Djokovic ‘Motivated’ To Compete For Titles

Top seed Novak Djokovic feels that he is fully motivated and ready to test himself against the world’s best players once again as he prepares to play at his second tour-level event of the season at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters this week.

“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.

“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.”

The Serbian will begin his clay-court campaign against Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and is hoping he can take confidence from his strong results on the surface in 2021, when he clinched titles at Roland Garros and the Belgrade Open and advanced to the final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

“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.

“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 obviously take some time, some matches to really get in the groove and find the competitive play that I really need.”

Djokovic arrives at the third ATP Masters 1000 event of the season as the World No. 1, having reclaimed top spot on 21 March, after temporarily losing it to Daniil Medvedev for three weeks from 28 February.

The 34-year-old, who reached the quarter-finals in Dubai in February, knows that a deep run in Monte Carlo will maintain his position at the top of the sport.

“Being World No. 1 is the highest achievement that you can have in our sport, so I’ll try to maintain that position as much as possible,” Djokovic said.

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