Andy Murray is poised for a return to competitive tennis after an entertaining warm-up match against Roger Federer for charity, which saw him swap roles with a ball boy on match point.
The Scotsman will now come up against Gilles Muller or Tommy Robredo this Wednesday in Monte Carlo.
Murray last appeared at Indian Wells in March prior to his engaging contest against Federer last week.
Speaking to reporters on his return, the world number one assured fans that he is indeed ready to play again, saying: “I would not be playing if I felt I was taking a risk.”
Novak Djokovic also missed out on the Miami Masters last March with an elbow injury and said that he “feels great” after securing a victory in the Davis Cup last week, beating Spaniard Albert Ramos in straight sets.
His opponent will be Frenchman Gilles Simon in his first clay-court match of the year.
“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.”
Following his epic tete-a-tete with Federer in a friendly match, Murray has been preparing on Monte Carlo clay, adjusting to the surface before his game.
“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,” Murray, 29, said.
“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 will be keen to defend his position as men’s tennis number one. In last year’s edition, he lost to the king of clay Rafael Nadal before making the final in Madrid. He then won in Rome and emerged runner-up at the French Open.
Serbian Djokovic is seeded second in Monte Carlo, with Stan Wawrinka in third and nine-time champion Nadal completing the top four.
Roger Federer has chosen to go on a voluntary sabbatical following an impressive victory at the Miami Open, and has yet to decide whether or not he will continue his clay season at the French Open or skip it altogether, a decision he says he will make on May 10th.
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