Nadal’s hopes for Aus Open

Tennis star Rafael Nadal hopes to be back to his best form ahead of the Australian Open on 19 January.

The Spaniard had a difficult 2014, struggling with injuries before missing the end of the season with appendicitis. However, the former world number one hopes to be back to his best for the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne.

Nadal's last tournament was in October, and he underwent laparoscopic surgery in early November. Since mid-December he has been back in training, with new hitting partner Richard Gasquet.

Nadal said: "As ever after a period when things haven't gone well, you're a bit more eager to (prepare) well, although there is uncertainty about how things will go.

"I hope to use December to prepare well.

"I'll have a month before things start in Australia, I hope and believe that's enough to get me to my best level."