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Murray, Djokovic ready for Monte Carlo return

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic will return to the tour at the Monte Carlo Masters this week after recovering from elbow injuries.

World number one Murray last played in Indian Wells on 12 March, and will resume against Gilles Muller or Tommy Robredo on Wednesday.

“I would not be playing if I felt I was taking a risk,” said the Scot.

Djokovic, ranked second, said he “feels great” after coming back with a win in the Davis Cup last week.

Like Murray, the Serb missed last month’s Miami Masters with an elbow issue and will play his first clay-court match of the year when he takes on Frenchman Gilles Simon.

“It’s normal for an athlete to go through [injury] ups and downs,” said Djokovic, 29.

“I trust myself and the effort I put into my game. I have to believe I’ll get the results I’m hoping for.

“All of my thoughts next week will be on this event. I won it in 2013 and 2015. I’m hoping this is the place to have a new start to the season.”

Murray returned to the court in an exhibition match against Roger Federer in Switzerland on 10 April, and has since been preparing on the Monte Carlo clay.

“When I started serving again, I had to progress very slowly, but in the last couple of days I’ve been serving pretty much close to the speed that I would normally,” said Murray, 29.

“My elbow has reacted well, so I feel good about it.

“I will have had pretty much five days before my match of serving at the right speed, so I think it will be fine.”

Murray has a lot of points to defend as he looks to extend his time at the top of the rankings – he lost to Rafael Nadal in last year’s Monte Carlo semis before reaching the final in Madrid, winning in Rome and finishing runner-up at the French Open.

Stan Wawrinka is seeded third in Monte Carlo, with nine-time champion Nadal seeded fourth.

Roger Federer has chosen to skip the clay-court season until the French Open, which begins on 28 May.

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