Sport Wawrinka tempers Aus Open expectations

07:05  13 january  2018
07:05  13 january  2018 Source:   MSN

Wawrinka wins in injury return at Open

  Wawrinka wins in injury return at Open Three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka has made a successful return to tennis with a gritty four-set Australian Open win.The ninth seed, who was late to declare his fitness for the grand slam he won in 2014, battled his way past Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis in a 6-3 6-4 2-6 7-6 (7-2) first-round victory on Tuesday.

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Triple grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka admits he's a long way off playing at his best at this month's Australian Open after a lengthy break from the sport.© AP Photo/Darron Cumming Triple grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka admits he's a long way off playing at his best at this month's Australian Open after a lengthy break from the sport. Stan Wawrinka admits he was on the verge of pulling out of the Australian Open before a last-minute hitout convinced him to return from his six-month injury layoff.

The triple grand slam champion hasn't played since undergoing surgery on his injured knee following a first round defeat at Wimbledon.

Speculation about his fitness intensified after he pulled out of Wednesday's Tie Break Tens fast-format exhibition event at Melbourne Park.

Philippoussis torpedoes Kyrgios' Australian Open chances

  Philippoussis torpedoes Kyrgios' Australian Open chances The man known as The Scud has torpedoed local hope Nick Kyrgios’ chances of winning this month’s Australian Open – or any other grand slam singles title – declaring he isn’t physically or mentally strong enough. Kyrgios won his fourth ATP singles title and first on home soil with a 6-4 6-2 victory over American Ryan Harrison at last week’s Brisbane International.Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash promptly declared Kyrgios an ‘outside favourite’ to win his maiden grand slam title in Melbourne.

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With his first match scheduled for Tuesday, Wawrinka has revealed he was undecided about committing to the Australian Open until he got through a practice session on Saturday.

"It's the most important for me to be careful with the knee. That's why I waited (until) the last minute to decide if I was going to play or not," he said.

"There's always a little risk, for sure, especially starting after six months in a match, you going to get more tight, you going to get nervous, you're not going to feel as comfortable in a match as in practice.

"But the knee is staying there, so that's the most important."

Djokovic 'ready' for Australian Open

  Djokovic 'ready' for Australian Open Former world No.1 Novak Djokovic has practised in Melbourne as he continues his comeback from an elbow injury. Djokovic will play two matches at the Kooyong Classic exhibition event as he recovers from the elbow injury that has kept him out of action since July.He will face Austrian world No.6 Dominic Thiem on Wednesday before taking part in the Tie Break Tens fast-format tournament that evening alongside Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka.

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The 2014 Australian Open champion tempered expectations of a deep run this time around after such a long layoff, adding that his knee was still causing him pain.

Wawrinka instead hopes to use the opening grand slam of the year as an opportunity to push himself back into competition and test his fitness in the five-set format.

"The knee is getting way better (but) I still have a lot of work to do physically and also tennis-wise to be to my top level," he said.

"I'm going to take the time I need for that.

"It's a good place to start, to get pushed, to see also mentally how I'm going to react, how I'm going to feel when I'm going to be playing matches."

Wawrinka will open his campaign against Lithuanian world No.138 Ricardas Berankis.

The Swiss ninth seed has been drawn in the same quarter as world No.5 Dominic Thiem and Roberto Bautista Agut.

Evergreen Federer is clear Australian Open favourite .
<p>Roger Federer is the "clear favourite" to retain his Australian Open title over an injury-riddled field when the first grand slam of the season starts next week in Melbourne, tennis analysts said on Wednesday.</p>Federer's bid for a 20th grand slam title will be aided by the absences of Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori, as well as lingering injuries to top players who are still expected to play like Rafa Nadal and Stan Wawrinka.


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