WATCH: Tennis and F1 collide in Monte Carlo as Novak Djokovic meets George Russell
Monte Carlo has long been known as Formula 1’s jewel in the crown and it is also the playground for the famous and super-rich so it was no surprise to see F1 driver George Russell turn up to watch Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo Masters.
World No 1 Djokovic opened his clay-court campaign at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament on Tuesday and he claimed a hard-fought 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 win over Russian qualifier Ivan Gakhov in the second round.
And Mercedes F1 driver Russell, who finished fourth in the F1 Drivers’ Championship last year, was on hand to witness the tennis master at his craft on Court Rainier III.
After the match the two sporting giants caught up and the F1 star asked the 22-time Grand Slam winner about the match.
“It was good. It’s a solid start, but it could always be better. Perfection is, that level, you’re looking to get better, to improve,” Djokovic replied.
When in Monaco 🏎️@DjokerNole and @GeorgeRussell63 meet after Djokovic’s win 🙌@ROLEXMCMASTERS | #RolexMonteCarloMasters pic.twitter.com/DAhwgxJ7Lh
— ATP Tour (@atptour) April 11, 2023
While Formula 1 drivers know exactly when they will go racing as the green lights go out at predetermined times, tennis players are often left to wait hours before they get on court and Russell quizzed Djokovic about the long wait before a match starts.
“It’s challenging and today I waited maybe an hour and a half or two hours more than I expected. So then you’re like, ‘should I be warming up or cooling down?’ And that makes you a little bit anxious,” the world No 1 replied.
Russell himself then gave an update on the F1 season and what’s to come.
“We’ve got Azerbaijan is the next one. We just came back from Melbourne. Melbourne’s a killer. It’s probably taken a week to come back,” the British racer said.
Earlier in the day, Russell told organisers about his first-ever visit to the Monte Carlo Country Club and how Roger Federer was the one player he followed most.
“I really enjoy watching tennis. I always watch the big games. My first time here. [It’s] my first time here at the Country Club and seeing the tennis,” he said.
“Obviously the grand prix, it feels surreal when you see this little tiny place and the cars rushing around obviously now with the tennis here how it is all sort of packed into such a small, small place, but it’s very iconic and I am very happy to be here.
“I think Roger was always the one who I followed the most. He came to Barcelona Grand Prix last year and he’s always given us so much time. I went to the Laver Cup as well.
“I don’t think I have seen Djokovic play before so I am excited to see him in action.”
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