Novak Djokovic is at his ease around the grounds with this week’s Monte Carlo Masters devoid of spectators due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Monaco-based world No. 1 who has spent the past few weeks training on clay at his “home” club here, finds the logistics of tournament life simplified by the absence of crowds for this unique edition.
The usual mix of Italians, French and a smattering of other Europeans is nowhere to be seen due to the virus lockdown in force throughout France (site of the actual playing venue).
As for Djokovic, there is now breathing space in the one-off, free-range ambience.
“You play the tournament at the club where you usually come to train,” the local expat resident said on Sunday, “You still spend time outdoors walking around the club.
“Usually, there are so many people, it’s just impossible to walk.
“It’s actually nice – you get to have some fresh air.”
He said the current situation does have its benefits for players.
“Usually a lot of courts are used for sponsor tents. Right now, as you don’t have crowds or sponsors allowed, there’s more courts.”
The world No. 1 called the situation “better for training, for practice.
“In normal circumstances, it’s always tricky to get courts for a lot of players, one hour there, an hour here. Right now, there is plenty of room.”