Former World number one Novak Djokovic and Swiss tennis star Stan Wawrinka are all set to make their competitive return in Abu Dhabi in December. Both Djokovic and Wawrinka were sidelined for almost six months because of their respective injuries. The Serbian maestro has not played a match since being forced to retire from his Wimbledon quarterfinal against Tomas Berdych due to an elbow injury.
Wawrinka too was forced to cut short his season after undergoing surgery for a knee injury which he sustained during his first-round loss to Daniil Medvedev at Wimbledon.
Though Djokovic was expected to make a return in 2018, he has decided to start his season early at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, beginning in Abu Dhabi on December 28.
Having won the tournament back in 2013, the 12-time Grand Slam champion has opted to use the three-day exhibition competition as part of his warm-up for the season-opening Australian Open.
"I am extremely excited to return to Abu Dhabi for the fifth time and take part in the 10th Edition of the championship. It is a huge honour to take part in such a special tournament. The line-up is very strong as always and it will be the perfect way to make my comeback and begin the season," the Daily Express quoted Djokovic, as saying.
"Abu Dhabi is an amazing place and this is going to be a great event for all of the fans," he added.
Wawrinka, who was unable to defend his title at Flushing Meadows after having surgery, is well on the road to recovery and is confident of being part of the competition in two months' time.
"My recovery is going well and I can't wait to be back on the court. I'm working hard together with my team and looking forward to being back. It is always a pleasure to kick the season off at the beautiful event in Abu Dhabi," Wawrinka said.
"The fans are amazing there and the draw is as strong as always with a lot of great players," he added.
(With Agency Inputs)