Djokovic suffers injury setback

29 December 2017 23:10:32 GMTPlus11

Novak Djokovic has suffered a setback in his recovery from an elbow injury that has forced him to delay his comeback plans.

The former world number one, who has won 12 Grand Slams during his career, has not played since his defeat to Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon six months ago.

It had been expected that the 30-year-old Serbian would face Roberto Bautista Agut at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Friday but he has decided to postpone his return to action.

Andy Murray, who has also not played since Wimbledon because of a hip problem, will replace Djokovic in the one-set match at the exhibition tournament.

Djokovic said: "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."

Djokovic may now be forced to miss the Australian Open while doubts remain about Rafael Nadal's fitness after he withdrew from the Brisbane International because of a knee injury.

Djokovic, who suffered a second-round exit at the hands of Denis Istomin in Melbourne in January, is available atĀ 5/1 to win the 2018 Australian Open, with defending champion Roger FedererĀ 7/4 and Murray priced at 1212/1.

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