'It's all just a mystery with Novak Djokovic', says expert

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'It's all just a mystery with Novak Djokovic', says expert

Novak Djokovic arrived at the 2007 Monte Carlo Masters 1000 as number 7 in the world after a great career in Indian Wells and Miami. Novak started the tournament with a 6-1 3-6 6-1 win over former Roland Garros winner Gaston Gaudio in one hour and 42 minutes on Center Court.

Djokovic couldn't find the first serve, and was broken four times. Novak erased that deficit with a remarkable performance on the return, taking 55% of the points in games from Gaudio and breaking the Argentine seven times from 15 chances.

The Serb got a break in the second game and increased the advantage with another that put him ahead 4-0. Gaudio managed a break in game five before being broken again a few minutes later to put Djokovic ahead 5-1. The Serb held game seven to close out the first set in style.

At the beginning of the second set, the rivals exchanged breaks, and Gastón got another one in the sixth game to go up 4-2. The Argentine avoided four break points in game seven to stay ahead and saved another at 5-3 to clinch the set and force the decider.

Losing ground in those moments, Novak faced a break point early in the final set. However, he got going and took a 5-0 lead after a dominant performance on serve and return. Djokovic held on in game seven to take home the win and advance to the third round.

Djokovic is slated to return to the tour next month

Former tennis player Brad Gilbert has admitted that before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, he had been expecting Novak Djokovic to be dominating the tour around this time.

"Before any of this with COVID happened, I thought that Novak Djokovic would be unstoppable around this time. [But now], it's all just a mystery with him," Gilbert said. "I just think that when you get so much equity by winning matches - which he had tons of - and all of a sudden you're not playing and all these things that happened with COVID, I think it's been mentally taxing."

Though the 60-year-old was cautiously optimistic about Djokovic getting back to his rhythm, he asserted that the World No. 1 needed more matches under his belt. "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."