Djokovic feeling great after comeback

Novak Djokovic made his long-awaited return to competitive tennis at the Kooyong Classic on Wednesday, beating world No 5 Dominic Thiem.

Djokovic was due to return from a long-term injury layoff in Abu Dhabi last week before he was forced to withdraw from the event.

However, he managed to make the court for an exhibition match in Melbourne and downed the 25-year-old Austrian 6-1, 6-4.

The former world number one had not played a competitive match since retiring from his Wimbledon quarter-final clash with Tomas Berdych in July last year due to an elbow injury.

Despite Wednesday’s victory, Djokovic could not give a 100 per cent guarantee that he will line up in the year’s first Grand Slam, saying: “For now, I’m in the tournament.”

He added: “I feel great, I was eager to get onto the court.

“I had a great opponent, it was a test for me to see where I am, how the work we did pays off on court. It worked pretty well. I personally didn’t know what’s going to happen. We did some treatment and obviously gave it a lot of thought.”

With Andy Murray ruled out due to injury, Roger Federer is the favourite ahead of Rafael Nadal, but a fully fit Djokovic would fancy his chances of winning the title for a seventh time.

However, he is not yet firing on all cylinders and is taking a cautious approach to his chances at Melbourne Park.

“There was a doubt, especially after I pulled out of the first week of the year,” he added. “I don’t say I’m at 100 per cent, I can only say that when I get the feel of a tournament.

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