Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori said Monday that ensuring people's safety amid the coronavirus pandemic should take precedence over hosting the Tokyo Olympics, as public opinion remains divided regarding whether the games should be held.

"Ultimately, I would be reluctant to (take part) if there would be even one case of infection" at the games, Nishikori said in an online press conference after beating Italian Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of ATP Rome Masters 1000 event.

Japan's Kei Nishikori is pictured during his Madrid Open second-round match against Alexander Zverev of Germany on May 5, 2021, in Madrid, Spain. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Nishikori contracted the coronavirus last summer.

"If you only think about athletes, I think you can do it if you can make a good bubble," he said, but he added there are risks too.

"What happens if (there are) 100 cases in the (athletes' village) or...thousands?" he said.