Novak Djokovic has delivered a Twitter update stating that he will be back in time for the Australian Open after landing in Australia. The Serb has been recovering from an elbow injury that saw him miss the better part of 2017.
The 12-time Grand Slam winner has not played competitive tennis since his loss in the quarter-finals at the 2017 Wimbledon and was expected to return to action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship starting on 28 December but had to withdraw at the last moment. It was the first time in Djokovic's career that he had picked up a serious injury and the absence meant he dropped down to 12th in the world rankings.
The injury also saw him pull out of the corresponding Qatar Open but the rest seems to have done him a world of good, which should see him back in contention for the first marquee event of the year.
Nadal's coach Carlos Moya expects the Spaniard to be fit for Melbourne but is wary of any further setbacks on his knee injury, which saw him pull out of the Brisbane International. Roger Federer is the only player who seems to be enjoying his time down under, winning the Hopman Cup, beating his heir apparent Alexander Zverev along the way.
Federer and Nadal were the showstoppers of 2017, winning the four Grand Slams between them, sharing two apiece. The Spaniard had a stellar 2017 campaign, where he went on to win six titles, including two Grand Slams – the French and the US Open – and confirm his place as the year-end world number one for the fourth time in his career.
Federer matched him stride for stride, opening the year by defeating Nadal in the final of the Australian Open and went on to win seven titles, including Wimbledon.