Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Djokovic off to blistering start in Monte Carlo

Djokovic off to blistering start in Monte Carlo

The Mallorcan is 63-4 win-loss in Monte Carlo and shares the record of most Masters 1000 titles won (30) with Novak Djokovic.

Donaldson, ranked 51st and making his first appearance at the clay-court tournament, was jeered by the crowd on center court. For me it's more about finding my form than playing on a particular surface."Indeed, the 6'6" Zverev hasn't had trouble adapting his relentless baseline game to all kinds of courts.

"He told me he would love to play me again in five sets on clay - and then a few days later he will not play in even one event", said the Spaniard. "It's more about how I play", he said. "I think it needs to be slightly balanced but I think it can be good for tennis to have something like that".

"It was a great start to the tournament", Djokovic said afterwards.

Djokovic used to be the player everyone was chasing.

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It's the alpha-dog edge; the lesser-accomplished countrymen come on court, for whatever reason, with far less intrinsic belief in victory than their talent might indicate. But of course, Djokovic's play had something to do with that.

This will be the pair's second-ever meeting with their first meeting actually coming in Monte Carlo back in 2016. He's 5-2 against Janko Tipsarevic.

It's been a rough old time for Djokovic since he returned to the game following an elbow injury, but it's clear he still has some Monte Carlo magic up his sleeve.

But Djokovic did not look at all disgruntled by his early start. His serve motion seemed more relaxed and effective than it did in the US last month. 1 Roger Federer in three sets that year.

Djokovic will next face Borna Coric of Croatia, who beat French veteran Julien Benneteau 6-2, 6-3.

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Maintaining that Monday's win is a "great start" to the ongoing clay-court tournament, the two-time champion also expressed delight at joining hands with Marian Vajda, almost an year after parting ways with his long-time coach.

Qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert also glanced a tiebreak of his own en route to a 7-6 (7), 6-4 win over Italian Paolo Lorenzi, and his reward is a second-round fixture opposite fourth-seed Grigor Dimitrov. Monday, his ranking dropped 11 spots when he didn't play Marrakech last week (a tournament he won a year ago).

Gerri Halliwell Horner, former Spice Girl and recent cameo maker in an Andy Murray comedy clip, joined the fray, as did other Brits including comedian Josh Widdicombe, former soccer player Jamie Redknapp, cricketer Andrew Flintoff and more.

Austrian Dominic Thiem opens his campaign against Andrey Rublev on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports Arena from 10am.

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