'Novak Djokovic had a hard time dealing with...', says top coach

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'Novak Djokovic had a hard time dealing with...', says top coach

Novak Djokovic made his return to the red clay circuit in Monte Carlo, but his race was interrupted already in the second round. The world number 1, who had played three official matches in as many months, surrendered to the Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina with the score of 6-3 6-7 (5) 6-1.

The Serbian phenomenon looked very rusty and far from the best condition, without detracting from the excellent performance of the Iberian on the Central. According to reports by the Serbian media, the 34-year-old from Belgrade had to deal with a fever in the days leading up to the start of the Monegasque tournament.

There is no doubt that 2022 got off to a terrible start for the 20-time Grand Slam champion. Due to his choice not to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus, Nole was unable to defend the title at the Australian Open (in addition to having suffered serious damage to his image).

Strict US regulations forced him to miss the Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000s as well. Novak will play the Serbia Open next week, the last test before the Masters 1000 in Madrid and Rome. His goal is to reach Roland Garros 100%, where he will be called to defend the title he won last year.

Speaking to the Tennis Channel, Paul Annacone commented on Djokovic's defeat in Monte Carlo.

Annacone opens up on Djokovic

“Novak Djokovic had a hard time dealing with the wind," Annacone said. "I’m not real worried about his game, he just had to get the match reps up.

I just think it’s not a big deal. He doesn’t want to lose but he wants to make sure he’s playing his best tennis at Roland Garros”. Following an impressive 2021 season which saw him win three out of four Slam titles, 2022 has not started well for Novak Djokovic.

The Serb could not defend his title at the Australian Open due to his visa being canceled. He was then unable to compete in the Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami as he could not enter the United States due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19.

Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis ace, has some splendid records, so much so that he is regarded as one of the big three of this generation. However, the current world no.1 hasn’t been in the circuit for quite some time due to his disagreement with Covid-related regulations.

Novak was out-muscled by 22-year-old Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the round of 32 of Monte Carlo. He stretched the match to the third set by surviving a long second set. Even so, in the end, Alejandro got the better of him.