Novak Djokovic is back on clay in Monte Carlo after a truncated season where he only played three games in February, due to his refusal to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. With this return, the Serb, still world number one, hopes to launch his season, with Roland Garros in focus at the end of May.
This is only his second tournament of the year. After the Australian Open imbroglio, Novak Djokovic is back at the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo, with Roland Garros in sight, after only playing three matches in 2022, at a tournament in Dubai in February and a loss in the quarterfinals.
An absence that did not cost the Serb too much. Daniil Medvedev, injured, only stole the place of world number for a few weeks. “I did not expect to be in this position of number 1 by playing so few matches”, recognizes Novak Djokovic.
“It was very difficult, I’ve never experienced that”
He who still refuses to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, admits that these last few months have been complicated. “It was very difficult, I had never experienced that. I will use it as fuel to move forward,” he explains. In Monaco, Novak Djokovic is at home in the literal sense of the term, since he lives in the principality.
However, he has only won the tournament twice, which is little compared to his XXL record. In the quarter-finals this year, the Serbian could meet 18-year-old Spanish phenom Carlos Alcaraz. But his main objective for the spring will be Roland Garros where he hopes to defend his title.