Rotterdam tournament director Richard Krajicek thinks Roger Federer actually helped Novak Djokovic overcome the Swiss in one of their biggest matches. Djokovic, 34, and 40-year-old Federer have had a number of great battles over the last decade and a half.
Djokovic is the one who has had more success as he leads the head-to-head against Federer 27-23. Djokovic's most stunning win over Federer came in the 2019 Wimbledon final. Back then, Federer had two consecutive championship points in the fifth set but Djokovic recovered to win the title.
“One of the reasons why Novak has been so successful is thanks to the Federer fans,” Krajicek told Tennis365. “The Federer fans when he played against Novak were so much pushing for Roger and thought they were helping him, but they were actually helping Novak to win those matches."
Krajicek on the Djokovic visa debacle
Djokovic flew to Australia but never got a chance to compete at the Australian Open. While in Australia, Djokovic's visa was twice canceled and he was twice detained. The Djokovic saga ended with the Serb getting deported.
“What happened in Australia was tough for him and it will be interesting to see what happens in Dubai. Normally you would say this is going to motivate the guy and you don’t want to play him because he is more lethal, but this is different," Krajicek said.
“He is used to fighting on the court with the crowd, his opponent and maybe himself sometimes, but this must have been difficult. This is a total different pressure and a different disappointment than having the crowd against you or being match point down at Wimbledon and coming back to win.
“But you know what, he is one of the toughest guys I’ve ever seen in sport and maybe it will fire him up for. It’s tough to know how he will respond to this”.