Karen Khachanov edges wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis in thrilling encounter — ATP Monte Carlo

Rafael Nadal

The 31-year-old had retired in the quarter-final of the Australian Open earlier this year due to injury concerns.

"That's why I am here, to play tennis and to accept all the rules".

"I love this event and the weather has been good". But they always feel like crumbs stolen from the giant's table.

This will not be the first implementation of a shot clock in tennis, as it was trialled during US Open qualifying past year as well as the 2017 NextGen Finals in Milan and the Exhibition International Premier Tennis League. "And I'm excited about that".

Nadal who is a 16-time Grand Slam victor will be eyeing his 11 title at the Monte Carlo Masters as he looks to win the tournament for the third time in a row. "Every match I win is very important". The Spaniard won here eight years in a row between 2005 and 2012, and also took the title in both 2016 and 2017 after a four-year gap.

The last time Novak Djokovic faced Rafael Nadal at the Monte Carlo Masters, it was 2015, and the straight-set victory over his rival was nothing more than a warm-up before he won the final proper.

The glitz and glamour of Monte Carlo is the setting for this week's action on the ATP Tour, with a prize fund of nearly €5m a suitable reward for the players good enough to make the 56-man draw.

The 36-year-old Federer ruled himself out of the whole of the claycourt season, after skipping the same period last year and going on to win Wimbledon.

Over the course of the near one-hour match, Djokovic kept compatriot Lajovic guessing with his disguised forehand drop-shots and powerful down-the-line backhands that brought rapturous applause from the crowd at the show court. Said a disappointed Nadal. Bedene is coming off a solid showing in which he got 70 percent of his first serves in play and dropped just 15 service points overall.

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Two-time champion Djokovic is seeded No. 9 in Monte Carlo and is a potential quarter-final opponent for Nadal. All eyes will be on Rafael Nadal, who is eyeing his 11th title on the red dirt of Monte Carlo. "That's why I am here, to play tennis and to accept all the rules".

"The positive thing is probably you will control the time between points, but in the negative thing".

The most strenuous part about it all, Nadal argues, is the physical aspect of the shot clock, claiming that players will be much more tired during the points, taking away from their peak physical performance in front of a loud and eager crowd.

'He said that a couple of days ago - and I thought he would play Roland Garros.

"I played only with the shot clock in IPTL and it was only 20 seconds".

Croatia's Marin Cilic said on Sunday he has his sights set on the top of the world rankings after his recent rise to number three.

"Some ball boys were ready for that, some were better, some were not".

Rising German star Alexander Zverev also brushed off any concerns, pointing out that he is one of the quickest players on tour alongside Australian Nick Kyrgios. Nadal has never been bounced in the second round of the Monte-Carlo Masters.

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