Novak Djokovic led at last year's ATP 500 event in Dubai, seeking the fifth title in the desert and hoping to maintain his perfect record in 2020. The world's leading player claimed the eighth Australian Open crown and beat Rafael Nadal in the ATP throne before his next test in Dubai.
Roger Federer was supposed to be the second seeded, but the Swiss missed the Dubai title defense, struggling with a knee injury and undergoing surgery to skip Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami and Roland Garros. Novak and Roger have been fearsome rivals on the court for 15 years, playing for notable titles and always respecting each other and what they have accomplished and given to tennis.
When asked about Roger before his campaign in Dubai, Novak said that he was sad when he heard the news. Like everyone else, Djokovic knew nothing about Federer's injury, hoping that the 20-time Major champion would return as soon as possible, as our sport needs him.
Djokovic and Federer met in the Australian Open semifinal a month before Dubai, and Novak scored a straight-sets victory after erasing the deficit in the opener. The oldest Major semi-finalist in nearly 30 years got off to a great start against the seven-time Australian Open winner before Novak took over, overcoming the initial deficit to steal the first set and never looking back at 7-6.
, 6-4, 6- 3 trump. As we all know, it was Roger's only tournament in 2020, he underwent another surgery in May and concluded his year after just six matches. "It was a surprise to hear about Roger Federer's injury and surgery."
Macci pays tribute to Federer
In an interview with journalist Mahalakshmi Murali of EssentiallySports, Macci gave his verdict on the GOAT debate. He began by appreciating the elegance of Roger Federer, soon after praising Novak Djokovic for his consistency.
Rick said, “Everybody loves Federer because of the way he plays, so graceful and artistic and stuff like that. We judge it on how many Slams that you win you can’t argue with Djokovic. Because of the way his consistency and staying up there have very few speed bumps”.
The coach elaborated that the picture would be clearer in a few years as the jury is still out with all three players still active. Furthermore, Macci continued, “It looks like Novak right now but Federer is maybe the best player in my opinion but Novak might go down as the greatest, but don’t count out Rafa either”.
However, in the end, Serena Williams‘ former coach couldn’t make up his mind and said, “I think maybe there’ll be a tie”. Given the incredible legacy of the Big Three, it’s difficult to pick a single name.