In what may be a boost for tennis fans and the organisers of the Australian Open, crowd pullers Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka all trained with the clock ticking down on the first Grand Slam of the year. All three players have injury concerns and are not 100 per cent certain to take court for the Melbourne-based Slam which begins on January 15.
With the tournament already losing the star powers of Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori and Serena Williams, the organisers have been sweating on the fitness of former and current World No 1’s Djokovic and Nadal respectively. Two-time Australian Open winner Wawrinka has also been out of action with injury.
Djokovic, suffering with an elbow injury, has not played a competitive match since last year’s Wimbledon. In the tune up events, he skipped the Abu Dhabi exhibition and the Qatar Open. The 12-time Grand Slam winner is slated to participate in the Kooyong Classic. The Serbian is also scheduled to play the Tie Break Tens and will take a call on his participation in the Australian Open after the two exhibitions.
Nadal, who will also use the Kooyong Classic and Tie Break Tens as warm up opportunities for the Australian Open, has been struggling with a right knee injury. He pulled out of the Brisbane International to give himself longer recovery time. Wawrinka, also hurt by knee injuries, is in Melbourne readyying himself up for the Australian Open. Nadal and Wawrinka practiced against each other on Sunday.