Djokovic doubtful for Monte Carlo Masters

World number one Novak Djokovic will make a late decision on his participation in the next week's Monte Carlos Masters because of an ankle problem. "The world's top player has undergone an MRI examination this morning which revealed no structural damage to the joint capsule and ligaments," a statement on Djokovic's website (www.novakdjokovic.com) read on Tuesday.

"A joint structures strain requires therapy and strict rest in the following days. Depending on the recovery, a decision will be made on Nole's participation at the upcoming tournament in Monte Carlo."

Djokovic, who reached the final of the clay court tournament last year, picked up the ankle injury as he led Serbia to a Davis Cup quarter-final win against the United States at the weekend.

Monfils beats Blake

Houston: Gael Monfils of France served 15 aces to beat John Blake of the United States 7-6 (5) 7-5 in the first round of the US Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston on Monday. Blake, once ranked No. 4, was a crowd favorite at River Oaks Country Club but Monfils won cheers for his performance in his first match in the city. Monfils, who played in only 10 tournaments last year because of a knee injury, matched the sixth-highest total of aces in the tournament. He will next face top-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain.Monfils broke Blake in the 11th game of the second set on three straight errors by Blake and wrapped it up quickly with a love final game. He won at the first match point on Blake's backhand error. "I am 100 percent with the level the way I played,'' Monfils said. "I was happy the way I was moving. I can say it's a nightmare (injury) behind me so I am very happy.''

Blake held after six break points in the eighth game of the first set but his serve failed him in the 10th game and the set eventually went to a tiebreaker. The score was tied at 3-3 in the tiebreaker when Monfils won three straight points and then capped the set with an overhead at set point.

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