Novak Djokovic Not Worried About Long Layoff

by Staff | April 11th, 2021, 5:33 pm

Djokovic isn’t worried about having not played in two months since his Australian Open title. And the fact the event is being held where he lives is an added bonus.

“I have had some periods in my career where I didn’t play a tournament for maybe couple months, then came back,” Djokovic said. “I don’t think there is anything special I have to do in terms of preparation in order for me to feel my best on the court.

“I’ve been training quite a lot on clay. Actually ever since I pulled out from Miami, I was hitting on clay. Here in Monte Carlo actually where I reside with the family, it was convenient and feels great. I feel physically prepared. Mentally I missed tennis last couple months that I haven’t been competing. I look forward to my first match.”

Djokovic begins his bid for a third Monte Carlo title against the winner of Jannik Sinner and former finalist Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Not an easy draw to start.

“He’s very, very nice person,” Djokovic said of Sinner. “He’s working really hard. He’s devoted. He’s got all the goods that he needs in order to become a champion. He’s in a right way. He’s surrounded with very good people from tennis coach, fitness coach, physio. I know all these people from a long time. Riccardo was my coach the first years of my professional career. He’s in good hands.

“He’s very ambitious. Playing finals of Miami was obviously highlight of his career so far. But I think he has been very consistent player actually. He’s always playing at least quarters or semis of the 250s or 500s. He has been very impressive. It seems like he’s not satisfied with what he has achieved so far. He wants to do more, which is great to see there’s the hunger in him.

“We never faced each other in official match, so it would be definitely great to play him on clay, and let’s see what happens.”

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9 Comments for Novak Djokovic Not Worried About Long Layoff

chrisford1 Says:

Good to see Rafa and Novak taking interest in the big crop of talented younger players that will eventually replace them and how highly they think of the contenders as people. And treat them as peers on court, and in practices. No artistocracy, know your place attitude in Novak or Rafa.
(And Fed’s a good guy too, with the younger talent)

In another story, Djordje Djokovic, Novak’s younger brother, tells of the first encounter he had with Rafa, and he beat Nadal at 15. Djodje described Rafa as one of his great sports idols growing up and says he always tries to say hi and chat with Nadal “who is a tremendous guy”.
Of course, the 1st encounter was Novak introducing him to Rafa in the players lounge as a young teen and the two’s encounter was a spirited game of pinball, and Djordje took Rafa down.

Without fans, at Monte Carlo, clearly the magic of a live audience will be badly missed. Part of the life has been removed from the sport, but doing the ATP Tour is the right call. The world can’t stay locked up forever. People have to make a living. Djokovic and Nadal fortunately miss each other being in the same half and having to play in the semis if both get that far. Both are in good health. Djokovic’s muscle tear is mended, Rafa’s back issues have been sucessfully treated. Both are at 100%.
It looks though like Djokovic will have a tougher path to the semis than Nadal will. For fans of the two best players, every tournament both enter will have meaning, some records to be made. Along with Medvedev, a competition for #1. Fans await Federer’s return. Even with Covid, there are a lot of things for fans to be interested in.

Kathleen Harden Says:

Find it difficult to believe Roger Federer will win many more tournaments – especially 5-setters – doubt he’d have the stamina for lengthy matches. He has had a very successful career – and his fans can still celebrate what has been a great career.

skeezer Says:


Dave Says:

The main competition for number#1(Medvedev) tested positive for COVID-19. Curious what will happen with Djokovic and Nadal who apparently had been around Medvedev. Hopefully this tournament doesn’t end up being a mess with top players being taken out because of this.

chrisford1 Says:

It really bites for Medvedev. Not as much as the players that went halfway around the world only to get screwed by Covid, but it still bites.
Djokovic is much less likely to test positive at any point because he already had Covid-19, stays in his own home – while Rafa hasn’t had it to my knowledge and is in the players hotel breathing the same lovely air. The gift of the Wuhan lab has mutated into a more contagious UK strain and several continental Euro countries are getting hit with it as they have made a mess of vaccine roll out.
The ATP needs to get vaccinated ASAP. The Tour goes country to country and the ATP leadership should be pressing for a waiver with the EU to get priority for vaccination for players and staff due to the nature of the sport.

Dave Says:


Getting vaccinated is a very personal decision. 2 people I know in the city I live in just recently lost family members who died from the vaccination. My wife and I both got the virus in December and I still don’t have my taste or smell completely back. We still aren’t completely normal and are healthy and in our 30’s and not overweight whatsoever. So each person is in a different situation and needs to decide for themselves what’s best for their family.

chrisford1 Says:

Hi Dave – Sorry to hear that you have had persistent significant side effects from CV-19. I agree that people have different unique situations, but for people that travel for a living (like the ATP Tour) or those that see international experiences as inherent to their enjoying their lives to the fullest – vaccine seems inescapable. With variants meaning it may take several years to see this new disease under enough control to get back to some semblance of pre-2020 – crossing Borders may mean vaccination, mandatory quarantines for all, or those unlucky enough to test positive on arrival. There is also the matter of getting herd immunity in nations. Can’t see doing it without vaccination.
Of course, there is a larger imperative in society to realize we can’t stay shutdown forever and just print money to compensate for keeping much of the economy in lockdown. We have to open up, get the unemployed working again, ASAP!
For the ATP Tour, no one is forced to take it I hope, though some countries will require all citizens to get the shots. But those players going without it may have to accept the risk of a positive test when travelling, not get into some country tournaments at all because they lack vaccination.
I presently live in the US Northeast, the hardest hit place on the globe. Two minutes down the road from us is a nursing home that had 13 residents die last May from it over the span of 1 week. My business lawyer died, and besides the obvious family tragedy, replacing him involved 100s of hours of work. I’m in my 50s rest of my family younger, all in good health. We all got vaccinated. We all know someone who has died or had a parent who has died, or neighbor, or someone with ongoing health issues from Covid. Though the vast majority in our region had no long term effects after getting it. I’m more worried about aggressive Chinese nationalism, the Marxist-manufactured racial strife in the USA and violence in the cities than Covid at this point.
With respect to tennis – I note that we, in the worst spot, still managed to hold the Cincinnati and US Open tournaments.But without a Slam tie-in, who thinks many players want to travel to an ATP 250 event in say, India?

skeezer Says:

It should be mandatory to play in the ATP. If not, don’t play. A no brainer, This is a global traveling sport and is in the very high percentage of transmitting the disease. Who knows where all these players have been traveling from country to country. Let’s nip this thing in the bud for everyones well being and get back to some good tennis.

Kathleen Harden Says:

Yep – Covid will be with us for many years – I agree with the scientists in the UK – given that a yearly flu jag has been available for years – the current plan is to combine the flu jag with an anti-Covid jag and offer it to as many people who will take it. Not everyone will take it but I certainly will…..

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