The best Serbian tennis player will not defend his Qatar ExxonMobil Open title. Novak has pulled out of January's Australian Open warm-up event in Doha, as the situation with his elbow has not changed for better since yesterday when he was forced to withdraw from Abu Dhabi exhibition.
Novak maintained his winning start to 2017 season with a hard-fought 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-3 victory over Fernando Verdasco on Friday.
The defending champion overcame a slow opening to beat German Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (1), 6-3 in one hour and 27 minutes.
Novak is no.2 seed and will open his title defence campaign against Jan-Lennard Struff (ATP #63). It will be their first career meeting.
Nole beat Rafael Nadal for the 60th ATP title of his career, and became the 10th player in the Open Era to reach the 60-titles milestone.
Nole reached his 16th consecutive final and improved his ATP H2H record against the Czech to 22-2.
The top seed dropped serve twice but finished match in straight sets (6-3, 7-5) to move into the Qatar ExxonMobil Open last four.