Rafael Nadal And Djokovic Could Roar Back On Clay

The Spaniard, commonly known as the king of Clay, a 53-time titlist on the red surface, has won at the Monte Carlo Country Club a remarkable 10 times and is bidding for a record-extending 11th success. With Roger Federer absent, the world No 1 is the stand-out attraction and has admitted he is relishing his […]

The Spaniard, commonly known as the king of Clay, a 53-time titlist on the red surface, has won at the Monte Carlo Country Club a remarkable 10 times and is bidding for a record-extending 11th success.

With Roger Federer absent, the world No 1 is the stand-out attraction and has admitted he is relishing his return having not played since the Australian Open in January because of a hip problem.

Nadal had earlier pulled out of events, the likes of Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami, Nadal appeared back to full fitness as he helped Spain to a Davis Cup quarter-final win over Germany with wins over Alexander Zverev and Philipp Kohlschreiber earlier this month.

The 31-year-old said ahead of the tournament: “I am eager to start playing, since I have only played one tournament this year, in Australia, but I retired.

“So it feels like I am starting not just the clay season, but the 2018 season.

“I always feel good when I am here, it is one of my favourite tournaments.

“It’s been a love story between me and this event, the people who run the tournament.”

But Nadal is not the only big name at the Masters 1000-level event with Novak Djokovic, a two-time Monte Carlo winner himself, also making a return.

Novak Djokovic has had something of a nightmare return losing his last three matches – his worst run of form for 11 years – following lengthy injury struggles, he is now trying to hit a bit of consistency in good performances ahead of the French Open in May after a recent backroom team overhaul.

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