Novak Djokovic has admitted his right elbow is “not in an ideal condition”.
The world number one, who underwent surgery on the joint in 2018, sparked fears about his fitness when he wore strapping on his elbow and struggled during a shock defeat by Lorenzo Musetti in Monte Carlo last week.
Djokovic refused to talk about the issue after that match but opened up at a press conference ahead of his first match at the Srpska Open in Bosnia and Herzegovina this week.
He told reporters in Banja Luka: “The elbow is not in an ideal condition, but let’s say it’s good enough. I hope it will be fully ready for the first match.”
While Djokovic still has more than a month to get into top shape ahead of the French Open, with Rafael Nadal still out of action with the hip injury he suffered at the Australian Open, this could be one of the most open summers in men’s tennis for two decades.
Djokovic will take on 18-year-old Frenchman Luca Van Assche in his opening match.
It is rare to see the sport’s superstars competing at the smallest events on the ATP Tour but Djokovic did not want to miss the chance to play so close to home.
“The people welcome me wholeheartedly with a great reception and so much love and support,” said the 35-year-old.
“So I’m super excited to be here because I think it’s one of the best places for us Serbian tennis players and athletes in general to be able to perform where we have so much love and support from local people.”