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Djokovic: I'll be ready for action

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Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Top seed Novak Djokovic has played down concerns over his fitness ahead of the Australian Open, which got under way in Melbourne today.

Djokovic was forced to postpone his pre-tournament press conference by a day due to illness, but practised yesterday and declared himself fit to seek a fifth win in the year's first grand slam.

"I had a tough couple of days but it's all behind me now. I'm ready for the Open," said the world number one, who won the title for three years in a row before losing out to eventual champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals 12 months ago.

Asked what he had been suffering from, Djokovic added: "Little bit with the flu and stomach. But I carried that already from the Middle East a little bit. But now it's good. It's passed."

Djokovic was unable to play Britain's Andy Murray in the final of an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi at the start of January due to illness, and then reached the quarter-finals in Doha before eventually losing to Ivo Karlovic.

The 27-year-old will face Slovenian qualifier Aljaz Bedene in the first round tomorrow and is looking to become the second man in history to win five or more Australian Open titles.

Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Ken Rosewall and Jack Crawford have all won four, with Roy Emerson (six) the only player to win more than five.


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