Novak Djokovic: 'Roger Federer is superior against everyone except Rafael Nadal'

Tennis - In their third meeting, Roger defeated Novak for the third time at the Australian Open 2007

by Jovica Ilic
Novak Djokovic: 'Roger Federer is superior against everyone except Rafael Nadal'

Together with Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych, Andy Murray, Marcos Baghdatis and Richard Gasquet, Novak Djokovic was among the most notable youngsters at the end of 2006. The Belgrade native won two ATP titles that year, advancing to his first Major quarter-final at Roland Garros and earning over 60 ranking positions for a reliable place ahead of the new campaign in 2007.

Djokovic opened the action in Adelaide, lifting the third ATP trophy following a tight win over Chris Guccione and preparing for the season's first Major in Melbourne. Novak had two early exits at the Australian Open in the past two years, fixing that with a commanding victory over Nicolas Massu and playing well against Feliciano Lopez for another triumph in straight sets.

In the third round, Novak ousted Danai Udomchoke in four sets to arrange the expected encounter against world no. 1 and the defending champion Roger Federer.

Novak Djokovic lost to Roger Federer at the Australian Open 2017.

It was their third meeting, and the Swiss grabbed the third win over the younger opponent, beating Novak 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 50 minutes for a place in the quarters.

Roger barely put a foot wrong behind the initial shot, suffering one break and stealing 45% of the return points to grab five breaks and control the pace. Federer landed 50 winners and managed his strokes efficiently to have the upper hand in the quickest and mid-range exchanges, prevailing in the second set's decisive moments and sailing towards the finish line.

After the match, Novak praised Roger while saying he barely feels the pressure in the pivotal moments, always finding the best solutions and standing superior against all the rivals who want to take the throne from him. "The difference of playing against Roger and other rivals is in the way how confident and perfect he appears on the court in some situations.

It almost feels there's no pressure on his side of the court, and that's strange because he is there against all the opponents who want to take the no. 1 spot from him; he is so superior. He knows he is the best, facing all the rivals from the top and having a positive score with all of them except Nadal.

That makes him comfortable out there. Also, I believe he is improving his game all the time, which is not easy; he plays better and better every time," Novak Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic Roger Federer Rafael Nadal