Sport

Djokovic beats Thiem in strong comeback after six-month absence

Djokovic beats Thiem in strong comeback after six-month absence”

Having remained sidelined for nearly six months with an elbow injury, the 30-year-old made a successful comeback by thrashing world number five Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-4 in the exhibition event at the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne today. He couldn't have been happier - or more impressive.

"Finally back in the land down under", Djokovic posted on Twitter.

Serbia's Djokovic, who is making a comeback after a six month lay-off due to a tennis elbow injury, is ranked at 14.

Former world number one Novak Djokovic says he intends to play in the Australian Open "for now". It's a great joy, I love this sport, it's a great passion of mine so I missed it.

The six-time Australian Open champion had his troublesome right elbow taped but didn't appear to be in any obvious discomfort during a hit-out with Stan Wawrinka at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic, who had been sidelined with the elbow injury since a quarterfinal loss at Wimbledon past year, initially planned to play in an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi and then a tournament in Qatar to start the season, but withdrew from both due to lingering pain in his elbow.

"I don't want to be over-confident but I'm very, very happy with the way it went today".

It was the test he sorely needed, the 30-year-old said, and one he was pleased to pass with flying colours.

"It would be ideal if I got another tournament under my belt before the Australian Open but my elbow wasn't ready".

"Ideally I would have had another tournament before the start of the Open, but it was not meant to be".

Perhaps the biggest change was his more relaxed mood on the court - a major contrast to his demeanor during his recent slump from late 2016 to mid-2017 when he struggled in the majors and lost his No. 1 ranking.

Novak Djokovic has made a stunning return to tennis but he was hesitant to declare that his elbow is 100 per cent fit.

"I don't want to be over-confident", he said. "It's a great start".



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