Djokovic set to play Australian Open, recovers from flu

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Top-seeded Novak Djokovic has overcome a bout of the flu to take his place at the Australian Open.

Djokovic was forced to cancel a training session on Saturday and said he may have picked up a virus when he played recent matches in Abu Dhabi and Doha, Qatar.

”I had a tough couple of days, it’s all behind me now,” Djokovic told a media conference Sunday evening.

”It was a little bit of a cold, and flu, stomach … maybe carried that from the Middle East, but now it’s passed.”

The Serbian star had another training session Sunday afternoon, after which he appeared fit and was hitting the ball hard and moving well around the court. He was watched by his coach, former German star Boris Becker.

Djokovic, a four-time winner of the Australian Open, is not scheduled to play his first-round match until Tuesday against Slovenian qualifier Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia.

With Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray all placed in the bottom half of the men’s draw, the Serbian star’s absence from the tournament would have left the top half open for such players as defending champion Stan Wawrinka, U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori of Japan and hard-serving Canadian Milos Raonic.

Djokovic had a strong 2014 season and also celebrated a few personal milestones.

He finished the year No. 1 for the third time in four years, winning an ATP-high seven tournaments in eight finals, including Wimbledon for the second time.

In October, Djokovic and his wife, Jelena, celebrated the birth of their first child – a boy named Stefan.

The couple married on July 10, four days after Djokovic beat Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final.

Djokovic said he had a ”good offseason” and how much he has enjoyed the added responsibility of caring for his new family.

At the end of his media conference, Djokovic, as he had on previous occasions, passed around chocolates.