He stayed injury free until the final stages of his brilliant 2017 campaign, winning a 10th French Open title and then claiming the US Open, before familiar knee problems returned putting an end to his season at the ATP Finals in London. "It was definitely my highlight of 2017". "Right now all I can think about and where I can sort of, say, direct my energy is in the present moment".
The Swiss will be gunning for a 20th grand slam title, but following Thursday's draw, the heat will be on for the 36-year-old in Melbourne.
Wawrinka's participation came down to the wire, with the 2014 champion only deciding after practice on Saturday that he would commit to playing his first-round match against Ricardas Berankis. I don't know how it's going to behave.
Despite that, Nadal, 31, said he felt in decent enough form ahead of a first-round clash against Víctor Estrella Burgos.
The Serb confirmed the injury had not needed surgery but would not answer a question as to whether he required a pain-killing injection to play.
One of the changes they have made is to the Djokovic service action, which has been altered to take pressure off the elbow. The No. 1-ranking changed seven times in 2017, with five different women assuming top spot - three for the first time. Kyrgios insists that while the expectation may be more intense in Melbourne, it is par for the course given his growing reputation in the game, hence the commitment to calm.
He missed warmup events in Abu Dhabi and Brisbane but had an exhibition match at the Kooyong Classic and another practice match with Dominic Thiem at Melbourne Park on Friday, complete with ball boys and a chair umpire.
Stephens agrees the Australian Open field is still extremely tough, even with Serena Williams, the defending champion and 23-time major winner, skipping the tournament as she continues her recovery from a complicated childbirth in September.
"Now I have Laver Cup, Shanghai, Basel, Paris, and London", Federer said after his quarterfinal loss to Juan Martin Del Potro at the US Open.
Nadal almost claimed a second Australian Open title last year, only to be edged by Roger Federer in a thrilling final. Obviously, I have high expectations of myself.
"Everyone wants to win a Grand Slam".
The combined age of Nadal and Federer is 67 compared to the 70 for the players ranked third to fifth.
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