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Wawrinka says he's ready for Australian Open

AFP  |  Melbourne 

Former winner Wawrinka today said he's hungry to return to action at next week's Australian Open after six months on the sidelines.

The three-time Grand Slam champion hasn't played since Wimbledon, but said he has recovered sufficiently from a knee injury to feature in the year's opening Grand Slam, starting in on Monday.

"I'm really, really happy to be back on the tour and seeing the sun," the 32-year-old Swiss told reporters in

"Still a lot to do but I'm feeling really positive, so looking forward to starting."

Wawrinka, who defeated to win the 2014 Australian title, has slipped to nine in the world rankings, having not played since his first-round loss to Russian in July.

He pulled out of an exhibition event in late last month before travelling to to prepare for the Open.

"For me, the first thing is to play a match, to play a match again. It's been many months out of the tour," Wawrinka said. "It's not always the best when you are an so I'm looking forward to it, enjoying the crowd.

"It's always an amazing atmosphere here. The people love the sport, love the so I always enjoy to share that with them."

With five-times runner-up and Japan's Kei Nishikori already ruled out with injuries, tournament director welcomed Wawrinka's intention to play.

"There's been a lot of questions (around Wawrinka) and in fact this is the first time publicly in six months that he's said anything, so we are excited that he agreed to come here and is ready to play," Tiley said.

Wawrinka is in without his long-time after their split late last year.

Norman ended his four-year spell with Wawrinka after deciding to take a break from full-time coaching.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 09 2018. 12:20 IST