stronger the last couple of years. I try to work hard every day, try to be confident in every match and enjoy my tennis. Its good motivation.Is motivation enough to see the Japanese make the next step? That remains to be seen.Check our game-by-game coverage from all group matches at the ATP World Tour Finals in London - including Andy Murray - on skysports.com/tennis, our app for mobile devices and iPad and our Twitter account @skysportstennis. Also See: Panel predictions Stan the danger man Murrays year in numbers Tour Finals at The O2 Giovani Lo Celso Jersey . -- The Grand Rapids Griffins scored three goals in 33 seconds of the second period en route to defeating the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-1 in American Hockey League action on Friday. Kylian Mbappe Jersey . 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Emmanuel Kone pulled one back in the 80th and Levadiakos missed several chances to level in the last 10 minutes.ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Less than three years after being one of the most prized free agents on the open market, Nnamdi Asomugha NFL career is over. Asomugha formally announced his retirement Friday at the Oakland Raiders headquarters, ending his 11-year career at the place he had his most success. "Im just grateful to be back, grateful for everything to go full circle," Asomugha said. "For all of the achievements and awards, to be able to retire as a Raider ranks highest among all of those." Asomugha made three Pro Bowls and was a two-time first-team All-Pro during his eight seasons with the Raiders when he was considered one of the leagues top cover cornerbacks. But his career quickly fizzled after signing a $60 million, five-year contract with Philadelphia in the summer of 2011. He was cut after two years with the Eagles and played just three games this season for San Francisco before being released in November. He said he had opportunities to come back since then but felt the time was right to go on with the rest of his life. Asomugha was joined at his retirement news conference by three of the Raiders best defensive backs: Hall of Famer Willie Brown, Lester Hayes and Charles Woodson. Asomugha credited all three, along with others like Rod Woodson and Mike Haynes for his transformation from a college safety to an elite NFL cornerback. "He turned into what they call that shut-down corner," Woodson said. "People just decided going into the game they werent going to throw at him. Thats a testament to his hard work." Asomugha came into the NFL as a first-round pick out of California in 2003 and became one of the rare Al Davis first-rounders to pan out in his later years running the Raiders. After taking a few years to adjust to playing cornerback after being mostly a safety in college, Asomugha thrived in the Raiderrs system that often left cornerbacks alone on an island matched up man-to-man against opposing receivers.dddddddddddd "When I first came into the league not too many people really knew who I was," Asomugha said. "When I first got here I was definitely called a reach. In great Al Davis fashion, he took a reach that he believed in and instilled confidence in me like nobody else could and I was able to become all that he expected of me." Asomugha had a breakthrough season in 2006 when he intercepted eight passes and was a rare bright spot on a 2-14 team. By the next season, opposing quarterbacks rarely even threw the ball his direction. In his final four seasons with the Raiders, Asomugha had just 136 passes thrown at him in 60 games, allowing just 66 completions and only two touchdowns. Asomugha was paid well for his performance in Oakland, earning $9.5 million in 2008 and then signing a $45.3 million, three-year deal the following off-season. That contract voided after his second year and he became one of the most prominent free agents after the lockout ended in 2011. After never playing on a winning team in his eight seasons in Oakland, Asomugha joined the Eagles in what was billed as the "dream team." But he never fit in to a system that had him playing zone coverage instead of being exclusively in man-to-man. Philadelphia was one of the leagues most disappointing teams in his two seasons there, going 12-20 and missing the playoffs both times. Asomugha signed a minimum contract with the 49ers last off-season but made one start and played three games before being released, meaning he will end his career having never made the playoffs. "We didnt get a championship, that was the goal," Asomugha said. 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