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Djokovic practices in Monte-Carlo ahead of return to tour next week

The world No 1 has played only one event in 2022 due to his decision to remain unvaccinated but will be in action at next week’s Monte-Carlos Masters

Novak Djokovic at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters in 2021 Novak Djokovic at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters in 2021 Image Credit: Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic

World No 1 Novak Djokovic is already in Monaco and has begun preparations for the Monte-Carlo Masters, which kicks off next week.

The 34-year-old has played only one event in 2022, a quarter-final loss to Jiri Vesely in the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February.

Djokovic posted a video on his social media on Sunday where he was seen practicing in Monaco.

The Serb was deported controversially from Melbourne after his vaccination status led to a major political fight in Australia over his entry into the country. He was also not able to enter the United States in March to compete in the Indian Wells or Miami Masters due to U.S. entry rules which requires players to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

As per current rules, it looks like Djokovic will be able to play the French Open in May and Wimbledon in June but with a fresh rise in the number of cases again in Europe, things may look different closer to the major tournaments.

The French Presidential elections are scheduled to be held from April 10 to 24 and it is not certain if the rules around vaccine passes may be different after that.

Djokovic stepped up his practice by hitting with Jannik Sinner a couple of days later, the Italian back in action after injury.

Djokovic defending high number of points during the clay court season

Of his 8,420 ranking points, the Serb will be more than 3,500 points during the clay court season, which includes points from winning the French Open in 2021, reaching the final in Rome and winning the Madrid Masters in 2019 (players carry 50 percent of the points from pandemic-affected tournaments as per the adjusted ranking system).

Djokovic will be the only member of the Big 3 in Monte-Carlo with Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal recovering from a rib stress fracture for a few more weeks and Roger Federer unlikely to return before late summer/ early autumn.

World No 2 Daniil Medvedev, who took over the top spot from Djokovic for three weeks last month, announced that he would miss one or two months of the season due to a hernia procedure.

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