Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka ready and looking forward to Australian Open

first_imgThe Australian Open organisers got a huge boost on Tuesday after quite a few superstars pulled out of the season opening Grand Slam.Former champions Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka have not only confirmed their participation but also stated that they are looking forward to the tournament starting next week.Women’s singles defending champion Serena Williams announced last week that she won’t be making a comeback to tennis at Melbourne Park as her preparations had fallen just short of what she needed to be competitive.Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori have also pulled out of the tournament with respective injuries while Novak Djokovic is also fighting to be fit before the first major of the season starts on January 15.However, 2014 champion Wawrinka, who has been battling a knee injury and has not played since he was knocked out in the first round of Wimbledon last year, said he is happy to be back on tour once again.”I’m really, really happy to be back on the Tour and seeing the sun,” Wawrinka told reporters after an event with the tournament’s ball kids at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.”For me, the first thing is to play a match, to play a tennis match again. It’s been many months out of the tour. It’s not always the best when you are an athlete so I’m looking forward to it, enjoying the crowd.The Swiss was one of the major question marks heading into the Australian Open.”Still a lot to do but I’m feeling really positive so looking forward to starting,” added the three-times grand slam winner.2009 champion Nadal on the other hand, has also been battling a knee injury and had not played since the season-ending ATP Tour Finals in London.advertisementHe withdrew from a warm-up tournament in Abu Dhabi and last week’s Brisbane International and had been concerned with his match fitness.”It was a good test for me and good practice,” the 16-times grand slam winner told reporters after his 6-4 7-5 loss in which he appeared to be moving freely, if not a little rusty in his shotmaking.”I’m good and I am here so that’s good news and my idea is just to keep practising the next couple of days to be ready for the beginning of the Australian Open,” Nadal added.last_img

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