Monte Carlo Masters 2021: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal start highway to Roland Garros

Monte Carlo Masters 2021: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal start highway to Roland Garros

Nadal has 71-5 document in Monte Carlo the place he has fallen wanting the quarter-finals simply as soon as – on his debut in 2003 as a 16-year-old.

Monte Carlo Masters 2021: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal begin road to Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal has gained the Monte Carlo title 11 occasions. Reuters file picture

Monaco: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal start their clay courtroom seasons in Monte Carlo this week, seeded to fulfill within the last which might probably be a costume rehearsal for an additional title showdown at Roland Garros in June.

Djokovic and Nadal have not performed because the delayed Australian Open in February the place the world primary Serb claimed his ninth Melbourne title and 18th profession main.

He has additionally since surpassed Roger Federer’s document for weeks at primary and can begin a 316th week on prime of the world from Monday.

Djokovic is a two-time champion in Monte Carlo however has not received past the quarter-finals since his most up-to-date title in 2015.

Nadal, who gained a thirteenth Roland Garros title and record-equalling twentieth Grand Slam by beating Djokovic within the Paris last in October, is chasing a twelfth triumph in Monte Carlo.

There are considerations over the lingering again drawback Nadal is carrying forward of a gruelling clay courtroom season which peaks on the French Open from 30 Could.

Nadal has 71-5 document in Monte Carlo the place he has fallen wanting the quarter-finals simply as soon as – on his debut in 2003 as a 16-year-old.

Because the Australian Open, Nadal has been changed as world quantity two by Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.

The Australian Open runner-up was the primary participant outdoors the ‘Large 4’ of Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray to succeed in quantity two on the planet since Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt in July 2005.

Nonetheless, he’s cautious of his probabilities on clay.

His 10 profession titles have all come on onerous courts whereas he has by no means gained a match at Roland Garros in 4 visits.

“Perhaps in 2050 I am going to handle to get previous the primary spherical at Roland Garros,” the mercurial Russian joked.

Lacking from the Monte Carlo line-up is Roger Federer who final performed within the Principality in 2016 and has by no means gained the match.

Federer, who shall be 40 in August, solely returned to the tour in Qatar in February after 13 months on the sidelines to get better from two knee surgical procedures.

The veteran Swiss plans to make his 2021 clay courtroom bow in Madrid within the first week of Could.

Additionally lacking is world quantity 4 Dominic Thiem who, like Djokovic, Nadal and Federer, skipped the Miami Masters lately as he was “not at 100%”.

The 2-time runner-up to Nadal at Roland Garros opted as an alternative to remain in Austria to observe on clay.

The 2020 Monte Carlo Masters was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic whereas this yr’s occasion shall be behind closed doorways.

Prime seed Djokovic faces a troublesome begin in Monte Carlo.

After a gap spherical bye, he’ll face in-form teenager Jannik Sinner if the Italian will get previous Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Nadal and Medvedev are within the reverse half of the draw.

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