They are the three most successful players in Grand Slam history: Federer has won a record 20 majors, Nadal 17 and Djokovic is catching them up with 15. His 46-match winning streak in Monte Carlo - broken by Djokovic in the 2013 final - is the most consecutive wins at a tournament by any man or woman.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic resides in Monte-Carlo, so he won't have to travel far to try to win his third Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters title.
Remarkably Kohlscreiber's other win against Djokovic was on the clay of Roland Garros back in 2009 when he beat Djokovic in 3 straight sets.
"It would be definitely better to approach Roland Garros with a win in one of the big other clay-court events prior to the French Open", Djokovic said. "That's the goal. I arrived here on Friday as usual, I had some hours of practice and I hope the competition puts me in the rhythm that I need".
A five-week break between Australia and Indian Wells cost Djokovic some momentum, and he had to answer many questions about his role, as president of the ATP Player Council, in the decision not to renew the contract of ATP president Chris Kermode at the end of this year. "Personally I think most of the people understood why he made a decision to skip the clay court season a year ago, and I also understand why he wants to play. I live here. I've used it as a base for the past nearly 15 years", Djokovic said.
"He's been playing great tennis lately, winning two out of his last three events (Dubai and Miami with an Indian Wells final against Thiem)".
That triumph ended Woods' 11-year wait for a major championship - a hiatus that at one stage looked impossible for him to end due to a series of troublesome back injuries. "Indian Wells, Miami have been kind of so and so, in terms of how I played and the results".
Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal stayed humble when talking about contending for record-extending 12th title at the ATP Monte-Carlo Masters, just hoping that he can play a good tournament in Monte-Carlo.
"I think Rafa is obviously always a very clear favourite on any clay court in the world and that doesn't change. That can serve only as an incentive". "If he's physically fit he's definitely the No. 1 guy on this surface, without a doubt". I have seen him play here, he's been here a few days, seems like he's fine. "And then, you know, after him it's quite open".
Speaking ahead of the tournament, Djokovic said he was expecting the conditions to be slow in Monte Carlo.
"I think that as long as Rafa is playing, he will always be the top favorite for any clay court title, but I think there are more serious challenges to him than the in past years", Thiem said.