News ID: 207916
Published: 0305 GMT January 10, 2018

Djokovic set to feature in Australian Open

Djokovic set to feature in Australian Open
Novak Djokovic wears a full arm sleeve to protect his elbow at the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament in Australia on January 10, 2018.

Former world number one Novak Djokovic said he intends to play in the Australian Open "for now".

The Serb returned after six months out with an elbow injury to win 6-1, 6-4 against world number five Dominic Thiem, 25, at the Kooyong Classic, BBC reported.

The 30-year-old said he was "very happy with how it went" after his first competitive game since Wimbledon.

"It was a great start, it feels really good to be back on the court," a beaming Djokovic said in an on-court interview after his first competitive set since Wimbledon last year.

"I can't stop laughing outside and inside. It's a great joy, I love this sport, it's a great passion of mine so I missed it. I wasn't that nervous, although I had that matchplay attitude ... I wanted to be back on court, unfortunately the elbow wouldn't let me last week. "

When asked if he will play in the Grand Slam that starts next week, he added, "For now, I'm in the tournament."

Djokovic, who has dropped to number 14 in the world, will be chasing a record seventh Australian Open title if he competes in the tournament, which begins on January 15.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion said potential five-set matches in Melbourne hold some fitness concerns for him.

"There was a doubt, especially after I pulled out of the first week of the year," said Djokovic, who had not played since retiring in the Wimbledon quarterfinals last July.

"I don't say I'm at 100 percent, I can only say that when I get the feel of a tournament.

"Ideally I would have had another tournament before the start of the Open, but it was not meant to be."

Djokovic, who pulled out of a warmup tournament in Abu Dhabi last week, easily overpowered Thiem, who only arrived in Melbourne on Monday night after four days in bed with a virus.

"I'm free of fever and healthy again. I'm still jet-lagged and was slow at the beginning of the match but I'll be fine for the Open," the Austrian said.

Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams have already withdrawn from 2018's opening Grand Slam while Stan Wawrinka remains a doubt.







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