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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Novak Djokovic is back in action. 

Continuing a tradition, world No. 1 Djokovic hit the court to practice with Holger Rune on the red clay of the Monte-Carlo Country Club.

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Rune shared a series of his Monte-Carlo training sessions with the 36-year-old Serbian superstar on social media.

Grand Slam king Djokovic is set to play his home event, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, which will be his first tournament since splitting with long-time coach Goran Ivanisevic. Working initially with coach Marian Vajda and later as sole head coach, Ivanisevic helped guide Djokovic to 12 of his 24 major titles.

After fending off Rune in three sets at the ATP Finals last November to secure his record-extending eighth year-end world No. 1 ranking, Djokovic praised the Dane as a player with a bright future. 

When Djokovic looks across the net at Rune, he sees a striking similarity to a reigning Grand Slam champion with a crackling return game—himself.

Specifically, Djokovic says Rune's quickness around the court, creativity on the run, versatile two-handed backhand, rousing return game and explosiveness remind him of himself.

Then, there's the fact Rune worked with Hall of Famer Boris Becker, who coached Djokovic to six Grand Slam championships. In Turin last November, Djokovic said facing Rune was a bit like looking into a mirror.

"Every single match we play against each other is a marathon now. It's amazing," Djokovic said of Rune at the ATP Finals last fall. "He's incredibly dynamic player, very quick, very powerful, so aggressive. He has one of the best returns that I ever faced, to be honest.

"Amazing return. He has improved his serve and his overall game."

Photo credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty