Novak Djokovic returns for Melbourne


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Former world number one Novak Djokovic says he is on course to play in the Australian Open at the moment. The Serb is just back from a six-month injury lay-off owing to a troublesome wrist.

He returned with a 6-1 6-4 success against world number five Dominic Thiem at the Kooyong Classic.

With just one week to go until the first Grand Slam of the season, Djokovic is eager to be part of the tournament in Melbourne.

“For now, I’m in the tournament,” was his response when asked if was going to be ready for the Australian Open.

“There was a doubt, especially after I pulled out of the first week of the year. I don’t say I’m at 100 per cent, I can only say that when I get the feel of a tournament.”

Djokovic hasn’t played competitively since Wimbledon last July and has slipped to 14th in the world ranking during his time out.

The 12-time Grand Slam winner will be chasing an historic seventh success in Melbourne if he makes it.

With the potential for a hectic fortnight and some gruelling five-set encounters under the Melbourne sun, the 30-year-old admits he could have done with getting one more tournament under his belt.

Britain’s Andy Murray has already been ruled out of the Australian Open after he returned home to undergo surgery on his hip.

Roger Federer rolled back the years 12 months ago when he defeated Rafael Nadal in a five-set thriller to win the title in Melbourne.

The Swiss is the favourite at 2.75 to win another Australian Open, with Djokovic and Nadal both 6.00.

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