Djokovic is cautious in Monte Carlo: “Let’s not put too much hope”

On Thursday he will clash with Lorenzo Musetti

April 09, 2024

Corinne Dubreuil//ATP Tour

Novak Djokovic is chasing a third title at the Rolex Monte-Carlos Masters.
By Staff

Novak Djokovic was delighted with his game on Tuesday at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, where he debuted with a 6-1, 6-2 victory against Roman Safiullin. Even so, the Serbian prefers to keep his expectations low in relation to his time in Monte Carlo.

“It’s a great start. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves or get our hopes too high,” Djokovic said in his post-match press conference. “It’s just one game, but I’m very happy with how I felt. It’s just the beginning of the tournament. It’s a match. I hope to work tomorrow to maintain that rhythm and concentration, obviously I will try to perform as well in the second game as I did today.”

Djokovic, a 98-time tour champion, is 9-3 on the season, with his best finish being an Australian Open semifinal. The Belgrade native suffered an early exit at the BNP Paribas Open last month, where he fell to Luca Nardi in the third round.

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Having failed to advance beyond the quarter-finals in his seven most recent appearances in the Principality, two-time tournament champion Djokovic will be hoping this is the week he can return to his best form and change that record. . Coming to just nine unforced errors and advancing after 70 minutes on Tuesday was a talented start for the 24-time Grand Slam champion.

“I really like how I felt on the court today, the way I hit the ball,” Djokovic said. “I think the two or three weeks of training I had is paying off. [Tuve un] good training block with [Nenad] Zimonjic and with the team.”

“We spent a lot of hours thinking about the game, mobility and things that haven’t really worked for me in the first two tournaments this year that I played.”

The 36-year-old, who on Sunday became the oldest No. 1 in the history of the PIF ATP Rankings, is chasing his 41st crown at the Masters 1000 level this week, which would extend the category record.

Champion in the Principality in 2013 and 2015, Djokovic will next face the Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who has just beaten the Frenchman Arthur Fils in the third round. Last year, Musetti defeated Djokovic in Monte Carlo in the same round.

“I’m not afraid of anything or anyone, but I really hope I can have the opportunity to face him again,” said Djokovic, who leads 3-1 in the Lexus ATP Head2Head with Musetti. “Obviously he is one of the most talented players on clay. He has a beautiful one-handed backhand. He is very athletic. He can do many wonderful things. He is one of the most promising young players. And not only from Italy.”


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