AP Photo/Vincent Thian

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic is back through six months off the tour with a redesigned service motion partly inspired simply by Andre Agassi and a growing self-confidence he can get his sore correct elbow through the Australian Open.

Simply no man has more Australian Open game titles than Djokovic, who has six in most and – until last year’s shocking second-round exit – got won five of the six competitive from 2011 to 2016.

Djokovic is seeded 14th and will be arriving off just a couple of exhibition matches to get ready for his first-round encounter towards Donald Young.

The 12-time main winner is in the same quarter since No . 4 Alexander Zverev, Number 5 Dominic Thiem and 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka, who verified Saturday he’d return at Melbourne Park from his own six-month layoff following surgery on his left leg.

They’re all in the same 1 / 2 of the draw as defending champ Roger Federer, who last year came back from an extended injury time out in order to beat Rafael Nadal in the Aussie Open final. Federer went on in order to win Wimbledon for his nineteenth major and finished the year positioned No . 2 behind Nadal, who seem to won the French and U. H. Open titles.

That is giving Djokovic some hope.

“I mean, Roger and Rafa’s year last year has demonstrated age is just a number, especially in Roger’s case, ” Djokovic said Sunday in his pre-tournament news conference. “I mean, he’s a great example of someone who manages to take care of himself, knows how you can prepare well and peak in the right time.

“He won a few Grand Slams. Who would predict that will after his six months of lack, so… everything is possible really. inch

Djokovic had contested 51 consecutive Grand Slams until he skipped last year’s U. S. Open up during his rehabilitation.

Off the courtroom, the 30-year-old Serbian said he or she enjoyed a closer-to-normal family lifestyle off the court, including being generally there when his wife, Jelena, provided birth to their second child — a daughter Tara in Sept.

On the court, he used the time for you to work closely with coaches Agassi and Radek Stepanek to improve his service motion to improve the particular technique and “release the load through the elbow, obviously something that I have to perform because I have the injury. inch

Now it’s a less dramatic, smaller swing and he was happy with exactly how it worked in an exhibition conquer Thiem earlier in the week.

“It’s not entirely different, but in the beginning even those small tweaks plus changes have made a lot of difference psychologically, ” he said. “I required time to kind of get used to that modify, understand whether that’s good delete word good for me.

Agassi had to modify their own service motion because of an injury in the career and he had input in to the redesign for Djokovic.

“Both Radek and Andre have discussed a great deal before the information came across to me, inch Djokovic said. “They spent plenty of hours analyzing my serve. I did so, too. ”

Djokovic said their elbow wasn’t 100 percent rehabilitated, yet he was convinced by medical professionals that he wouldn’t do any further harm by playing in Australia.

Injuries in order to leading players have been a concentrate of attention in Australia. Nadal is usually returning from a lingering right leg problem and five-time finalist Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori have previously withdrawn.

In recent months, meanwhile, ATP Titles winner Grigor Dimitrov and Zverev have moved up to No . three or more and No. 4 in the rankings, correspondingly, and are growing in confidence maybe on the cusp of Grand Throw breakthroughs.

Dimitrov said he’s a much better player than he was whenever he lost the semifinal right here last year to Nadal, and Zverev is aiming to go deep in to the second week for the first time at a main.

“I’ve showed on multiple events over the year that I can perform and beat the best guys on the planet, ” Zverev said. “Not seeking to sound cocky or anything, yet I’ve always said that I’ve been working hard physically, I’m always wanting to improve the performance at the Grand Slams. Hopefully I can do so, ” nationwide.

Nadal pulled out of the ATP Titles and skipped warmups tournaments prior to the Australian Open.

“Is the first time We are here without playing official match up, ” Nadal said. “But Personally i think good. I really hope to be ready. Personally i think myself more or less playing well. inch

Nadal’s career has regularly already been disrupted by injuries, but this individual sees a need for a more comprehensive examination of the tennis schedule following the latest spate of injuries.

“There is too many injuries on the visit. I am not the one to say, yet somebody has to look about what’s happening, ” he said. “When something happens to be happening, you need to analyze why. inch