Roger Federer opens up on lack of respect for Novak Djokovic

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Tennis nice Roger Federer has opened up about his relationship with Novak Djokovic, admitting he didn’t respect the Serbian early in his profession.

When Djokovic earned his breakthrough grand slam victory on the 2008 Australian Open, Federer and Rafael Nadal already had a agency rivalry established and have been largely beloved by tennis followers.

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The Swiss legend additionally received his first 4 match-ups with Djokovic and Federer stated he was sluggish to understand the teenager’s abilities as he was making his method on Tour.

Federer’s feedback come from a brand new Amazon Prime documentary, Federer: Twelve Remaining Days, which is being launched this month.

“I performed him in Monaco the very first time (in 2006) and I walked off the courtroom and thought ‘yeah, he’s OK’,” Federer stated of his 6-3 2-6 6-3 victory on the Masters 1000 occasion in Monte Carlo.

“Although there was some hype round him, I wasn’t actually absolutely satisfied.

“I believe I didn’t give Novak the respect he deserved due to his technical flaws.

“I felt like Novak had a really excessive forehand grip and his backhand for me wasn’t as fluid as it’s these days.

“However then he ironed these issues out tremendous nicely and have become an unbelievable monster of a participant.”

Federer owned 12 grand slam singles titles earlier than Djokovic acquired that first one on the Australian Open, whereas Nadal already held three French Open crowns and banked one other French and his first Wimbledon shortly after the Serbian’s Melbourne Park victory.

Nadal’s five-set victory over Federer within the legendary 2008 Wimbledon last is taken into account by many the perfect match ever performed.

Tennis is affected by all-time nice rivalries, together with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe versus Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras towards Andre Agassi, to call a couple of.

Whereas tennis lovers lapped up the rivalry between Federer and Nadal, the combative Djokovic took longer to win over some followers.

Federer has his tackle the scenario, suggesting some followers considered Djokovic as a “celebration crasher”.

“I assume he was the celebration crasher of Rafa and Roger followers,” he stated.

“There was lots of Rafa-Roger love there, so when Novak got here in all probability lots of people stated ‘look, we don’t want a 3rd man. We’re pleased with Roger and Rafa’.

“The Federer followers firstly didn’t actually like him as a result of they simply thought ‘Roger’s a bit easier, he does it with ease’.

“Then Novak got here in along with his sturdy persona and that unbelievable grit of desirous to win in any respect prices.

“I believe additionally Novak was triggered by the connection with the followers. I believe that deep focus perhaps scared some folks away.”

As historical past reveals, Federer marched to a then-record 20 main titles, along with his final falling on the 2018 Australian Open earlier than he retired in 2022.

Nadal was first to interrupt that mark and presently sits on 22 grand slam crowns, with Djokovic striding previous each to presently maintain the boys’s file of 24.

Djokovic additionally completed on the profitable facet of his match-up with Federer, holding a 27-23 edge that included wins in six of their last seven showdowns.

The Swiss champion has since come to know the person away from the highlight and the media notion.

“I believe he’s been somewhat bit misunderstood,” Federer stated. “I look previous the media and I see on the finish the person he’s.

“If I take away his sport, who’s he? What are his values?

“I do know he cares very deeply about his household.”

As at all times there was a combined response to Federer’s feedback about Djokovic, together with a quantity from The Telegraph within the UK.

“Ah, these have been the times. Glad Djokovic continues to be round on courtroom but it surely received’t be for lengthy,” one wrote of the now 37-year-old.

“As a tennis fan I used to be simply fortunate to dwell on this period. 3 greats of the sport,” wrote one other.

“Unsure anybody really “deserves” respect — generally it’s a must to earn it or work for it. Djovokic desires wins not likes!” recommended one other.

“Sadly for Novak, he had not one of the appeal, magnificence and elegance of Roger. As such many people by no means gave him the right credit score for his achievements,” provided a fourth.

The brand new Federer documentary is being launched on June 20.

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