Federer spoke about his relationship with Djokovic and Nadal

Tennis news 11 june 2024, 21:07
Leo Peterson Dailysports's expert Leo Peterson
Federer spoke about his relationship with Djokovic and Nadal PHOTO: Julian Finney

Legendary Swiss former tennis player Roger Federer told how he felt about Novak Djokovic at the beginning of the Serb's career:

"I remember playing him for the first time in Monaco (2006, Federer won 6:3, 2:6, 6:3) and walking off the court thinking, ‘He's OK’. Even though there was hype around him, I wasn't completely convinced.

I think I didn't give Novak the respect he deserved because of his technical deficiencies. I thought Novak had a very extreme forehand grip and his backhand wasn't as smooth as it is now, in my opinion. But then he corrected that very well and became an incredible monster on the court.

I think he was a no-brainer for Rafa and Roger's fans. There were a lot of them back then, and maybe when Novak showed up, people said, “Look, we don't need a third guy. We have enough Roger and Rafa."

At first my fans didn't really like him because they thought, “Roger is a little bit more graceful, he does it with ease.” And then Novak showed strong character and an incredible desire to win at any cost.

I think Novak was also caught up in his relationship with the fans. I think his deep focus may have put some people off.

He's been misunderstood a little bit. I look at him through the prism of the media and see the kind of person he is. If you take away his game, who is he? What are his values? I know he cares a lot about his family."

Federer also spoke about his relationship with Rafael Nadal:

"I think our relationship started in a friendly manner. And then came the rivalry.I lost my first match against him and for the first time I said: "I don't want this guy here.I like to be on top by myself."So I had to look for a way out, strength within myself, saying, “Okay, how do I handle this now?”. Because it was driving me a little crazy.I just couldn't figure it out and unravel it."

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