'People want Roger Federer to remain first', says former Davis Cup captain



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'People want Roger Federer to remain first', says former Davis Cup captain

The defeat in the final at Roland Garros was certainly a serious blow to the morale of Novak Djokovic, who hoped to end Rafael Nadal's long-standing hegemony and to forfeit his 18th Grand Slam. He could hardly have imagined he would scrape together the misery of seven games, with the shame of the bagel in the first set.

The World number 1, who is now three Majors from eternal rivals Nadal and Federer, has decided to take part only in the Vienna tournament before the Finals, aware that a success in Austria would allow him to close the season at the top of the world ranking.

Radmilo Armenulic, former Yugoslavian Davis Cup captain, believes Nole will soon recover from the beating in Paris and go on a record-breaking assault for the Swiss and the Spaniard. Djokovic won the Australian Open this year, but his biggest regret remains the disqualification from the US Open.

Armenulic on the French Open final

"Novak Djokovic will for sure," Radmilo Armenulic said. "The one at the US Open is a scandal. I’ve looked at dozens of worse cases for which players haven’t even been warned, let alone punished (with regards to the default).

People want Roger Federer to remain first, and don't want Novak Djokovic to overtake him," he added. "It is surprising to me that none of Djokovic's colleagues commented after the disqualification. This is not correct.

Novak is a gentleman, he immediately admitted his mistake. I have never heard him criticize Roger and Rafa in his statements, but they have spoken against him. The problem is when you chase records, then you are too occupied," Armenulic said.

"Novak entered the finals with Rafa burdened. He started playing unusually. He shortened the points, he didn't build them. That never happened to Djokovic earlier. But nothing terrible. I think he will come back stronger. People fear that he will become the best in history."

Looking ahead to the upcoming Grand Slam in Australia, Armenulic claimed that if the Australian Open does go ahead in January. "There are some reports that the Grand Slam may not be played in Australia, which is Novak's great chance for a 18th Grand Slam title," Armenulic said.

"If he wins, it would completely return him in the race (for most Grand Slams). If the tournament still takes place, which we all hope for, the least Novak will do is settle with Federer in the number of weeks at the top of the ATP list.

Nole is already preparing for such a scenario, I see that he will play in Vienna, (hopefully) win that tournament and calmly wait for the end of the season. I am sure that Novak has already recovered from the defeat (in Paris)," he added.