Novak Djokovic had a well attended Saturday hit-out in front of hundreds of fans on the clay of the Monte Carlo Masters with good friend and former Davis Cup captain Nenad Zimonjic on duty.

The longtime mentor to the world No. 1 is filling in as the clay season starts in the wake of Djoko’s split from coach Goran Ivaniseivc, who helped the 36-year-old to a dozen of his 24 Grand Slam titles.

While professing undying admiration for former Wimbledon champ Goran, Djokovic was firm in his decision  to part ways.

“We felt we gave each other the maximum, it was time to move on – it’s pretty simple,” he said.

“Goran remains one of the most successful coaches in the history of the game.

“We’ve done something that cannot be deleted, the results speak for themselves.

“He also remains a dear friend of me and my family.”

The player who skipped last month’s Miami Masters after losing in the Indian Wells third round to Italian minnow Luca Nardi, insisted his time with Zimonjic is strictly experimental.

“He’s a longtime friend and has known me since I was very young,” Djokovic said.:

“He’s always helped me and been a mentor; we’ve kept that relationship until today.

“We’ll see how it goes and talk after the tournament. It’s been a pleasant experience to be on the court with him 

“It’s nice and refreshing; I’ve been enjoying it.”

The Serb who has won Monte Carlos only twice (2013, 2015) is keeping any dreams of success here in check.

“The expectations are not very high,” the 36-year-old said. “My results here in previous years (titles in 2013 and 2015) are not great.

“It’s all about building my game for clay courts. I want to reach my peak for Paris – that’s where I want to play my best tennis.”

He added:¬†“The last five or six editions here have not been very successful¬†for me. But I’m hoping that can change and I’m going in with a big dose of enthusiasm.

“I had extra preparation time since I did not play Miami. But I need to get my body and game adjusted to this surface.”

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