World number 51 Jared Donaldson confronted an umpire after disagreeing with a call made in his first-round defeat by last-year's finalist Albert Ramos-Vinolas. All eyes will be on Rafael Nadal, who is eyeing his 11th title on the red dirt of Monte Carlo. He may face fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the second round, but the sterner test is a potential tie against Nadal in the quarter-finals.
"I love this event and the weather has been good". Nadal will be returning to competitive action this week in Monte-Carlo but is a little crestfallen that his anticipated rival and competitor Roger Federer will not be playing in this year's clay court session.
"Every year I come here with the same passion, with the same motivation to play my best and to give me chances to have the best result possible", he added.
This will not be the first implementation of a shot clock in tennis, as it was trialled during US Open qualifying past year as well as the 2017 NextGen Finals in Milan and the Exhibition International Premier Tennis League. "I'm practicing well; I am playing with the right intensity I think".
"He knows me better than any tennis coach I've worked with".
Doubts had remained over his fitness after a recurring hip injury forced him out of Acapulco Open in February.
On this basis, expect plenty of breaks of serve and comebacks in matches, while return-orientated players are likely to thrive here, and in particular, the King of Clay, Rafa Nadal.
After significant rest during the second half of previous year and a medical procedure in February, Djokovic spoke confidently of being pain-free - at long last.
The younger Zverev brother, at [10.5], is the market second favourite, but doesn't have the best clay data (just a 108.9% combined hold/break percentage in the last 12 months), and his 16-4 clay record in this time period indicates he won a ton of tight matches, as is often the case with him.
The 30-year-old dropped just eight points during the first set as he dominated against his compatriot, and it was a similar story in the second.
Monte Carlo Masters - the season's first clay-court Masters 1000 tournament - kicked off Sunday, April 15, with top tennis stars from across the globe in French city Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. This sounds fairly tough, but in a 56-man Masters draw, easy draws don't tend to occur, and players will have to perform well to make it through to the latter stages.