Novak Djokovic returns to tennis after months off recovering from injury

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AAP

Former world No.1 Novak Djokovic will face Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut in his comeback match in Abu Dhabi.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 22:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand in his third round match against Andreas Seppi of Italy during day five of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic plays a backhand in his third round match against Andreas Seppi during day five of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

Source: Getty

Bautista Agut, ranked 20th, defeated young Russian Andrey Rublev 7-5 6-2 in the quarter-finals of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

Djokovic has not played a match since shutting down his season following his quarter-final exit at Wimbledon because of an ongoing elbow injury.

The former world No.1, who has slipped to 12th in the world rankings, should face a good test of his level against Bautista Agut, one of the grittiest competitors on tour.

Roberto Bautista Agut hits a return shot against Novak Djokovic

Roberto Bautista Agut hits a return shot against Novak Djokovic

Source: Associated Press

The other semi-final will pit fifth-ranked Dominic Thiem against Kevin Anderson, who secured a repeat of his US Open semi-final victory over Pablo Carreno Busta, beating the Spaniard 6-3 7-6 (7-2).

Meanwhile, Andy Murray held his first practice session at Zayed Sports City after flying out to the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.

The three-time grand slam champion is working his way back from hip problems that, like Djokovic, have sidelined him since Wimbledon.

Murray is due to make his comeback at next week's Brisbane International but aborted his plans to head to Australia early and looks set to test his fitness by practising against some of the world's best.

Coach Jamie Delgado was Murray's practice partner on Thursday during a relatively gentle session lasting nearly an hour and a half.

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