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Tennis

Djokovic can make winning return - Raonic

21st December 2017, 11:30 by Craig Smithson

Milos Raonic claims Novak Djokovic can win next month's Australian Open on his long-awaited return to tennis from injury.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion missed the second half of the 2017 campaign because of elbow injury, but he is due to make his comeback at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi with a view to being fully fit for an assault on the first major of the year at Melbourne Park in January.

And Raonic firmly believes that Djokovic can make a winning return to the sport and emulate Roger Federer's triumphant 2017 comeback when he defeated Rafael Nadal to win in Australia.

The 26-year-old Canadian said: "Novak's played well here [in Melbourne]; he's had a lot of time to train and recover.

"He could do the thing that Roger was able to do [this year]. Roger's been playing great. It's hard to know [who will win the tournament], it's really hard to know.

"If you look at it from how things ended last year it's Roger and Rafa, but it's hard to discount guys when they've had time to train. I think Roger proved a lot of people wrong in that sense."

Raonic is also confident that he will put his own injury issues behind him in 2018.

"I'm 100 per cent healthy but only 80 per cent through my off-season. I would have liked to have a bit more training in the off-season but my injuries kept me delayed," he added.

"I feel better than last year because I've had more time to prepare. Last year the season finished late for me so time was limited and everything ended up being a rush. Now I've had time to take off and recover."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.

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