Two-time champion Novak Djokovic spoke to the press yesterday at the Monte Carlo Masters, and explained that having played just three matches these first three months of 2022, he misses being on tour.
“Obviously I miss competition,” Djokovic said. “I still feel motivation to be on the tour and compete with young guys and try to challenge the best players in the world for the biggest titles.
“Obviously last four, five months have been really challenging for me mentally and emotionally, but, you know, here I am and I try to leave all of that behind and move on.”
Clay, he says, suits his game.
“Clay court is the surface in which I grew up in Serbia and played many years only on that surface actually, and historically hasn’t been my most successful surface, but I have had some big success on clay. Of course Roland Garros win last year is still fresh in my memory, so I try to use that as an inspiration to kick-start the clay court season best possible way.”
And good news, he’s playing to play a full season of clay tennis — no vaccine issues — meaning Monte Carlo, Belgrade, Madrid, Rome and the French Open.
“I intend to play, you know, full clay court season according to my schedule of the previous years,” Djokovic said. “I understand that I probably won’t be at my best particularly at the beginning of this week, so, you know, am still testing my engine, so to say, and building my game, so it will take obviously some time, some matches to really get in the groove and find the competitive play that I really need.
“But it has definitely been a very challenging few months and something I never experienced before. So I will try to use that as a fuel for what’s coming up.”
Djokovic, who has returned to World No. 1, will open tomorrow against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
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