World number one Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the China Open in Beijing next week due to an ongoing elbow injury.

The Serbian has been dogged by fitness issues all summer, having struggled at the Olympics and then pulled out of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, but he made his comeback at the US Open, where he made it to the final before being beaten by Stan Wawrinka.

He tweeted pictures of himself in training earlier this week, however he has made the decision not to take part in Beijing.

The official Twitter account of the China Open said: "Six-time and defending #ChinaOpen champion @DjokerNole has been forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an elbow injury."

Djokovic's withdrawal could have implications for Andy Murray, who has sights on his rival's position at the top of the rankings.

The British number one suffered a thigh injury in Great Britain's Davis Cup defeat to Argentina in Glasgow 10 days ago and said afterwards he was in desperate need of a rest, though played in a charity exhibition event a few days later.

With Djokovic now no longer defending points in the rankings, Murray could be tempted to play in Beijing in a bid to reel Djokovic in further in his bid to become world number one, though with the Shanghai Rolex Masters the following week, the Scot may not want to risk aggravating his thigh injury.