Novak Djokovic has announced that he will compete at the Kooyong Classic as well as Tie Break Tens in the build-up to the Australian Open, as he steps up his preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year.
There were fears the Serb would be forced to pull out of 2018’s opening major, with the 30-year-old withdrawing from the Qatar Open due to the same elbow issue that has ruled him out of competitive action since Wimbledon.
However, the 12-time Grand Slam champion appears to have shaken off the immediate concerns facing him in Abu Dhabi – where he was forced to withdraw from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship – and he’s added an extra hitting opportunity in the week building up to the Australian Open as he looks to truly assess his fitness.
Most Australian Open titles (ATP)
6 – Djokovic
6 – Emerson
5 – Federer
4 – Agassi
4 – Crawford
4 – Rosewall
Djokovic will join Dominic Thiem, David Goffin and Marin Cilic at the Kooyong Classic, that runs from 10-12 January, while taking on the likes of Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Nick Kyrgios at the Tie Break Tens event.
Once the Serb has competed in both exhibition tournaments, he will make a decision about the Australian Open and whether he will be able to play.
The six-time winner is looking to become the outright most successful player in the Slam’s history, having already matched Roy Emerson’s total.
Djokovic is not alone in being a doubt to make it to Melbourne Park, with Andy Murray set to miss the tournament, while Nadal and Wawrinka’s participation is not yet confirmed.