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Djokovic withdraws from Qatar Open over elbow injury

Novak Djokovic has been forced to pull out of the Qatar Open with an elbow injury [photo: Sky Sports]

Novak Djokovic withdrew from next week’s Qatar Open on Saturday and faces a race to be fit for the first grand slam of the year.

The 30-year-old Serb had been scheduled to start the new season at an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi on Friday when an elbow injury flared up, BBC reported.

“Unfortunately, the situation with the elbow has not changed for better since yesterday,” Djokovic said in a statement.

”I still feel the pain. Therefore, I will have to withdraw from ATP tournament in Doha, the BBC added.

“Only when I‘m 100 percent ready to play, will I be able to come back. I hope it will be soon. I want to thank everyone for patience and understanding.”

The 12-time grand slam winner has not played since he was forced to retire against Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in July due to an elbow injury, BBC indicated.