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Novak Djokovic, a two-time champion at the Monte-Carlo Masters, entered the tournament with low expectations of winning a record-extending 41st Masters 1000 title. Despite admitting he had additional gears to move through, Djokovic was pleased with his performance and considered it a promising start to the clay swing. His focus on preparing for the second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open, rather than early tournaments on clay has yielded success in recent years.

Djokovic is setting his sights on a fourth Roland-Garros title and a 25th singles major, with a particular emphasis on winning an elusive Olympic gold medal. His former coach Goran Ivanisevic has also prioritized the Olympic gold above all else. Djokovic has yet to produce his best tennis at previous Olympics, with a narrow defeat to Juan Martin del Porto in Rio in 2016 and a loss to Alexander Zverev in 2020. The upcoming Paris Olympics represent Djokovic’s last chance to win the gold medal that has so far eluded him.

The Serb faces a challenging schedule leading up to the Olympics, with the French Open, Wimbledon, and a return to clay for the Paris Games. The adjustment from clay to grass and back to clay is a unique challenge that few players have navigated before. Djokovic’s focus on fine-tuning his clay-court game for the Olympics makes these early steps in the clay swing crucial to his success. While he is keen to secure a title in Monte Carlo, Djokovic sees it as a bonus compared to his longer-term goal of Olympic gold.

Despite a slow start to the 2024 season, Djokovic remains a major contender at Roland-Garros, especially with Rafael Nadal’s uncertain fitness and the NextGen stars yet to establish themselves on the red dirt. Djokovic’s experience and track record of major achievements in the sport make him a formidable opponent on clay. Success at the Monte-Carlo Masters would be a confidence boost for Djokovic as he continues his preparations for the French Open. Revenge against Lorenzo Musetti, who stunned him last year, will be on the world No. 1’s agenda as he aims to reclaim the title in Monte Carlo.

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