In his 2013 clay debut, top ranked Novak Djokovic struggled but prevailed against Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny. The Serb dropped the first set before regaining his form and suviving a dicey third set to win 46, 61, 64 in the second round at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters today/
Afterward, Djokovic admitted on court to French TV that his right ankle, which he injured last weekend, was still not 100%.
“I’m not 100 percent because of my physical issue but I’m still in the draw. I live here. Everything’s alright,” Djokovic said via Reuters.
Djokovic didn’t confirm his participating in the tournbament until yesterday and his rust showed especially in the third set when he served poorly (42% first serve pct) and squandered a break advantage.
“My movements on the clay are still not at the maximum and not where I want them to be,” said Djokovic. “But as the days go by, I think I’m going to slowly get into it and hopefully I can elevate the level of performance in the next match. Today was a big test, over two hours. I had a great quality opponent.
“I’m very happy to win. I’m just happy to compete, to be honest,” he added. “I haven’t practiced much. An hour maximum a day. Obviously it’s taking its toll on my game. But as I said, happy to win and see what tomorrow can bring.”
Djokovic, who’s never won the Monte Carlo title, will play Juan Monaco tomorrow.
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