Djokovic optimistic as he steps into the unknown

Novak Djokovic is excited about the prospect of playing in the Australian Open but is unsure how his body will react in Melbourne.

Novak Djokovic will face Donald Young in the first round of Australian Open.   -  Getty Images

Novak Djokovic knows he will be stepping into the unknown at the Australian Open but thinks he can go far on his grand-slam comeback if he avoids another injury setback.

Djokovic cut last season short due to an elbow injury which forced the former world number one to retire from his Wimbledon quarterfinal against Tomas Berdych.

The 12-time major champion revealed his elbow is not 100 per cent but he is "fine and adequate" to play at Melbourne Park, where he will face Donald Young in the first round.

Djokovic, who has adapted his serve, is aware he is at risk of doing further damage but believes he can mount a challenge if he stays fully fit.

The Serbian said: "It is not 100 per cent healed. But right now it's at the level where I can compete, and every day is getting better. I'm hoping that it can be 100 per cent at the start of the tournament.

"Throughout the tournament, I don't know how it's going to behave. Even if it's 100 per cent healed, after six months of no competition, you never know how you're going to react, so let's see.

"There's not much more I can do. I've done really everything in my power, with a team of people around me, to enable me to be right here and to compete in Australian Open."

The 14th seed added: "I still know what I'm capable of, and I believe in my own abilities to win against the best players in the world. I know that if I get myself to desired level of performance - mental and physical - that I can actually have a good chance to go far in the tournament.

"Now, whether my approach is different to this year's Australian Open to other previous years, probably yes. It's different circumstances. But it is exciting. Honestly, it's a good place to be."

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