Novak Djokovic returns to competitive play for the first time since Wimbledon on Tuesday when he plays Donald Young. The six-time Australian Open champ is looking to reestablish himself back as the game’s leading player, having fallen outside the top 10 in the ATP Rankings. Meanwhile, Young will be hoping to avoid the same fate as many of his fellow Americans who lost in their droves on Day 1 of the tournament.
If he is 100% and firing there is a fair argument for Djokovic to be considered favourite for the tournament but it is impossible to tell without seeing him in competitive play and how his injured elbow has healed. He has played a few warmup matches but those are no substitute for live tournament play. “I‘m hoping that it can be 100 percent at the start of the tournament. I don’t know how it’s going to behave. Even if it’s 100 percent healed, after six months of no competition, you never know how you’re going to react,” Djokovic said.
Young is 0-2 against Djokovic with the most recent loss coming at Eastbourne in a straight setter. The American is far from his career high ranking inside the top 40 and it seems fairly likely he won’t be able to make a start on getting back up there this fortnight.
The result of long-term pain when serving has led to the Serbian slightly altering his motion and is fairly happy with the beginning results. “I feel like I spend less energy but I‘m more efficient. I‘m really looking forward to trying out my new serve here.” he said after his exhibition victory over Dominic Thiem.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets