Novak Djokovic is ready for his favourite Grand Slam
Former world number one and 6-time Australian Open winner, Novak Djokovic has made a strong comeback to the sport after spending 6 months on the sidelines post an elbow injury. The Serbian beat world number five Dominic Thiem 6-1 6-4 at the at the Kooyong Classic. Djokovic, who was earlier doubtful about playing the year's first Grand Slam, has confirmed his participation.
Djokovic dominates on return ahead of Australian Open
Djokovic played his first competitive match since the Wimbledon last year and made light work of 25-year-old Dominic Thiem. The 30-year-old is now keen to play for a record 7th Australian Open crown. Djokovic, who is currently ranked 14 in the world, said: "For now, I'm in the tournament." The Australian Open will kick off from the 15th of January.
Australian Open is Djokovic's Grand Slam
The Australian Open is very special to Djokovic since he won his first Grand Slam title here a decade ago. Six of his 12 major titles have come at Melbourne Park. Competing at the 106th edition of the tournament, Djokovic is hungry to get up and running. Interestingly, since 2005, he has missed just one Grand Slam, the US Open last year.
100% fit Djokovic gears up for Australian Open
Djokovic had pulled out of the warm-up tournament in Abu Dhabi which had raised concerns about his participation at the year's first Grand Slam. But now, the 12-time Grand Slam winner looks like he is in great nick, however, he is still sceptical about going all the way through 5 set matches at the Australian Open.
Several big names to miss Australian Open
Djokovic's participation at Melbourne comes as a relief to the organisers as several big names are set to give the tournament a miss. Andy Murray is yet to recover from an injury and Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka are out of the tournament due to fitness concerns. Azarenka and Serena have also opted not to compete at the Australian Open this year.
Djokovic shrugs off the horror of 2017
Djokovic battled poor form through late 2016 and 2017 before he was sidelined with the injury sustained at the Wimbledon quarterfinal loss last year. But now the Serbian ace looks much more relaxed on the court. With a fresh surge in confidence, Djokovic will head to Melbourne Park looking to give Roger Federer a run for his money in the defence of his title.