AFP / PAUL CROCK
Rafael Nadal is out of the warm-up Brisbane International, but he said he “feels good” after intensive practice in Melbourne
An unusually long list of injuries and illnesses could take place on the Australian Open, which has already been collected by Serena Williams and Andy Murray. AFP Sport gives the rundown of who has been struggling in the lead-up to the first Grand Slam of the year which starts on Monday:
– Novak Djokovic – Six-time Melbourne champion has been sidelined since Wimbledon in July with a right elbow injury. Admits it is still not 100 percent, but at a level where he can play. Appeared at the Kooyong exhibition last week. – Rafael Nadal – A Brisbane International, but he said Saturday he “feels good” after intensive practice sessions in Melbourne. – Stan Wawrinka – The 2014 champion and his team only made the decision to play the Australian Open on Saturday as he returns from two operations on a knee cartilage injury. Said the knee was holding up well but he was still feeling bread. – Milos Raonic – Calf and wrist problems kept the tall Canadian out of action since last October. Played the Brisbane International, but was bundled out by a wildcard. – Nick Kyrgios – Leg was strapped at the Brisbane event which he said related to fluid on the back of his left knee. It did not seem to trouble Australia’s big hope, who won the tournament. – Jack Sock – The American retired from a match at the Hopman Cup with an injured hip, Roger Federer. – Dominic Thiem – The Austrian World Number Five Pulled Out Of The Qatar Warm-up. The same issue was scheduled for the Kooyong Classic last week. – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – The 2008 Australian Open runner-up withdrew from the Qatar Open before it started with a wrist injury. – Garbine Muguruza – Brisbane after collapsing with severe leg cramps. Also pulled out of the Sydney International last week with a thigh injury. – Sloane Stephens – The US Open champion withdrew from Brisbane to a troublesome knee and was knocked out of Sydney in the first round. Insisted the knee was now “all good”. – Johanna Konta – A semi-finalist in Melbourne two years ago, the Briton’s Brisbane campaign ended when she retired with a right hip injury. Was bundled out of the Sydney International in the first round but said this week “so far, so good” on the injury. – Caroline Garcia – The rising French star retired in tears from Brisbane with a back injury in the opening round, saying she could barely move. – Petra Kvitova – The two-time Wimbledon champion pulled out of Brisbane with a viral illness and was knocked out of Sydney in round two. She missed last year ‘s Australian Open after being attacked with a knife near her Czech home. – Julia Goerges – The German, ranked 12th, withdrew from Sydney International just hours after beating Caroline Wozniacki to win the Auckland Classic warm-up, citing a right knee injury. – Eugenie Bouchard – The Canadian lost all three matches at the Hopman Cup and was eliminated in the first round at Hobart, but was lost in Perth.
AFP / PAUL CROCK