Tennis-Djokovic wants time to adapt after ‘ugly’ begin on clay


MONTE CARLO (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic returned to the ATP Tour with an “ugly” straight-sets win over Ivan Gakhov at Monte Carlo and whereas the world primary has had prolonged preparation on clay this yr he stated he wants extra time to adapt to the floor.

Djokovic, who will not be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, was unable to play at Indian Wells and Miami final month as he did not get hold of a waiver to enter the USA.

He spent the time coaching on clay forward of the French Open, the place he’ll goal a twenty third Grand Slam, however the Serbian’s 7-6(5) 6-2 win over Russian qualifier Gakhov on Tuesday confirmed he wants extra time to get right into a rhythm.

“All through my profession I wanted one, two weeks of tournaments to actually begin to play the way in which I wish to. It is the case once more this yr, although I educated for 3 weeks and felt good enjoying follow factors,” Djokovic informed reporters.

“Nevertheless it’s totally different whenever you play a match, particularly right now (Tuesday) was fairly windy on the courtroom, so not simple to seek out the rhythm, to have the ball proper, the ball toss and enjoying a lefty, enjoying somebody that has not a lot to lose.

“All this stuff play a consider the way in which you’re feeling on the courtroom. I am actually glad I overcome step one, as a result of I hope issues might be higher and simpler from this level.”

The Australian Open champion stated the extent of his tennis was “not very excessive” in the intervening time and he was unsure when it will choose up.

“The great emotions may come as quickly as the subsequent match or later,” added Djokovic, who performs Lorenzo Musetti or Luca Nardi within the third spherical.

“I do not know. We’ll maintain engaged on follow courts and see what occurs.”

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Enhancing by Peter Rutherford)