Djokovic explains why Federer didn’t like his behaviour and the importance of respect

Djokovic reflects on Federer disliking his early behavior, attributing it to his confidence, and stresses the enduring importance of respect.

Djokovic Explores Early Rivalry with Federer and Emphasizes the Significance of Respect

Novak Djokovic, the 20-time Grand Slam champion, recently shed light on the dynamics of his early career rivalry with tennis legend Roger Federer. The Serbian star disclosed that Federer “certainly didn’t like” his behavior during their initial encounters. Despite the two athletes forming a legendary tennis rivalry, Djokovic acknowledged that his outspoken confidence and ambition to be the best didn’t sit well with the Swiss maestro in the early stages of their competitions.

In a post-match interview following his third-round victory at the Australian Open, Djokovic addressed the question of criticism from older players during his early career, specifically mentioning Federer’s sentiments. Djokovic stated, “I know certainly Federer didn’t like the way I was behaving at the beginning. I think it didn’t sit with him well. I don’t know about the others.” He went on to explain that his unapologetic confidence and determination to become the world’s best player might not have endeared him to some of the top players during that period.

Despite the early tensions and differences, Djokovic underscored the importance of maintaining respect for rivals on and off the court. “I never, ever lacked respect. Respect is something that I was taught that needs to be present regardless of what is happening,” he emphasized. Djokovic’s reflections on his relationship with Federer provide insight into the complexities of competitive tennis, highlighting the balance between confidence, ambition, and the fundamental value of respect among athletes.

Djokovic at the Australian Open, ranking, and results in 2024

Novak Djokovic

11 - 4win/loss

36 year old
2024 Highlights

Ranked no.1, Djokovic has a composed 5-1 match record in 2024. The Serbian is playing at the Australian Open where he toppled the world no.187 Dino Prizmic 6-2 6-75 6-3 6-4, the world no.43 Alexei Popyrin 6-3 4-6 7-64 6-3 and the world no.32 Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-3 6-3 7-62.

Novak Djokovic will take on the world no.19 Adrian Mannarino in the 4th round. Their actual head to head record is 4-0 for Djokovic.

Djokovic won 98 titles in his career: 52 on hard courts, 19 on clay courts, 19 on indoor courts and 8 on grass courts. (See the list of his titles)

He is also scheduled to play at the Wimbledon (Wimbledon) on the 1st of July and U.S. Open (U.S. Open) on the 26th of August.

Australian Open
Djokovic's Record

Roger Federer in 2024

Roger Federer

9 - 4win/loss

42 year old
2021 Highlights

Ranked no., Roger played his last match on the 7th of July 2021 when he lost to world no.9 Hubert Hurkacz 6-3 7-6(4) 6-0 in the quarter in Wimbledon (draw).

Presently, during this year the Swiss has a 9-4 win-loss record.

Federer's Record

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer clashed against each other 50 times. Their actual record is 27-23 for Djokovic. Previously, the last time they fought against each other, Novak Djokovic won 7-6(1) 6-4 6-3 in the semifinal in Melbourne (Australian Open) in January 2020.

Here are the highlights.

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer

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