Novak Djokovic will return to action in the Monte Carlo Masters 1000 next month. The Serbian's participation in the Principality tournament was confirmed well in advance, as was his presence at the Serbia Open. The world number 1 won twice in Monte Carlo, having triumphed in 2013 and 2015.
In last year's edition, the 20-time Grand Slam champion was knocked out in the third round by Dan Evans. Due to his choice not to get vaccinated against Coronavirus, the 34-year-old from Belgrade has only played three games at the start of the season.
In addition to not being able to defend the title at the Australian Open, Nole also had to miss the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells and Miami. The rust accumulated in recent months has cost him dearly in Dubai, where he was unable to go beyond the quarter-finals.
Guest in the latest edition of the 'Holding Court' podcast, Brad Gilbert aired the possibility of a big match between Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz in one of the upcoming majors.
Gilbert opens up on Nole Djokovic
"I wanna see Carlos Alcaraz play [Novak Djokovic].
I think Alcaraz is going to come on court and play him and think, "Okay, he's not the same." I think if someone has to play him in the fourth round of the slam, if you like to bet, put a few on Alcaraz," Gilbert said.
"He's right there and I like his chances of winning one of the next four Slams. Now, it's kind of forgotten, but that guy has been there the whole time. All of a sudden, he's gone," Gilbert said. "I think even if [Novak Djokovic] gets to play all through Europe, I gotta see results and I gotta see how he gets his game back.
Maybe he will get it back." Recently at The Craig Shapiro Tennis Podcast, legendary American tennis player Jim Courier spoke about Djokovic’s future and also about his late withdrawals from Indian Wells and Miami Masters.
Courier said that technically he was allowed to be a part of the draw even if he could not participate. But, that meant taking the chance away from the next deserving candidate on the ranking. The former champion was of the opinion that this was drawing unnecessary bad press towards the Serb, who was in need of some goodwill and support.
“He’s been consistent to what he does, which is to try and get what he wants within the rules. He’s allowed to stay in the draw. I would have chosen to withdraw just prior to the qualifying starting so the next person in would get in I think he could use the good publicity to be honest, I really do. I think, you know, he could use a shot of good PR. But he is within his rights”.