Six-time Grand Slam champion Stefan Edberg has said Novak Djokovic will be "the one to watch out for" once he returns to competitive action.
The former Swedish World No 1 has backed the Serb, who underwent a "small medical intervention" on his troublesome right elbow last month, to win a Grand Slam on return.
Djokovic has not been involved in competitive action since losing an Australian Open 2018 Round of 16 outing to South Korea's Hyeon Chung in straight sets. The 12-time Grand Slam champion was visibly troubled by the bothersome elbow as he took a couple of medical timeouts during the match.
Notably, the 30-year-old decided to cut short his 2017 season due to persistent issues on his racket-swinging elbow. Djokovic, who was fighting for the year-end World No 1 tag in 2016 with Andy Murray, did not feature in competitive action following his retirement from the quarter-final of Wimbledon against Tomas Berdych last year.
"Djokovic will definitely be back, and once he is back he will be the one to watch out for. Physically he has always been a big threat in the Grand Slams. It's very likely that if he is healthy he will win another Grand Slam," Edberg told Rediff.com.
Djokovic had pulled out of the season-opening Qatar Open shortly after withdrawing from an exhibition match at the Mubadala Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi in January. Doubts had remained over his participation in the Australian Open but he managed to make an appearance at the season's first Grand Slam in Melbourne only to suffer a shock defeat in the R16.
Shortly after the defeat, the Serb revealed he had been facing issues on his right elbow for the last two years and expressed his disappointment at not being able to recover despite resting during the second half of 2017 season.
Djokovic returns to practice courts
Meanwhile, Djokovic has returned to practice courts for the first time since Australian Open. The right-hander was seen hitting some forehand returns in a video posted on his official Instagram page. However, he has not fixed a date for his return to competitive action.
The Swiss ace and his arch-rival shared four Grand Slam titles between themselves in 2017. The former went on to defend his Australian Open crown in January while the latter, who recently suffered a hip injury, is expected to bounce back on his favorite surface — clay.