Novak Djokovic won’t panic and he will bring the ‘fight’ to Rafael Nadal – pundit

That is the view of Amazon Prime pundit Mark Petchey.

Last month, Djokovic suffered surprise defeats to Philipp Kohlschreiber and Roberto Bautista Agut in Indian Wells and Miami respectively.

The world No 1 returns to action today against Kohlschreiber in the Monte Carlo Masters and it kick starts the beginning of a crucial period for him.

When Djokovic arrives at the French Open next month he will have the chance to become the first man to hold all four Grand Slams at the same twice.

To do it, Djokovic is likely to need to overcome Nadal, who is the man to beat on clay.

But Petchey believes Djokovic will not be overly concerned by his dip in form since winning the Australian Open in Australia.

“He’s not going to be hitting the panic button,” Petchey said.

“Last year he didn’t play particularly well in Indian Wells and Miami.

“Got through to the last 16 and lost to Dominic Thiem in three sets and everything started to slowly click into gear.

“It is not going to be the worst thing that happened in Indian Wells and Miami. It is a bit of a wake-up call.

“He actually got a better head-to-head record against Rafa on clay since 2013 when he beat him here in Monte Carlo final.

“This is a very strong surface for him. He looks ready to go.

“Watching him in practise he looked right in the mood for the fight that is coming.”

Djokovic holds an 8-2 head-to-head record over Kohlschreiber but the 31-year-old says he is expecting a tough test due to the slow conditions in Monte Carlo.

He said: “Obviously clay is a completely different surface. It’s very demanding physically, tactically, you have to be more patient, resilient, more enduring.

“You have to be able to construct the point in various ways. It is a slow surface.

“[The] clay courts here in Monaco are probably the slowest of the big ones that we have on the Tour. My game and everybody’s game will be tested big-time, but that’s why we’re here.”

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