Rafael Nadal underwent successful surgery today!
He probably will be off the courts till sometime in early December, probably amusing himself with poker and golf in the meantime.
Considering he only played in 7 matches after Wimbledon (July 1), and his last on Oct. 24, do you think (not hope) he can be fit enough to be 100% ready to play and win at the Australian Open January 19, or do you think he intends to start on the clay in South America as in 2013?
No. He wants another AO and I don't see him skipping it. His doctor was interviewed post-surgery and said everything went well and if all goes to plan Nadal should be ready to practice again in 3-4 weeks. They will take things slowly so he is fully fit for Australia. Australia is 77 days away. Even if he takes 30 days before stepping on a court, he still has a good chunk of time to get ready. Will play exos and Doha as usual so should get matches under his belt...
Winning is a different thing but I imagine he will be competitive. Slow hard courts suit him vs most players. Still difficult to see many beating him in best of 5 on those courts. Has done very well there in recent years (last 5 participations: F; F; QF; QF; W). Loss to Murray in QF or Ferrer (after he tweaked hamstring in opening games) is not bad. Otherwise been to the final last 2 participations.