Djokovic locks in pre-Australian Open comeback

He's overhauled his coaching team and now Novak Djokovic has opted for a new approach in his quest to return as a grand slam force at next month's Australian Open.

The former world No.1 and six-times Open champion will headline an eight-man field at the Tie Break Tens at Melbourne Park's Margaret Court Arena on January 10.

The exhibition event is making its debut in Australia, where Djokovic hasn't been sighted since suffering a shock second-round loss at last year's Open to Denis Istomin.

After becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four grand slam singles trophies, Djokovic was stripped of the lot after following up his early exit in Melbourne with quarter-final defeats at the French Open and Wimbledon, then missing the US Open with an elbow injury.

The Serb is scheduled to make his eagerly awaited comeback from five months out of the game at the Doha ATP event from December 31 and will launch his Open bid outside the world's top 10 for the first time in more than a decade.

He's back. Image: Getty

After hiring eight-times major winner Andre Agassi as a consultant before Wimbledon last year, Djokovic will also have recently retired Czech Radek Stepanek in his corner for the first time this summer.

Local star Nick Kyrgios will also feature alongside Djokovic as eight of the world's best players compete for $250,000 in prize money in a unique, stress-free format.

Each match will consist of a super tiebreak to 10 points, allowing a complete tournament to be played in just one night.

It's a format perfect for Kyrgios, who is renowned for his fast and ferocious playing style.

The event will also raise funds for charity, including Kyrgios' new endeavour, the NK Foundation, designed to help disadvantaged children.

"I'm looking forward to having some fun with it and I reckon the crowds will really get into it," Kyrgios said.

"It will be the perfect chance for fans to see some high-quality tennis before the big one, the Australian Open, starts."

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