Injured Djokovic hoping to play Monte Carlo
World No 1 Novak Djokovic can only look on the bright side and hope that he can somehow recover enough from an injured right ankle to play in the first major event of the European clay season, the Monte Carlo Masters starting on Sunday.
Djokovic rolled the ankle badly in the third game of his Davis Cup match on Sunday against Sam Querrey, but gutted out a four-set success thanks to painkillers and sheer determination to win the quarterfinal for Serbia.
Now back at Monte Carlo after a private jet flight from the isolated Davis Cup venue of Boise, Idaho, in the western US, he is awaiting advice from doctors. He was to have undergone an MRI scan upon his return to Europe.
With his top seeding at the Masters 1000 at stake as the French Open run-up begins, Djokovic hopes he will be able to make the big push to front up in the draw - but nothing is guaranteed.
"The season on the clay begins ... I would like to play in Monte Carlo, where I live. I love that tournament, I am optimist, but I do not know if it is realistic," he told Serbian media, adding that he had avoided "the worst degree of distortion.
"My ankle swelled ... but I have to check how serious it is and then to estimate if I can play in Monte Carlo."
With the start in Paris well over a month away, Djokovic remains less concerned about that grand slam date. He has made winning the title in Roland Garros a main goal for 2013.
Monte Carlo will be the venue as Rafael Nadal returns to the clay after his hard court title last month at Indian Wells. The Spaniard is looking for an unprecedented ninth straight title at the seaside Country Club.
Missing for the field is world No 3 Roger Federer, who is taking a training break and is not due to play again until Madrid in three weeks.
If Djokovic cannot play, Andy Murray will become the top seed at a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time in his career.