Goffin beats fellow Belgian Darcis at Monte Carlo Masters

I've got lots of tournaments coming up, so I'm looking forward to it.

Last week he was part of an Australia team which beat the United States to reach the semi-finals of the Davis Cup. I had never played that much tennis and didn't know exactly what the right thing to do. After Roland Garros maybe I should have taken some break which I really couldn't do because Wimbledon and the Olympic Games are a big deal. I have to believe I'll get the results I'm hoping for.

Federer is the in-form man on tour at the moment, but the victor of three titles already this season is skipping the clay-court season curtain-raiser.

As for Thiem, some of his best friends on the ATP Tour have become familiar foes and more of the same is in the cards Monte-Carlo.

The fifth-ranked Spaniard has been pipped at the post so far in 2017 at the important moments, losing finals to revitalised rival Federer at the Australian Open and Miami while missing out on a title in Acapulco at the hands of American journeyman Sam Querrey.

"I played well from the start", said Goffin, who will be up against either Nicolas Almagro or a qualifier in the next round. I'm very happy with that.

In form Roger Federer and Japan's Kei Nishikori are each absent for the first major test of the clay court season. "I'm excited to be here".

Monfils will be missing as he continues treatment on a knee injury which has bothered him for months.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal starts as favourite to win his 10th title in Monte Carlo, especially after his early-season exploits on hard courts.

France's Richard Gasquet is still recovering after appendix surgery.

For Djokovic the milestone was winning the French Open, for Murray it was getting to world number one after a breakneck end to 2016 that saw him win 25 consecutive matches.

  • Ernesto Newman