Stefanos Tsitsipas plays down fears his early season plans could be ruined by elbow problem

Stefanos Tsitsipas nurses an injury

World number four Stefanos Tsitsipas played down concerns over his fitness ahead of the Australian Open after pulling out of his singles match for Greece in the ATP Cup.

Tsitsipas had elbow surgery in the close season and withdrew from his tie with Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in Sydney as a precaution. He later played in a dead rubber doubles match with Michail Pervolarakis.

“The recovery from my elbow surgery in November is on track for Melbourne and today was a precautionary step to make sure I make Melbourne,” Tsitsipas said on the ATP Cup website.

“We will see day by day, match by match until then.

“I’m truly relieved that I’m able to feel normal again after years and years of suffering. The concern was kind of something that I expected, but it’s not serious. I’m just trying to protect it.

“I’ve been using some muscles that I haven’t been able to use before and it takes a little bit of time to get into the rhythm and get to the level I want to.

“If I’m not able to perform at 100 per cent, for me there’s no reason for me to go out there and play.”