Fitness update on Nadal, Djokovic, Serena

Australian Open officials are confident that Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams will be ready for the first Grand Slam of the year.

Injury clouds are hanging over world No 1 Nadal, six-time Australian Open winner Djokovic while Williams is still making her comeback following the birth of her first child last year.

Spaniard Nadal pulled out of his season opener in Abu Dhabi at the end of December and then also withdraw from the Brisbane International as he felt his knee is “still not ready after last year’s long season”.

However, Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley says Nadal is “ready”.

“[Rafa’s] on his way down here now so he’ll be ready,” he told the “It’s not dissimilar from last year… Last year we were talking about the health of Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Serena Williams and two weeks later they were playing each other in the final.”

As for Djokovic, who is suffering from an elbow problem, Tiley said: “I spoke to Novak. He’s already got every hour of the day planned between when he arrives and the start of the Australian Open. He’ll be ready.”

Meanwhile, 23-time Grand Slam winner Williams has played only one exhibition match since giving birth, but Tiley is confident she will compete in Melbourne.

“I’m in touch every day with her and her management team. I believe she will be [playing], he said. “She has made it very clear to me that this is her favourite event and she will do everything she possibly can to be here.”