Novak Djokovic said he was now playing without pain after recovering from a hamstring injury as he prepares to return to the ATP Tour in Dubai this week following his record-extending 10th Australian Open title last month.
Djokovic suffered a three-centimeter hamstring tear on route to winning the Adelaide warm-up event before claiming his 22nd Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park to go level with Rafael Nadal. The 35-year-old Serb said his Dubai participation was in doubt until a few days ago but he had passed all his fitness tests.
“I haven’t felt pain on the court for a week. I’m getting closer to 100 per cent. Still not there in terms of the game and how I feel on court. But the important thing is there’s no pain. I don’t have a hindrance in the way I move on the court,” Djokovic said.
Djokovic begins the Dubai tournament having entered his 378th week as world No 1, surpassing Steffi Graf as the player with the most weeks at the top of the sport.
“It’s surreal to be that many weeks No 1, to match Graf – one of the all-time greats,” Djokovic said. “Just being among these legendary names is flattering. I’m proud of it.”
Djokovic meets Czech Tomas Machac in the first round on Tuesday.