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Watch: Novak Djokovic practices with his son in Monte Carlo

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 01 Apr 2021
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World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has begun his preparations for the claycourt season in Monte Carlo, which is his next scheduled event on the tour. And the 18-time Major champion recently took some time out from his serious practice sessions to have a hit with his six-year-old son Stefan.

In a video posted by the ITF Twitter handle, Novak Djokovic is seen on the courts of the Monte Carlo Country Club along with his wife, Jelena Djokovic, and their son.

Last week, Djokovic practiced at the same venue with Holger Rune, the junior World No. 1 who is rapidly rising up the professional ranks. Djokovic's long-time coach Marian Vajda has also been part of the training sessions at Monte Carlo.

The Serb is a two-time champion at the Monte-Carlo Masters, which is the first major claycourt event on the ATP calendar. He won the event in 2013 and 2015, beating King of Clay Rafael Nadal both times (in the final and semifinal respectively).

Novak Djokovic is also scheduled to play the Serbia Open, which is scheduled for the week after Monte Carlo.

The 33-year-old pulled out of the ongoing Miami Open in order to recover from the abdominal injury he sustained while winning the Australian Open in early February.

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While Novak Djokovic practices in Monte Carlo, Rafael Nadal is hitting the courts in Spain

Rafael Nadal, the biggest rival of Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal, the biggest rival of Novak Djokovic

Meanwhile, 20-time Major winner Rafael Nadal is also back to practicing on clay ahead of his favorite time of the season. The World No. 3 has been training at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain along with Casper Ruud, among others, under the watchful eye of coach Carlos Moya.

Nadal is also scheduled to play the Monte Carlo Masters, a tournament he has won a record 11 times.

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The Spaniard has not played since his quarterfinal loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open due to his back injury. And while Novak Djokovic will play Belgrade in the week after Monte Carlo, Nadal has entered the ATP event in Barcelona during the same period.

In other news, the player who will likely be one of the biggest factors this clay season will not be participating at this year's Monte Carlo Masters. US Open champion and two-time Roland Garros runner-up Dominic Thiem announced his withdrawal from the first claycourt Masters event of the season on Wednesday.

"After Doha and Dubai I needed a break," Thiem wrote on his official website. "I'm not at 100% yet. I'm so sorry, I would have loved to play in Monte Carlo, but it won't work out. I'm having tough weeks ahead of me, I have a lot of work to do."
Published 01 Apr 2021, 17:24 IST
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