Rafael Nadal's offseason training has been interrupted by more examinations on his injured knee, while the comebacks of Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray appear to be lagging behind schedule.
Nadal went to Barcelona at the beginning of the week with his coach Carlos Moya to consult with his doctor, Dr. Angel Ruiz Cotorro, according to Marca. Nadal has since returned to Mallorca and is still scheduled to compete at an exhibition event at Abu Dhabi next week.
But Wawrinka has withdrawn from the Abu Dhabi exhibition event, which was scheduled to be his return from the double knee surgery that has kept him off the courts since Wimbledon. The 32-year-old resumed hitting just a few weeks ago and said he is still getting back in playing shape, but plans to play the Australian Open.
"Unfortunately I won't be able to play in Abu Dhabi this year as I'm not ready yet to compete at this level. Together with my team, I'm working hard and we will do everything to be ready in time for the Australian Open," said Wawrinka.
Wawrinka has not entered any ATP events before the Australian Open.
Murray, also sidelined since Wimbledon, has been back on court for almost a couple of months but according to British newspapers, is also having delays in his training schedule. The former No. 1 returned to Britain from Miami this week, but was instead supposed to have travelled to Australia. Murray had said he wanted to get some extra practice Down Under before his first scheduled event at Brisbane, which begins in a little more than a week.
The 30-year-old has not yet begun hitting with top pros and is still doing drills, says the Telegraph. But Murray is training at the All England Club, and should be traveling within a week or so to Australia.
Milos Raonic, who returned from wrist surgery in Asia and played just one event before experiencing a hamstring problem, has also withdrawn from Abu Dhabi. But that is because the 26-year-old Canadian has travelled to Melbourne, wanting extra time to train in Australia. "Ended the year not in the best shape or in the way I would have liked to so it’s nice to be here early," he said. "This year, I’ve had time to sort of take off and recover."
But fellow Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, who was an offseason sparring partner for Roger Federer, injured his knee this week and will not be competing Down Under.
All of the ATP Top 100 are entered in the Australian Open.