Rafael Nadal arrives in Melbourne

As he intended, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal arrived in Melbourne well ahead of the Australian Open.

He has a full 10 days to acclimate, practice and hope that the state of his right knee is such that he can compete.

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The Mallorcan has signed on to play the Tie Break Tens event at Margaret Court Arena next Wednesday, along with a lot of the top players.

He won’t be the only one trying to gauge some health and form at that event; Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka also are scheduled to play.

But that will be all he has to go on when he makes the call to potentially play seven best-of-five set matches at the first Grand Slam tournament of the 2018 season.

Nadal’s history is that if he doesn’t think he has a good chance to win, he won’t compete.

At this stage of his career, with a long season ahead, it’s also the wisest course even if it would mean he and his team made the long trip to Australia for naught.

No sooner had he arrived, but he hit the court for some practice.

Here’s what it looked like.

(Video courtesy of Tennis Australia/The Australian Open)

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