Novak Djokovic 'disappointed' he could miss the Grand Slam Australian Open after elbow injury
Djokovic admits he could miss season-opening Grand Slam Australian Open after withdrawing from World Tennis Championship due to elbow injury
Novak Djokovic's Australian Open participation is in doubt after he was forced to withdraw from an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi with an elbow injury. The Serbian has been out for almost six months and had been due to make his return to action at the World Tennis Championship.
Serbian Novak Djokovic has been out of action for six months and was due to make his return at the World Tennis C'ship. Pic/ Getty images
However, he pulled out of a scheduled match against Roberto Bautista Agut and admits the injury might affect the start of the season, with the Australian Open starting on January 15.
'Forced to withdraw'
Djokovic said in a statement on his official personal website: “I am terribly disappointed that I am forced to withdraw from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. Unfortunately, in the past few days I started to feel pain in the elbow and after several tests, my medical team has advised me not to risk anything, to withdraw from the tournament and to immediately continue with the therapies.
“I am very sad because I was eager to return to playing official matches. I enjoyed the practices and everything I did to get ready for the start of the season, including the tournament in Abu Dhabi, where I always enjoy playing.
“Now I need to accept this situation, and to wait for the results of the therapies, in order to start playing tennis again and getting back to full rhythm.
“This might affect the start of the season and the tournament plan, but the decision will be made in the following days.”
Murray's stuttering start Meanwhile, Serious question marks remain about Andy Murray's fitness ahead of the Australian Open after he was beaten 6-2 by Roberto Bautista Agut in a one-set exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
The Scot, who is working his way back from hip problems, stepped in after Djokovic was forced to withdraw having experienced more pain in his elbow. Murray has given little away either about the precise nature of his hip injury or his recovery but delaying his departure to Australia, having originally intended to travel before Christmas, did not send a positive message.
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