Djokovic eyes Monte Carlo glory
Novak Djokovic is hoping to use last year's clay-court experience to topple Rafael Nadal at the Monte Carlo Masters.
Nadal has been unbeatable in the Principality event in recent times and has won the event seven times in a row, starting with his first victory in 2005.
The world number two is the undisputed master of the clay-court surface, having secured six French Open titles already in his illustrious career.
But he was really challenged for the first time in 2011 as Djokovic beat the left-hander in the finals of both the Rome and Madrid Masters.
The Majorcan did manage to win his customary Roland Garros title, beating Roger Federer in the final who had earlier dumped Djokovic out of the event at the semi-final stage.
Djokovic will open his clay-court season against Andreas Seppi on Wednesday and should have little trouble in disposing of the Italian and he admits that he is raring to go on clay despite the tough nature of the fixture schedule.
"We know how to play them back-to-back. It's a familiar situation," he said. "I know how to recover and be ready. I've been working hard, and I'm prepared on clay."
Nadal is favourite to win a seventh French Open title but Djokovic is quietly confident of repeating last year's dominance over the Spaniard.
"Last year, I won Madrid and Rome, and beat Nadal in the finals," he added. "That has to give me confidence for the clay season."