World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has underlined that he is still extremely motivated to compete for the biggest accolades on the ATP Tour. Djokovic, 34, was denied participation at the Australian Open and he was also denied entry into the United States for the Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami.
Djokovic is set to return to action this week in Monte Carlo. “I still feel motivated to be on the Tour and compete with young guys and try to challenge the best players in the world for the biggest titles,” Djokovic said in his pre-tournament press conference, per the ATP Tour website.
“I'm very pleased to be here and Monaco has been home for over ten years. I have been eagerly waiting for the moment when I will be out competing again, so this is the best place where I could possibly start”.
Djokovic hopes for a positive Mont Carlo campaign
Djokovic has had success in Monte Carlo in the past as he is a four-time finalist at the tournament. Djokovic won Monte Carlo titles in 2013 and 2015, while he ended runner-up at the tournament in 2009 and 2012.
“Clay court is the surface on which I grew up in Serbia and played many years only on that surface actually. Historically it hasn't been my most successful surface, but I have had some big success on clay. [The] Roland Garros win last year is still fresh in my memory, so I try to use that as an inspiration to kick-start the clay-court season [in the] best possible way," Djokovic said.
“I understand that I probably won't be at my best at the beginning of this week. I am still testing my engine, so to say, and building my game, so it will take obviously some time, some matches to really get in the groove and find the competitive play that I really need."