From the usual Novak Djokovic standards a third round exit at a Masters 1000 event is not great but in his return to the tour and trying to find form and following his horror show at Miami and Indian Wells I’d take a lot from it if I were Novak.
Everyone wants to play Monte-Carlo and there are no easy matches. First up for Novak was Borna Coric who has been in very good form this year. The Croat put up a good fight but struggled to break down Novak when it mattered with the Serbian taking the match 7-6 7-5.
Next up for Novak was Dominic Thiem who is just on route back from an ankle injury. During this match we learnt a lot about where both players are right now. Focus areas for Novak will be on his movement, transition from the back of the court bringing the backhand into play and competitiveness from the baseline is something that needs improving but will come with game time building that movement and strength.
During one of the sets Thiem won 15 points from the baseline and Novak 4, The Austrian brought that power and dominance with the hard hitting which put Novak on the back foot and he didn’t have time to redirect the ball.
Novak has announced following his exit from Monte Carlo that former coach Marian Vajda who joined the former world number one for the week in Monte Carlo will be there for the rest of the clay court season.
Novak in the last 24 hours as well has accepted a wildcard in the ATP 500 event in Barcelona next week and will also participate in Madrid and Rome before taking a trip to Paris.