Djokovic saunters through, Donaldson sees red mist in Monte Carlo

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

'Then a few days later he says he will not play in one event, so there's a little bit of controversy with that'.

World number 2 Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka are some of the big names who have skipped the tournament.

Nadal is chasing a remarkable 11th title in Monte-Carlo and is looking forward to returning to ATP Tour action, having been absent since retiring from his Australian Open quarter-final with eventual runner-up Marin Cilic. With injuries plaguing Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray this season, Cilic sees an opportunity, especially after reaching two of the last three Grand Slam finals.

Djokovic's start of the season was disrupted by an elbow surgery, and has since suffered defeats in consecutive opening matches at Indian Wells and Miami. The 31-year-old had retired in the quarter-final of the Australian Open earlier this year due to injury concerns.

Rafael Nadal and Aljaz Bedene meet in the second round of the 2018 tennis Monte Carlo Masters.

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'I want Federer to play in Madrid again before he retires, ' Lopez said. This is my first event of the year, that I hope I can finish and I am excited about that. I'm enjoying being here in Monte Carlo in an event that always brings me to the best feelings possible. "I think it needs to be slightly balanced but I think it can be good for tennis to have something like that".

This will not be the first implementation of a shot clock in tennis, as it was trialled during US Open qualifying a year ago as well as the 2017 NextGen Finals in Milan and the Exhibition International Premier Tennis League. Nadal will be chiefly concerned with arriving in Paris in tip-top shape but also in the back of his mind is the fact that his number one ranking is hanging by a thread.

Kokkinakis received a wildcard into the Monte Carlo draw with his ranking still a low 148 following a long battle with injuries that halted his progress over the past three years. I wanted to share something simple I always try to remember: no matter how good you are at something, there is always more to learn, more to improve, more to keep your head in the game.

Former world number one Novak Djokovic showed signs of a return to form with a 6-0, 6-1 thrashing of fellow Serb Dusan Lajovic in the Monte Carlo Masters first round today.

Holding onto his lead, Khachanov eventually claimed the excellent win after an hour and 50 minutes, firing down yet another powerful unreturnable serve on his first match point. "I know I gotta keep mine", Djokovic said on Twitter this week. Earlier this month, he stopped working with Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek - the latest in a series of coaching changes for the 12-time major champion.

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