"I don't know why people don't love him like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal," said Dijana, Novak Djokovic's mother, in an interview with GQ, some time ago. She is looking for an explanation of the love that, in her opinion, her son was unable to find: the grandstands and crowds of the biggest tournaments.
"Honestly, I don't know, because he's good, he works hard, but people don't like him like Federer or Nadal. Maybe it's because he beat them and he became world no.1 and they couldn't stand it," she added.
Dijana talked about her son's Wimbledon 2019 win against Federer: "It was the most difficult match of last year. In a court where everyone applauded Roger Federer, we were few to support Novak. But it annoyed me because Federer is a little arrogant," said the mother of the Serbian champion, who cannot find an explanation for this: "I don't know and I suffer for this," she said, claiming that people respect the success and what Novak does, but in the duel between Djokovic and Federer, he feels that everyone supports the Swiss Maestro.
But that was not the first time: there have been several occasions when the parents of the 17-times Grand Slam winner issued this type of declaration in recent years, even against Rafael Nadal himself.
This year at the Australian Open, Djokovic's father Srdjan revealed his annoyance after the final his son won against Dominic Thiem, when he was unable to hear crowd support for the 8th Australian Slam winner: “It's incredible what happened in the Australian Open final.
The seven-time tournament champion plays on the centre court against an Austrian and the crowd applauds the Austrian. It's disrespect," he said, continuing his criticism: "I always thought it was a sport for the rich people, and seeing a Serbian player as number one seems to be annoying.
There is no doubt that my son is the best in history, statistics say it," he added. In another meeting with the media, Srdjan highlighted that feeling of antipathy that he perceives towards his son in the greatest tennis events: "I feel it in Australia, in New York or London," he explained, underlining the hostile attitude against the current number one in the world: "Something less in Paris.
There he won everyone's heart when he started speaking French. I don't know why they don't love him as much as they do. He is very good, polite and he works a lot, but people don't like him because he wins in the same age as Roger and Rafa.
When he was no. 3 everything was fine because they were no. 1, but when Nole was the best, they couldn't stand it. I suffer too. If you put Federer in front of him, people will support Federer. But it gives more strength to beat him."
. The words of Djokovic's parents confirm their thoughts towards Roger Federer: “Maybe Federer is still the best tennis player in history, but as a person, he is the opposite. He attacked Novak at the Davis Cup in Geneva, since he knew he was his successor and tried to discredit him in any way."
Srdjan Djokovic said some time ago about the Swiss Maestro: “Federer was jealous of Novak from the moment my son made his turn. He is jealous because my son is better than he and will surpass him." Arriving last year: "I am sure that this year he will match Federer in the Grand Slams.
In the last ten years, Novak is by far the best tennis player in the world. He will surely play for another year, he will beat all the records he does not have yet. A year ago, Federer had 20 Slams and Novak 12, and now they are 20-16," he said after 2019 Wimbledon final.
For now, neither Roger nor Novak have talked about the issue: two players who have also shared events like the Laver Cup. They do not have the same friendship relationship between Nadal and Federer, but surely there is respect and professionalism between the two.
Rivalry exists and, even more so in a competitive discipline like tennis, it is normal, but what should be noted is that this type of words and behavior only damages the player, one of the greatest in the history of tennis.
There is probably a lot more respect between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic than what the parents of the Serbian champion have said. Have we ever heard Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal's parents express themselves in these ways towards their son's rivals? Last personal consideration: I think Nole's parents are wrong, because crowds love Novak Djokovic very much, as well as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, the greatest tennis players of this era, then in a head-to-head among them it is obvious that there may be preferences, but Nole is one of the most loved and admired tennis players of all time.