Pam Shriver: Novak Djokovic 'fired up' to quickly tie Rafael Nadal at 21



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Pam Shriver: Novak Djokovic 'fired up' to quickly tie Rafael Nadal at 21

Former American tennis star Pam Shriver admitted she doesn't quite know what to expect from Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo Masters but acknowledged that you can't never underestimate such a great champion. Djokovic, ranked at No.

1 in the world, is set to play just his second tournament of the season. After being denied a participation at the Australian Open, Djokovic kicked off his season in late February in Dubai. Djokovic was then denied entry into the United States for the Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami.

After missing the Australian Open and the first two Masters events of the season, Djokovic is set to kick off his clay season in time.

Shriver: Djokovic wants to match Rafael Nadal's Grand Slam record

“I expect him to be anywhere from really rusty, and if he has the wrong draw lose early, to win the tournament.

So, in other words, I don’t quite know what to expect. There’s nobody that I know," Shriver said on the Inside-in Podcast, per Essentially Sports. “I guess Ash Barty would be the closest one, Serena in her prime, Roger Occasionally and I guess Novak can fit that profile, right? Players who can take such a long period of time off and then get right back at it and win.

“So, it’s possible, it might take him a couple of tournaments, but I think he’s gonna have some fire in his belly and he’s gonna try and get match Nadal at 21 sooner than later," After a first round bye, Djokovic will clash Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the Monte Carlo second round.

Nadal is missing the Monte Carlo Masters because he is dealing with a stress fracture in one of his ribs. Djokovic will certainly be hoping to put on a strong run in Monte Carlo and start his clay season on a positive note.