Home Rafael Nadal: Catherine Whitaker makes surprise Novak Djokovic Monte Carlo Masters snub | Tennis | Sport

Rafael Nadal: Catherine Whitaker makes surprise Novak Djokovic Monte Carlo Masters snub | Tennis | Sport

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Those are the thoughts of sports broadcaster Catherine Whitaker.

Nadal, whose start to the 2018 season has been disrupted by a hip injury, hasn’t played on the ATP Tour since the Australian Open.

The Spaniard is only 100 points clear of Roger Federer at the top of the world rankings and needs to defend all his clay court titles otherwise he will have to win the French Open to retain the No 1 spot.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion is bidding to win the Monte Carlo Masters for the 11th time and is in the same half of the draw as Novak Djokovic, who he could meet in the quarter-finals.

But Whitaker thinks Dominic Thiem, who he could face in the semi-finals may be the more troubling prospect.

When asked who is likely to win the tournament, Whitaker said on the Tennis Podcast: “You can’t not predict Nadal.

“I’m interested to see what happens. He’d play Thiem in the semis.

“I know Thiem is a total unknown quantity in himself and he’s been very injured.

“He’s been hitting the ball, but you know what we think people say ‘he’s hitting the ball well’.”

Nadal, who boasts an incredible 53 clay-court titles, gets his campaign underway against Alijaz Bedene tomorrow.



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