12 Apr 2011

Clay court tennis season underway

5:23 pm on 12 April 2011

The new clay court tennis season is underway and world number one Rafael Nadal is trying to end the belief that he is all but untouchable on the slow surface.

Nadal is chasing a seventh straight Monte Carlo Masters title. He's 34 and one at the venue with his only loss in the third round in his first appearance in 2003.

The in-form Novak Djokovic, who is unbeaten this year, is missing because of a knee injury.

However the rest of the stars are there, including world number three Roger Federer, who believes the three of them will continue to battle for that top position.

The top players have a first round bye in Monte Carlo, however 10th seed Mikhail Youzhny was beaten by Florian Mayer.

The French Open is six weeks away.