Tennis: Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka both pencil in Abu Dhabi for return

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic attends Lacoste women's 2018 Spring Summer ready to wear collection fashion show in Paris, on Sept 27, 2017.
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic attends Lacoste women's 2018 Spring Summer ready to wear collection fashion show in Paris, on Sept 27, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

Abu Dhabi (AFP) - Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka are due to make their competitive return after six months out injured in Abu Dhabi in December.

The former world No. 1 and 3 respectively have not played since Wimbledon, with Djokovic nursing a long-term elbow problem and Wawrinka undergoing knee surgery.

Organisers of the exhibition tournament announced on Tuesday (Oct 24) that they will join world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, among others in the Dec 28-30 Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

Djokovic, a 12-time Grand Slam winner and who became a father for the second time last month, called time on his season after struggling on and off for 18 months with a right elbow injury.

The 30-year-old Serb, a three-time winner of the Abu Dhabi event, said: "The line-up is very strong as always and it will be the perfect way to make my comeback and begin the season."

Swiss Wawrinka, 32, missed his US Open title defence due to knee surgery in August.

The three-time Grand Slam winner said: "My recovery is going well and I can't wait to be back on court. I'm working hard together with my team and looking forward to being back."

Wawrinka was last seen on court suffering a first-round loss to Russia's Daniil Medvedev at Wimbledon, while Djokovic ended his season after retiring injured from his Wimbledon quarter-final against Czech Tomas Berdych.

Joining them in Abu Dhabi will be Austria's Dominic Thiem, Canadian Milos Raonic and Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain.