Wednesday 19 December 2018

WATCH: Novak Djokovic set for comeback as Andy Murray takes tentative step back on court

Andy Murray with Novak Djokovic aiming to make comebacks at the 2018 Australian Open. Photo: Reuters
Andy Murray with Novak Djokovic aiming to make comebacks at the 2018 Australian Open. Photo: Reuters

Novak Djokovic's comeback match in Abu Dhabi on Friday will be against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.

Bautista Agut, ranked 20th, defeated young Russian Andrey Rublev 7-5 6-2 in the quarter-finals of the grandly-titled exhibition Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

Djokovic has not played a match since shutting down his season following his quarter-final exit at Wimbledon because of an ongoing elbow injury.

The former world number one, who has slipped to 12th in the world rankings, should face a good test of his level against Bautista Agut, one of the grittiest competitors on tour.

The other semi-final will pit fifth-ranked Dominic Thiem against Kevin Anderson, who secured a repeat of his US Open semi-final victory over Pablo Carreno Busta, beating the Spaniard 6-3 7-6 (7/2).

Meanwhile, Andy Murray held his first practice session at Zayed Sports City after flying out to the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.

The three-time grand slam champion is working his way back from hip problems that, like Djokovic, have sidelined him since Wimbledon.

Murray is due to make his comeback at next week's Brisbane International but aborted his plans to head to Australia early and looks set to test his fitness by practising against some of the world's best.

Coach Jamie Delgado was Murray's practice partner on Thursday during a relatively gentle session lasting nearly an hour and a half.

Press Association

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