Novak Djokovic: The Monte Carlo Clay Courts Are Slow, My Game Will Be Tested Big Time
by Tom Gainey | April 15th, 2019, 10:33 am

Following a very disappointing March which saw him lose early at both Indian Wells and Miami, Novak Djokovic hopes to get back on track in his home event in Monte Carlo this week.

“Certainly I was disappointed because I thought I was playing better and better and I thought I could go far. But at the same time it is what it is and as I said I’ll try to look on the positive side,” Djokovic said of his March slump. “I’ve had great form the past 12 months, great form. And other than those two tournaments, all the others I’ve played were at least the semifinals or finals, most of the tournaments I played. That can serve only as an incentive so to say, or a confidence boost, prior to clay season.”

Djokovic is a 2-time Monte Carlo champion, and no surprise, he pegs Rafael Nadal as the favorite, but then leaves it open after that.

“If he’s physically fit he’s definitely the No. 1 guy on this surface, without a doubt,” he said of the Spaniard.

“After him, it’s quite open,” Djokovic added. “Zverev has done really well on clay the past few years. Dominic Thiem, of course. Roger is going to play as well this season, so that’s great for tennis. I think it is pretty open.”

Novak also looks forward to the transition to clay.

“Obviously clay is a completely different surface. It’s very demanding physically, tactically, you have to be more patient, resilient, more enduring,” Djokovic said. “You have to be able to construct the point in various ways. It is a slow surface.

“Clay courts here in Monaco are probably the slowest of the big ones that we have on the Tour. My game and everybody’s game will be tested big-time, but that’s why we’re here.”

The World No. 1 will face the man who stunned him at Indian Wells, Philipp Kohlschreiber, in his opener.

A year ago, Djokovic fell to Dominic Thiem in the third round.

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12 Comments for Novak Djokovic: The Monte Carlo Clay Courts Are Slow, My Game Will Be Tested Big Time

skeezer Says:

This is a guy everyone want so to cheer for. Charming, debonair, respectful, loves the crowd, a true model for kids to look up to.

Czarlazar Says:

We now know the main reason Nole’s form has plummeted since Melbourne: the vile greaseball Pepe Imaz is back in his camp. I thought Novak looked skinnier by Indian Wells and Miami and he looks even leaner today in Monte Carlo. If the vegan diet is back, that explains why the groundstrokes and serve are a touch lighter, and energy/endurance is below par. Furthermore, Pepe’s “peace and love” vibes will drain his hunger to win. Also might explain why he played doubles with his brother Marko who works full time at Imaz’s tennis camp in Marbella, Spain and is fully under the “guru’s” spell. Unless Vajda or Gritsch can keep the Spanish charlatan far, far away, Novak will have a one slam year in 2019.

Wog Boy Says:

That’s correct, I knew that month ago and particularly at AO, when I noticed that he is wearing something else around his neck next to a traditional wooden cross. He was asked what’s that and his answer was “ brings him strength, energy and gives him protection..” and refused to elaborate more. He never got out of the sect, he was given just a short brake by Gestapo wife and now he is back full time. It is matter of time when his team are going to leave him, they’ll stick until FO to try to use momentumum, but I am sure he is done this time and it’s his own undoing.
Anyone who claims is a christian (which he is clearly not anymore) will never ever put anything on his chest alongside cross, particularly some sectarian BS. He use to cross himself after the matches now he is pointing to some imaginary power above, what was wrong with crossing yourself if you claim you are christian? Look at Delpo, Halep, Andreescu and others. I am still following him as a tennis player and want him to win but not as a person, the moment he stops playing I will be scrolling any news tha starts with Novak Djokovi.
I am talking from the point of view of am 35 years immigrant that never changed who he (mayself) is, sadly that’s not the case with Novak and it hurts me, he strayed into the area and lifestyle that I despise, and even I know that he was introduced to that sect by his Gestapo wife and loser brother it was him who accepted it out of his personal weakness.
I spoke here recently with VP and I told her tha Nole is backbto La-La-Land and he is proving me right.
Here is the link where you can see his picture at AO the thing around his neck and his short answer about it:

I wish him all the best but won’t be waking up to watch him, he is still the tennis player I want to win, but that’s about it.

Wog Boy Says:

^^ “short break” though it is not entirely wrong that she also applies brakes on Nole at will.

Czarlazar Says:

Good research as always, WB. I guess after Melbourne he got overconfident and thought he could go back to his “spiritual” and vegan lifestyle that almost ruined his career. The margins between the #1 and #50 player are so small in tennis that Nole should not be tempting fate and diminishing himself with this stupidity. He knows what was required to come back to the top of tennis, so why doesn’t he defer this foolishness until after he leaves the game? I love the guy but don’t understand him at all. Vajda and Gritsch must be frustrated beyond belief, and hope they’re influential enough to get him back on track. Tennis is much less interesting without the real Novak fighting for GS titles against Nadal and Federer.

j-kath Says:

Oh dear – let’s hope you are all wrong re. Nole’s re-direction. “The thing around his neck” looks like an ancient Celtic spiritual adornment. If I were Roger, I’d be revising the date of my retirement.

Django Says:

If that amulet thing gives him strength and energy it’s obviously not working. He’s a weak, sickly vegan again. Looks like he’s surrounded by Druids.

chrisford1 Says:

If Novak is going into Round 2 of the descent into failure with Pepe and Marko, he is anything but “at peace” as Skeezer helpfully (not as Skeezer intended) linked to his explosion in his 2nd round match. It showed Djokovic’s “peace crap” is phony. Making him and his stupid peace offering rituals phony.

Fix yourself, Novak, Fast!
Hand over Marko to your other brother or parents to babysit.

Wog Boy Says:

The only Nole I want to remember and will remember is Rocky Balboa one, not this confused, pacified, cheap Chinese counterfeit Nole.

It’s definitely not Celtic, Celtic people were warriors, this Nole is anything but warrior.

Wog Boy Says:

“It’s ain’t about how hard ya hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

Nole should be watching this video and repeating above quote like a Hail Mary, before and after every meal, vegan meals don’t count:

Czarlazar Says:

This relapse is probably manageable, no different than when an alcoholic is trying hard to quit booze or a chain smoker to leave cigarettes. Many of us have been there and few can quit at once without going back to the well a couple/three/ten times. With Nole, who I believe still loves tennis in spite of the weirdos around him, it requires sufficient humiliation for him to snap out of it. With failures at Indian Wells, Miami and now Monte Carlo, he’s getting a good dose. However, I believe he’ll need further poor showings in Madrid, Rome and Paris before the lightbulb comes on and he realizes the gravity of his predicament.

j-kath Says:


I’m sincerely hoping the “real” Novak returns – and I think most tennis fans hope so too – no matter who their favourite is (and even if they dislike him). If not, what’s left? Walk-overs for Fed. and Rafa? Yes, because the younger generation are not there yet – and even when they show their talent they can’t sustain the demands of the game – and in my view will never replace the competitiveness, success levels and continuity of the 4/5 players we had. Yes, Fed & Rafa are holding the fort but we need Novak and a couple of the others who were always a threat.

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