Nadal had not played since the season-ending ATP Tour Finals in London.
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Former champions Stan Wawrinka and Rafa Nadal gave Australian Open organizers a massive boost Tuesday when they both said they were looking forward to next week's season opening Grand Slam after battling long-term injuries.The Australian Open has been hit hard by absences with Andy Murray, Serena Williams and Kei Nishikori among those to have withdrawn, while Nadal and Novak Djokovic have also been struggling with injuries.Wawrinka has been battling a knee injury and has not played since he was knocked out in the first round of Wimbledon last year, and the Swiss was one of the major question marks heading into the Jan. 15-28 Australian Open.The Spaniard had also been battling a knee injury and had not played since the season-ending ATP Tour Finals in London.He withdrew from a warmup tournament in Abu Dhabi and last week's Brisbane International and had been concerned with his match fitness.
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