Wawrinka left it until the last minute before making his decision to play.
That is giving Djokovic some hope. "No matter if I'm here, Wimbledon, US Open; it's the same for me", he said. I don't know how it's going to behave. Who would predict that after his six months of absence, so everything is possible really. He will open a hard road against the American Donald Young, ranked No. 63, and, if Djokovic surpasses that, he would reach probably Gael Monfils and Wawrinka, the latter a three-time Grand Slam champion, 2014 Australian champion and veteran of knee surgery that prevented a title defense last August and September in NY.
Off the court, the 30-year-old Serbian said he enjoyed a closer-to-normal family life off the court, including being there when his wife, Jelena, gave birth to their second child - a daughter Tara in September.
"I want to kind of ride the highs, not as high as I usually do".
"So let's see. There's not much more I can do. Right now all I can think about and where I can sort of, say, direct my energy is in the present moment". "They spent a lot of hours analyzing my serve".
"The furthest I've got was to the fourth round of Wimbledon".
Injuries to leading players have been a focus of attention in Australia. Long-absent luminaries Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka and Kei Nishikori remain absent, and Murray will be out for at least several months more after hip surgery.
In recent months, meanwhile, ATP Finals victor Grigor Dimitrov and Zverev have moved up to No. 3 and No. 4 in the rankings, respectively, and are growing in confidence that they're on the cusp of Grand Slam breakthroughs. "I hope to be healthy and competitive, and most important thing, I hope to enjoy tennis one more year".
"I still know what I'm capable of and I believe in my own abilities to win against the best players in the world", he said. "Not trying to sound cocky or anything, but I've always said that I've always been working hard physically, I'm always trying to improve the performance at the Grand Slams". Both were said and thought to be over the hill but at the 2017 Australian Open, they showed [they met in the final] that they were not ready to abdicate their thrones.
This injury forced him to miss the Brisbane International and has only had a one-match practice at the exhibition Kooyong Classic ahead of the Australian Open. A lot of times not because I played bad, but because I played very good opponents. "But right now it's at the level where I can compete, and every day is getting better", Djokovic told reporters at Melbourne Park on Saturday.
While Serena Williams took time off to have a baby and is not yet fit for the grueling task and Melbourne heat, two-time champion Victoria Azarenka had to withdraw because of an ongoing custody battle over her 11-month-old son with her former husband. She doesn't have that confidence which you need when you come into a tournament like this.
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