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Andy Murray replaces injured Novak Djokovic in pre-Australian Open warm-up

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Andy Murray replaces injured Novak Djokovic in pre-Australian Open warm-up
The Serbian former world No.1 has been sidelined with an elbow injury that continues to plague him (Getty)

Novak Djokovic has suffered another injury setback and has been forced to postpone his long-awaited return to tennis, with Andy Murray taking his place in a pre-Australian Open warm-up event.

The Serbian has been out of the game for nearly six months but was set to take on Roberto Bautista Agut at the Mubadala WTC exhibition event in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

However, on the advice of his medical team he has cancelled his comeback, and Murray – who has also been suffering from a series of injury problems himself – will step in and take on world No.20 Bautista Agut instead.

Andy Murray replaces injured Novak Djokovic in pre-Australian Open warm-up
Djokovic’s involvement in the Australian Open, which starts in two weeks, is now in doubt (Getty)

Djokovic will now undergo further tests to see if he can take part in the Australian Open, which starts on January 15 – though Murray’s involvement will be a huge boost for the Scot.

A statement from Djokovic read: ‘I am terribly disappointed that I am forced to withdraw from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

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‘Unfortunately, in the past few days I started to feel pain in the elbow and after several tests, my medical team has advised me not to risk anything, to withdraw from the tournament and to immediately continue with the therapies.

Andy Murray replaces injured Novak Djokovic in pre-Australian Open warm-up
Murray will replace Djokovic at the event, hinting that he is returning to full fitness (Picture: Getty)

‘I am very sad because I was eager to return to playing official matches. I enjoyed the practices and everything I did to get ready for the start of the season, including the tournament in Abu Dhabi, where I always enjoy playing.

‘Now I need to accept this situation, and to wait for the results of the therapies, in order to start playing tennis again and getting back to full rhythm. This might affect the start of the season and the tournament plan, but the decision will be made in the following days.’

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