World number 12 Novak Djokovic is hoping that a winning return to tennis can help in his preparations for a seventh Australian Open title. The former champion Djokovic started the year as the number two-ranked player in the world behind Andy Murray as he began his campaign with a win over the Briton to triumph in Doha. But things started to go downhill for the Serbian as poor performances and injuries hindered his year. He won just two ATP titles this year, having previously won at least six titles every year since 2010.
His last appearance was at Wimbledon where an elbow injury forced him to retire early in his quarter-final match with Tomas Berdych. He later announced that he would take time off until the new season to heal as he dropped to 16th in the world rankings.
However, Djokovic is now set to return to action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi. The exhibition tournament takes place from 28-30 December. Former champion Djokovic is aiming to win the event for the fourth time. The 30-year-old is excited to be back on court again after having been confirmed for the 2018 Australian Open. A win in Abu Dhabi will help prepare him for Melbourne Park.
Djokovic said, “It is always an honour to play in Abu Dhabi and I can’t wait to get back on court again. This tournament will offer me the perfect opportunity to start my preparation for the Australian Open.”
The Serb could also face an early test upon his return. He and world number one Rafael Nadal have a bye into the semi-finals of the event and could face each other in the final.