Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic: simple rivalry or sincere antipathy? Many people posed the Swiss and the Serb as the hero and villain of the fairy tale: a fact underlined and highlighted more after Djokovic's victory at Wimbledon 2019 against the Swiss Maestro.
Popularity has never been the same between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Federer is the most loved tennis player ever, and probably in the future, nobody will be adored like him, (and like Nadal who comes immediately after him).
Nole tried to do the same in every way; first, he tried to ingratiate himself with the false attitudes (for someone, of course), as if he had the mania to say: "hey, I am there too, consider me!" Then evidently came the realization that it wasn't succeeding, arrived the new dimension of villain that he should not deserve.
On the contrary. The Serb came out after Federer and Nadal, but he proved to be worth like them. There is still that considers the rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal the most important and representative of all time for the world of tennis.
Always leaving behind Djokovic, who, cold numbers in hand, has an advantage in the head-to-head against both and is destined to exceed the Swiss and Spaniard's records. "When I hear them call Roger, I imagine they say, Novak."
This is the essence of an athlete able to transform the let's go Roger of the Wimbledon crowd into strength, last season Even in the 2020 Australian Open finals crowd support Dominic Thiem, but we know who won that challenge, despite the support of fans.
So, how can Djokovic be debased when he is still able to dominate the Tour, ignoring the crowd of the courts and their heroes? The history of tennis reached a key-moment: Djokovic is on the same level as Federer and Nadal.
Maybe he will not have the grace and class of the Swiss but on his side, the Serb has a weapon that perhaps the Swiss has never fully dominated: a steel mind.
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic: is it a simple rivalry or sincere antipathy?
His glides on the grass-courts can make the aesthetes shiver (even the great champions of the surface), but time has proved him right.
Winning Wimbledon five times (yes, even this year, on a surface that just didn't look like grass) counts much more than words and opinions. If the rivalry between Federer and Nadal helped these two great champions each other to improve, Djokovic's arrival did the same thing.
By winning and improving, Nole made sure his two rivals (despite the respect among the three players) designated him as their equal. Haters (much more than the fans) are battling on social media, with insults to their heroes and insults among them, but this now, in the world of internet and social media, is part of the game, unfortunately.
Fans and insiders and players know it. Even the relationship between Federer and Djokovic does not seem what Swiss has with Nadal. On the contrary, theirs doesn't seem just a simple rivalry, but a sincere antipathy. They respect each other, but their coldness between them translates into something more.
A factor also highlighted by Nole's parents: "I don't know why people don't love him like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. 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. At Wimbledon 2019, 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 Dijana Djokovic.
If Djokovic will stay well physically, he can seriously think of overcoming Federer's 20 Slams. If he didn't make it, then there wouldn't be many regrets for him. Should he make it, Federer would have a lot of regrets, for unrepeatable opportunities wasted.
But you know, the crowd has its heroes and its villains. For the moment Djokovic is not a hero, but he deserves to become it.