Djokovic pulls out of Abu Dhabi comeback

Former world No. 1 and 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic withdrew from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship yesterday with elbow pain, raising fresh doubts over his fitness.

The 30-year-old Serbian star had targeted Abu Dhabi for his first match since his quarter-final loss at Wimbledon in July this year.

Djokovic was scheduled to play Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut in the semi-finals of the exhibition tournament, but released a statement to announce his withdrawal four hours before the match.

It is unclear if he will play in next week's Qatar Open, where he is top seed.

Djokovic said: "Unfortunately, in the past few days, I started to feel pain in the elbow and, after several tests, my medical team has advised me not to risk anything, to withdraw from the tournament and to immediately continue with the therapy."

He added: "Now I need to accept this situation and to wait for the outcome of the therapy, in order to start playing tennis again and getting back 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." - AFP