Djokovic In Devastating Form In Monte-Carlo

Novak Djokovic plays a backhand while on the move in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters

But practising in Monte Carlo yesterday, Djokovic looked a man on a mission, determined to put behind him a rocky few months and make again permanent the occasional flashes of brilliance he has shown on-court so far this year. I'm enjoying being here in Monte Carlo in an event that always brings me to the best feelings possible.

The 36-year-old Federer ruled himself out of the whole of the claycourt season, after skipping the same period last year and going on to win Wimbledon.

"I always feel good when I am here", Nadal said.

"I played only with the shot clock in IPTL and it was only 20 seconds".

"I train on this court, so I feel at home", said Djokovic, who lives in Monaco.

The 12-times Grand Slam victor ended his collaboration with head coach Andre Agassi and coach Radek Štěpánek earlier this month. "Hope I get more confidence and do well [at] these five tournaments on clay".

Djokovic has also had to contend with injury in recent months and is not being tipped to mount a serious challenge for Nadal's Monte Carlo Crown.

Former tennis world No 1 Novak Djokovic on court in Monte Carlo
JULIAN FINNEY GETTY IMAGES Former tennis world No 1 Novak Djokovic on court in Monte Carlo

Novak Djokovic started his clay-court season with a flawless straight-sets victory over compatriot Dusan Lajovic in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters.

The 31-year-old reclaimed the world number one spot at the end of last year and has continued to build on his steady progress battling back from an injury-ravaged couple of seasons.

"It's not great but, I mean, first match on clay, you know, I'm expecting (a) little soreness", said Nishikori. The 21-year-old American got irate with a call when Ramos-Vinolas was serving at 3-2, 40-0 in the second set. The more free points, the better chance Bedene has of pulling off a rather big upset.

The most strenuous part about it all, Nadal argues, is the physical aspect of the shot clock, claiming that players will be much more worn out during the points, taking away from their peak physical performance in front of a loud and eager crowd.

"Some ball boys were ready for that, some were better, some were not".

Along the same lines, German star Alexander Zverev was also not too anxious about the new potential system, claiming that he already is one of the quickest people on tour.

American youngster Jared Donaldson squared up to French umpire Arnaud Gabas after losing his temper over a line call in freaky scenes during a Monte Carlo Masters match on Monday.

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