Novak Djokovic admits “I won’t be at my best” for Monte Carlo comeback
World number one Novak Djokovic feels it will take time for him ”to get in the groove” and find his competitive edge, as he prepares for his return to the ATP circuit.
The Serbian is set to compete in only his second tournament of the season at the Monte Carlo Masters this week, where he faces Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second round after receiving a first round bye.
The Masters event signals the start of Djokovic’s title defense of the French Open and his first appearance on the ATP tour since the Dubai Tennis Championships at the end of February.
Discussing his upcoming return, Djokovic admits that despite being ”motivated” he may not be at his imperious best for his opening match of the tournament.
“I still feel motivated to be on the Tour and compete with young guys and try to challenge the best players in the world for the biggest titles. I’m very pleased to be here and Monaco has been home for over 10 years.”
“I understand that I probably won’t be at my best at the beginning of this week. I am still testing my engine, so to say, and building my game, so it will take obviously some time, some matches to really get in the groove and find the competitive play that I really need.”
However, Novak Djokovic revealed his excitement ahead of his long-awaited return, “I have been eagerly waiting for the moment when I will be out competing again, so this is the best place where I could possibly start. Clay court is the surface on which I grew up in Serbia and played many years only on that surface actually.”
“Historically it hasn’t been my most successful surface, but I have had some big success on clay. [The] Roland Garros win last year is still fresh in my memory, so I try to use that as an inspiration to kick-start the clay-court season [in the] best possible way.”
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