BELGRADE: Novak Djokovic is finally set to return to action next week after six months out with an elbow injury and will then decide whether to take part in the Jan 15-28 Australian Open. “After pulling out from Abu Dhabi and ATP Doha events due to pain in his right elbow, Novak is travelling to Australia where he will take part in two exhibition tournaments,” said a statement on Djokovic’s website (www.novakdjokovic.com). “After the two events, a decision will be made about his participation at the first Grand Slam of the season, the Australian Open, where Novak has been crowned champion six times.” The 30-year old Serbian is to return at the Jan 10-12 Kooyong Classic and is also scheduled to take part at the Tie Break Tens evening exhibition at Melbourne Park next Wednesday. The former world number one, who won the last of his 12 grand slam honours when he captured his maiden French Open title in 2016, has not played since retiring against Czech Tomas Berdych with the injury in the Wimbledon quarter-finals in July. He pulled out of the Abu Dhabi event last week only hours before his match with Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut after the pain in his right elbow flared up. On medical advice, he also withdrew from the Qatar Open and now faces a final fitness test for the Australian Open.Published in Daily Times, January 4th 2018.