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Novak Djokovic reveals schedule change and accepts Barcelona wildcard | Tennis | Sport

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Djokovic has hardly played since pulling out of Wimbledon last year with an elbow injury and has had two separate surgeries to correct the issue that has been troubling him for more than two years.

But the Serb says he is back playing without pain and will head to Spain next week for his second clay-court event of the year.

Djokovic won his first match of the Monte Carlo Masters with ease, beating qualifier and fellow Serb Dusan Lajovic for the loss of just one game.

However, he was handed a much sterner test by Croatia’s Borna Coric, against whom he needed 10 match points before finally emerging a 7-6, 7-5 victor.

Djokovic’s run finally came to an end when he lost to No 5 seed Dominic Thiem, despite taking the first set in a tie-break.

“I’m feeling like it’s been getting better every day,” said Djokovic, who will move up to No 12 in the world when the rankings refresh on Monday.

“I’ve had three matches here. I didn’t expect anything.

“I played without pain in the elbow, which is important.

“I have my coach Marian [Vajda] back in the box. So lot of good things

“I look forward to building more confidence on the court, to get my game on a desired level.”

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