FOUR-TIME Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic insists he is ready to launch his challenge for a fifth title in Melbourne despite suffering from flu and a stomach bug on the eve of the tournament.
Djokovic sparked fears that he would withdraw from the grand slam when he cancelled a training session and media appearance on Saturday but the world No1 attempted to allay concerns yesterday by declaring himself fit for his first-round match tomorrow.
“I had tough couple of days but it’s all behind me now; I’m ready for the Open,” said the 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013 winner. “[It was a] little bit with the flu and stomach but now it’s good. It has passed.”
The Serb is one of several leading male players to suffer health problems before the competition, which was due to get underway early this morning, with Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro yesterday conceding defeat in his battle to recover from a wrist injury. Former US Open winner Del Potro returned from a 10-month absence last week at the Sydney International but reported pain in the joint following the tournament.