Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Djokovic 'feels great' on return

Djokovic 'feels great' on return

Novak Djokovic made a resounding return Wednesday after six months out with an elbow injury, declaring he felt "great" after beating world No. 5 Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-4 at the Kooyong Classic.

"(Simona) Halep is number one at the moment but we have four or five different girls.

Nick Kyrgios is often spotted wearing arm sleeves on court.

"It was a fantastic test for me to see where I am, to see what we have done as a team ... and whether it works on the court".

"And it worked pretty well", he added.

A knee injury which has prevented Nadal from playing competitively since losing to David Goffin at the ATP Finals in November has restricted the 16-time major champion to just a pair of exhibition contests in Melbourne - a far cry from his run to the quarter-finals at the Brisbane International past year. The 24-year-old was forced to retire from Kooyong on Thursday after falling ill again due to a virus. "I increased my serve by several kilometres per hour and I think I did better overall with my second than first, and I can say I won some points nearly for free as a result", Nadal said in an interview with Spanish daily AS in December. "There was a lot of fever and throat pain, everything".

"I was surprised by the match today", said Del Potro, who had lost to Shapovalov in Montreal last August. "That's what matters. Hopefully I can get in some practice hours in the next few days and I'll be ready for the [Australian] Open".

The 30-year-old said he was "very happy with how it went" after his first competitive game since Wimbledon. I don't say I'm at 100 per cent - I can only say that when I get the feel of a tournament. "But I'll do whatever I can".

The three-time Grand Slam champion hasn't played since Wimbledon, but said on Tuesday he had recovered sufficiently from a knee injury to feature in the year's opening Grand Slam, starting in Melbourne on Monday.

"It was our last big family vacation, if you will, with my sister and my parents before I left home and went to the national tennis centre in Switzerland ... we had a handsome vacation, we went to the Great Barrier Reef and went to Heron Island". I'm happy with how I'm performing now. He's hitting the ball brilliantly.

"Everybody thinks I probably have a good chance to maybe repeat and other guys are maybe a bit hurt". My level is really, really high right now. "Of course I had doubts coming here, personally I don't know what is going to happen".

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