Novak Djokovic
A good start is important for Djokovic, who is eyeing his third title at Monte Carlo Reuters

Second seed Novak Djokovic takes on unseeded Gilles Simon in the second round of 2017 Monte Carlo Masters at Monte Carlo Club Country on Tuesday.

The two-time champion begins his clay-court campaign in France after having a poor run on hard court earlier this season even after he won a title in Doha, beating world number one Andy Murray in the title match in January.

After facing early exits at Australian Open, Acapulco and Indian Wells, Djokovic opted out of Miami Open last month due to injury but has recovered in time for the first ATP Masters 1000 of 2017 on the dirt.

Djokovic had a woeful start to his clay campaign last year as he was ousted from Monte Carlo as early as in the first round. The Serb, though, fought back and went on to win the French Open title.

Given his recent form, Djokovic has to battle hard to go the distance in the ongoing tournament. However, his path to the quarter-final looks smooth as his only major threat is 13th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, whom he is expected to face in the third round.

Also, the world number two has enjoyed a lot of success against Simon despite losing their first-ever meeting in Marseille in 2008. Djokovic has won 10 matches on the trot since then with their latest meeting coming at last year's Australian Open.

A good start will give Djokovic the necessary impetus to get back to his best as early as possible and it will important to the 12-time Grand Slam winner as he is expected to face in-form Rafael Nadal in the last-four match.