Novak clams injury fears

World number one Novak Djokovic has played down suggestions that he will miss the French Open with an ankle injury, though he is a major doubt for next week’s Monte Carlo Masters.

The Serbian picked up the problem in his Davis Cup tie with Sam Querrey last weekend and required lengthy treatment before beating the American in four sets.

The injury came at a bad time for the 25-year-old, with the start of the clay-court season a week away. His participation at Roland Garros was thrown into doubt, the only Grand Slam he has failed to win.

However, last year’s finalist has allayed fears of a lengthy lay-off and could be back out on court in the next few weeks.

A statement read: “The world’s top player has undergone an MRI examination this morning which revealed no structural damage to the joint capsule and ligaments. A joint structures strain requires therapy and strict rest in the following days.

“Depending on the recovery, a decision will be made on Nole’s participation at the upcoming tournament in Monte Carlo.”

Should Djokovic miss the Monte Carlo Masters, Andy Murray would be the top seed when the event gets underway on Monday. Roger Federer has already stated his intention to skip the tournament.

While Murray’s chances of winning a rare clay-court title would improve in the absence of Djokovic and Federer, he would still have to find a way to beat Rafael Nadal, who has won 42 consecutive matches in Monaco on his way to eight straight titles.

Nadal’s number five ranking is misleading. He is undoubtedly the favourite to continue his incredible winning running at the Masters 1000 event.

Djokovic would have to be 100 per cent fit to challenge the Spaniard, which could influence his thinking when deciding whether to compete.

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