Djokovic Australian Open fears grow after Doha withdrawal

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Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Qatar Open due to an elbow injury to cast further doubt over his chances of playing at the Australian Open.

A day after pulling out of an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi, the Serbian announced he would skip the ATP 250 event he has won for the past two years in Doha.

Djokovic, 30, has been sidelined since Wimbledon due to the elbow issue, which threatens his participation at the first grand slam of 2018 in Melbourne beginning January 15.

"Unfortunately, the situation with the elbow has not changed for better since yesterday. I still feel the pain," the 12-time grand slam champion and world number 12 said in a statement.

"Therefore, I will have to withdraw from ATP tournament in Doha, that has been voted the best 250 tournament in 2017.

"I am sorry that I will not be able to play in front of my fans here. I have great memories of this tournament and the matches I played, like the final against Andy [Murray] from last year. The atmosphere at the stadium is always wonderful, the organisation is on the highest level, and I will surely miss it a lot.

"However, after the thorough consultations with the medical team, we decided to keep up with the therapies and elbow treatments.

"Only when I'm 100 per cent ready to play, I will be able to come back. I hope it will be soon. I want to thank everyone for patience and understanding."