Novak Djokovic will play two exhibition events in Melbourne in a bid to prove his fitness for the Australian Open.
The 12-time grand slam champion has not played since last year’s Wimbledon championship due to an elbow injury – a parallel absence to his long-time rival Andy Murray.
The pair’s troubles have continued with Murray pulling out of the Brisbane international due to his hip injury and Djokovic missing the Qatar Open, but the Serbian will play in next week’s Kooyong Classic and the short-format Tie Break Tens.
A statement on Djokovic’s website read: “After pulling out from Abu Dhabi exho and ATP Doha event due to pain in his right elbow, Novak is travelling to Australia where he will take part in two exhibition tournaments.
“After the two events, the decision will be made about his participation at the first Grand Slam of the season, the Australian Open (15-28 January, 2018).”
The 30-year-old has won six Australia Open titles, most recently in 2016.