Nadal ready to let rip re­mod­elled serve at Australian Open

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - SPORTS -

Rafael Nadal re­vealed Sat­ur­day he was back to full fit­ness and has a brand new serve to un­leash at the Australian Open.

The world num­ber two limped away from Mel­bourne Park a year ago, forced to re­tire in pain from his quar­ter-fi­nal with Marin Cilic.

The 17-time Grand Slam cham­pion missed most of the next three months and cut short his sea­son to have surgery on a trou­ble­some foot in­jury.

He pulled out of a Bris­bane warm-up event with a slight thigh strain but de­clared Sat­ur­day his trou­bles were be­hind him.

“I feel good. If I am not feel­ing good, I will not be here,” Nadal told re­porters two days be­fore the start of the first Grand Slam of the year.

Fed­erer names Wim­ble­don as po­ten­tial farewell venue

Swiss mae­stro Roger Fed­erer has re­vealed that Wim­ble­don, where he won his first Grand Slam ti­tle, could be the ideal place for a farewell tour­na­ment when he de­cides to call time on his il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer.

Fed­erer's com­ments ar­rive at a time when the ten­nis world is cel­e­brat­ing the achieve­ments of his long-time ri­val Andy Mur­ray, who said next week's Australian Open could his last as he strug­gles to re­cover from a hip in­jury.

“I have a lot of places that are very spe­cial to me, thank­fully,” Fed­erer told CNN. “I've been very for­tu­nate. But yeah, sure, like a Wim­ble­don stands out as maybe a place.

He is not ex­pected to hang up his racket be­fore the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he will look to add an in­di­vid­ual gold along­side his dou­bles tri­umph at Bei­jing 2008.

Andy Mur­ray to re­tire at Wim­ble­don, at the lat­est

Hin­dered by a hip in­jury, the three-time grand slam win­ner an­nounced Fri­day on the eve of the Australian Open that he will re­tire at Wim­ble­don in July -- if he can make it that far.

In­deed, the 31-year-old Scot ad­mit­ted the year's first ma­jor could be his last event, such is the state of his sur­gi­cally re­paired right hip.

He left his press con­fer­ence in tears, a day af­ter the Tele­graph re­ported Mur­ray looked like a shadow of his old self when he was soundly beaten by his child­hood pal and the cur­rent world No. 1, No­vak Djokovic, in a prac­tice ses­sion at Mel­bourne Park.

"I can play with lim­i­ta­tions but hav­ing the lim­i­ta­tions and the pain is not al­low­ing me to en­joy com­pet­ing or train­ing," Mur­ray, down to 230th in the rank­ings, said. "Wim­ble­don is where I would like to stop play­ing but I am not cer­tain I am able to do that.

"Not feel­ing good. Been strug­gling for a long time. I'm not sure I can play through the pain for an­other four or five months.

"Pretty much done ev­ery­thing that I could to try and get my hip feel­ing bet­ter and it hasn't helped loads. I think there is a chance the Australian Open is my last tour­na­ment."

Svi­tolina has Grand de­signs on reach­ing the top Elina Svi­tolina is de­ter­mined to break through and win her first Grand Slam this year with the world num­ber one rank­ing also in the sights of the con­fi­dent Ukrainian.

The 24-year-old scored the big­gest win of her ca­reer at the WTA Fi­nals in Sin­ga­pore last Oc­to­ber to end the year at a ca­reer-high four.

It marked a steady climb through the rank­ings since she de­buted in 2010 at 498 with her ag­gres­sive style push­ing her ever closer to be­ing on top of the world.

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