Written by By Staff Writer
The father of defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, speaking to BBC Sport, has said that his son’s participation in the tournament this year is now unlikely.
The 33-year-old, who has never been past the third round at Melbourne Park, had to have treatment on a wrist injury that had troubled him throughout last season before successfully defending his title.
Djokovic, who is returning to a 15-week patch of rest and training ahead of the 2019 season, was diagnosed with the viral infection shingles earlier this month.
However, according to his father Jelena, Djokovic is now unlikely to play at the Australian Open in January.
“I don’t see him coming to Australia,” he told BBC Sport. “At this point it is out of question for him to play. He doesn’t need to play if he is not ready to play. That is the reason why we decided not to risk.
“In the last week the doctor says he is better now, after he was ill with shingles he was able to play last year.”
“We need to figure out how to be ready to play next year. We still need to talk to his doctors, he still needs to rest and do physiotherapy before he can start training again.
“I cannot guarantee the Australian Open, I cannot say yes or no. Of course next year is something he wants to do. We are sure that he will try and be fit and ready for next year. We all know he is very driven to get back to 100 percent.”
— Setbacks and struggles