Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open participation is in doubt as Andy Murray replaces him at Abu Dhabi exhibition

Former world primary Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open participation is in doubt after he was pressured to withdraw from an exhibition occasion in Abu Dhabi, with Andy Murray taking his place as a substitute.

Djokovic has not performed since his Wimbledon quarter-final defeat to Tomas Berdych in July due to an elbow damage, and had been resulting from make his long-awaited comeback at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

However yesterday morning he was pressured to tug out of his scheduled match towards Roberto Bautista Agut and, in a press release revealed on his web site, the 12-time Grand Slam winner admitted that the longstanding damage “might affect the start of the season”. The Australian Open begins on January 15.

“I am terribly disappointed that I am forced to withdraw from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship,” Djokovic wrote.

“Unfortunately, in the previous few days I began to really feel ache in the elbow and after a number of checks, my medical crew has suggested me to not threat something, to withdraw from the match and to right away proceed with the therapies.

“I’m very unhappy as a result of I used to be wanting to return to taking part in official matches. I loved the practices and every thing I did to prepare for the beginning of the season, together with the match in Abu Dhabi, the place I at all times take pleasure in taking part in.

“Now I want to simply accept this case, and to attend for the outcomes of the therapies, in order to start out taking part in tennis once more and getting again to full rhythm.

“This might affect the start of the season and the tournament plan, but the decision will be made in the following days.”

Tournament organisers subsequently introduced that Murray, who is himself recovering from a long-term damage and has not performed competitively since his Wimbledon quarter-final defeat to Sam Querrey, will now play Bautista Agut in a one-set exhibition match.

Murray arrived in Abu Dhabi on Thursday morning in an try and step up his pre-season preparations forward of the primary Grand Slam of the season and had initially supposed solely to utilize the observe courts earlier than Djokovic’s withdrawal.

The British primary is scheduled to make his return at the Brisbane International subsequent week, though he might but to resolve to skip the occasion if he feels he wants longer to get better from the hip damage that ruined the second-half of his 2017 marketing campaign. 

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