What's the story?
Swiss ace Roger Federer underwent an arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on 19 February 2020. This surgery will keep him out of action till the grass season and the veteran tennis player will also have to miss out on prestigious tournaments such as the 2020 French Open.
The heart of the matter
Speaking on the matter to reporters ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Djokovic said (as per HT):
"It was a surprise, to be honest. I knew he was struggling with an injury in the Australian Open. But no one knew really what was the injury, what is the extent of that injury."
Djokovic recently clinched a record 8th Australian Open title, becoming the first Open Era male player to win Grand Slam titles in three different decades. The 17-time Grand Slam Champion faced familiar rival Roger Federer in the semifinal of the Australian Open.
Current World Number 1 Djokovic had undergone an elbow surgery back in 2018. The injury had troubled the Serbian ace for over two years.
The 32-year-old further added:
"I really don’t like to see anybody going through surgery. I’ve been through that once, and hopefully the last time in my life. Roger is Roger - this sport needs him."
He also revealed that the 'Big Three' of Men's Tennis - Federer, Rafael Nadal, and himself - have a WhatsApp group. Speaking about the chat group, the Serbian said:
"We are all active, and we are not active as well. When we are active everybody responds. We get along very well. I think we know, there is tremendous respect for each other, privately and professionally. As long as this is the case, everybody benefits from that and the sport as well."
Novak Djokovic is still unbeaten in 2020 and has had a fantastic start to the campaign. Apart from clinching the Australian Open title, he also led Serbia to triumph at the inaugural ATP Cup team event in Australia.
He is the top-seeded player at the ongoing 2020 Dubai Tennis Championships, the ATP 500 Tournament defending champion Roger has pulled out of due to the surgery.
The respect Djokovic has for Federer is evident and he will be hoping for a speedy recovery to one of his favourite rivals.
Djokovic will be in search of his Dubai Tennis Championships title and will open his campaign by taking on wild card entrant Malek Jaziri in the First Round.