Roger Federer offered an interesting view on his rivalry with Novak Djokovic. The Swiss player has faced the Serb 46 times in career, eight more times than his match-ups against Rafael Nadal. 'It was always overshadowed by the rivalry I had with Rafa in previous years because I always played against Novak mostly in the semis for years, and then maybe I dropped back and they were 1 and 2,' said Federer.
'So, we still kept playing in the semis sometimes. We did have some great finals, as well. I look back at the US Open final, Wimbledon final, as well, the big semifinal match we played at the French Open when he was on that unbelievable streak.
So we have played some really big matches that have been a lot of fun to be part of. For some reason for me it's more foggy, the whole semifinals we played before during the Rafa rivalry. I was like, we have played so many times in the process you forget about some of them to some extent.
But what remains is that you know it's always been tough against him. I have seen the rise of him, you know, as he's gotten fitter and more match tough, mentally tougher, became one of the best movers we have in the game.
It's been nice seeing him do that, you know, and improve as you move along. Sometimes I wonder if everybody's willing to improve as much as Novak did. It's been interesting to see him figure his game out, and I'm happy I can still hang with him.
I think it's a very dynamic rivalry we have. Great movement. I don't think we need to change our games very much when we play each other. We can just go out there and play our game, which I think is quite cool also for fans and for ourselves, which is interesting.' Commenting furthermore on the differences of his rivalries with Nadal and Djokovic, Federer added: 'The match-up is so unique for me with Rafa; whereas Novak's is totally, like I said, straightforward.
With Rafa I feel like I need to change everything when I play him. I have played so many times against Rafa on clay, as well, that it feels different; whereas Novak has been a much more of a hard court rivalry, whereas with Rafa has been more clay and grass.' ALSO READ: Roger Federer fumes at Cincinnati Masters umpire: 'Just say: "I am sorry"