Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Novak eyes Monte Carlo trophy without Martin
Belgrade, April 14. 2010 (Source: Blic) - The clay-court season on the men’s tennis tour is on, starting with a Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo this week and with its grand finale at the eagerly anticipated French Open in Paris in late May and early June. Given the fact world’s number one will miss out on the Monaco-based event, the Serbian star player has been named seed number one and will therefore have a bye in the opening round. Djokovic’s first opposition will be the winner of the tie between Florent Serra and Stephane Robert, both of France tournament in Monaco last year, having reached the final, where he was beaten at the hands of “king of clay” Rafael Nadal. Looking at the projected draw bracket, Djokovic’s rivals in the third round could be Stanislas Wawrinka or Ernests Gulbis. If everything goes according to plan for the Serb in the early stages, he is likely to cross paths with compatriot Viktor Troicki in the quarter-finals, while the two will be playing together in the doubles event at Monte Carlo. Other prominent players in the singles draw are Mikhail Youzhny, David Nalbandian and Tommy Robredo. Djokovic’s potential opponents in the semi-final are Croatia’s Marin Cilic, Fernando Verdasco and in-form Tomas Berdych. The other section of the draw will feature title-defender Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, home crowd’s favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, as well as Spanish representatives Juan Carlos Ferrero and David Ferrer. Ahead of his trip to Monte Carlo, Djokovic has announced he has terminated his cooperation with coach and former US tennis star Todd Martin. “I will not be working with Martin any longer as I can’t work with two coaches at the same time. Marian [Vajda] and Todd did not see eye to eye in some respects, and I was forced to opt for one of them. The choice was my permanent coach Vajda and I hope we continue to have a positive cooperation. As for Martin, I can only have words of praise for him and I stress we parted ways in a very positive and friendly atmosphere. He shared everything he had with me, especially the vast experience he has from his professional playing career,” said Djokovic ahead of the Monte Carlo event.