'Rafael Nadal asked me to play, my heart was...', says former ATP player

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'Rafael Nadal asked me to play, my heart was...', says former ATP player

The Monte Carlo Masters 2021 draw is here. There are some fascinating contests to offer and many elite players headline the main draw. There are the usual heavyweights in Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. But challenging them is a long list of young players and some are even close to them.

The top four seeds in Monte Carlo are Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas. All seeded players are greeted by the first round. World number one Novak Djokovic looking to win his third Monte Carlo Masters title The draw is terrifying for Djokovic.

He could simultaneously play Jannik Sinner and Hubert Hurkacz in the second and third rounds, respectively. Also, he could face world number 6 Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals. Also, he finds Stefanos Tsitsipas in his half.

Novak Djokovic plays again in 2021 after his triumph at the 2021 Australian Open. Although he won another Grand Slam in Australia, it came at a cost as his abdominal tear turned into a major injury. Therefore, the Serbian took a while and then returned to the clay court.

Daniil Medvedev's path to first clay title at the 2021 Monte Carlo Masters. Novak Djokovic's brother Djordje, who is also the tournament director of the Serbia Open, recently revealed that growing up he used to idolize Novak's arch-rival Rafael Nadal.

Speaking with the "Wish & Go" podcast, Djordje narrated an anecdote about being introduced to Nadal around 15 years ago.

Novak Djokovic's brother talks about Rafael Nadal

"I have got some really nice memories of Rafael Nadal," Djordje Djokovic said.

"Novak introduced me to him in Monte-Carlo in 2006. Once, I was sitting in the players' lounge when Nadal entered the room. Bear in mind that he was one of my idols. I used to wear sleeveless shirts and long shorts just like him," Djordje said.

"There was a pinball machine around: both of us were not very good with English at that time, but he asked me to play. And we did, my heart was full!" Djordje Djokovic then revealed that he ended up beating Rafael Nadal in the pinball match, prompting the Spaniard to kick the machine in jest.

"I beat him, so he kicked the machine (laughing) but he hugged me afterwards," Novak Djokovic's brother said. "From that point on, we chat every time we run into each other. It is a wonderful trait to have, to behave like he does, Rafa really is a great person."