Djokovic sweats on fitness ahead of Australian

From ESPN - January 11, 2018

Novak Djokovic admits there's still a chance he could withdraw from the Australian Open, moving to ease expectation over his performance at the Grand Slam he's dominated for a decade.

The six-time Open champion played his first exhibition matches in six months on Wednesday, and reported delight at his performance - and no pain from the hit-out.

He beat world No. 5 Dominic Thiem over two sets at the Kooyong Classic and lost to Lleyton Hewitt in a mini-match at the Tiebreak Tens event that same night.

It was the first public test for Djokovic, 30, who shut down his 2017 season after Wimbledon due to an elbow issue.

While he's been back on the practice court for six weeks, Djokovic admits he's yet to reach full confidence in his arm just days from the start of the Australian Open.

"I am still not 100 percent. I am moving towards 100 percent. Hopefully in three or four days I will be there," he said on Thursday.

"I played better than I thought might happen (on Wednesday) and most importantly I played without pain.

"It was a great test for me to see where I am, to see how I feel, to hear the score being called and feel the pressure of break points."

His miserable year will see him seeded 14th, but Djokovic said he was "just grateful that I am able to be here".

"I will be over the moon if I can play, which I am planning to. For now everything at the moment is going in the right direction," he said.


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