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I can't guarantee Monte Carlo bid, says Djokovic

Monte Carlo (Monaco), Apr 15 (AFP) 12:10 IST
Novak Djokovic Reuters
World number one Novak Djokovic admitted that he cannot guarantee he'll start the Monte Carlo Masters as he battles the after effects of an ankle injury.

"I can't guarantee 100 percent that I'll be on court. I have to be realistic and cautious," said the world number one who rolled his right ankle badly a week ago during Serbia's Davis Cup win in the United States.

"I've had three days of practice and I've been increasing the level each day.If I have discomfort over the next two days that would be an indication if I should or should not play."

Djokovic, who is based in Monte Carlo and feels a responsibility to compete if possible in his "home" event, said that he will make a final decision by Tuesday.

He and the other top eight seeds all received byes into the second round. "This is a strong event and there is no room for compromise," added the Australian Open champion.

"This is the start of a new season on a new surface. To compete at a high level I must be 100 percent fit. I've been taping the ankle and doing all I can to be ready on the court. I know there is a lot of expectation for me to play - no one wants me to be out there more than I do.

"I'm really encouraged by the progress over the last few days, it's much more than I would have expected it to be. I'll do everything in my power to play."

Meanwhile, Bernard Tomic's European claycourt season got off to the worst possible start as the Australian went down 6-2, 6-4 to Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round on Sunday.

German Philipp Kohlschreiber, a two-time quarter-finalist, became the first seed into the second round as the number 16 dispatched Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 6-4, 6-2.
Highly-regarded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria also made it through with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Belgium's Xavier Malisse.

As well as Djokovic, all eyes at the tournament will be on third seed Rafael Nadal who is bidding for an unprecedented ninth straight trophy at the event.

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