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Novak Djokovic has rarely won an award for fair play, while Roger Federer has won about 15: Srdjan Djokovic

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic
Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic
Modified 24 Feb 2021

Novak Djokovic’s father Srdjan Djokovic recently took a swipe at Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal while speaking in glowing terms about his son’s nature.

The senior Djokovic claimed that the World No. 1 is a standout player who always looks to help his peers. In that context, Srdjan expressed his displeasure that his son's efforts are not recognized as much as they should.

Speaking to Kurir, Novak Djokovic’s father pointed out that his son always provides a helping hand to his colleagues, even though Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal seldom throw their weight behind him.

"Novak always helps them (his peers), and without the support from the (rest of the) Big 3," Srdjan said. "Between the three Big 3 players, it's him against the other two."
Novak Djokovic with his 2021 Australian Open title
Novak Djokovic with his 2021 Australian Open title

Srdjan Djokovic believes that his son is waging a lone battle when it comes to making a positive change on tour. According to the 60-year-old, Novak Djokovic never champions causes that would benefit himself but instead strives to ensure that the less-privileged players get a share of the pie.

"It is a hand-to-hand fight between himself and everyone else on the other side," Novak Djokovic’s father continued. "And he is not fighting for himself and his interests, but for tennis players who can barely make ends meet."

Srdjan Djokovic then showered rich praise on his son’s on-court behavior, which he believes to be exemplary - especially when he loses.

"We record something about all of Novak's nice manners during his entire career, how he says goodbye to the opponent, how he is towards the host, how he extends his hand and kisses the opponent when he loses,” Novak’s father added. "Which athlete does that?"

Srdjan further claimed that Novak Djokovic should have received a few more Sportsmanship Awards in recognition of his large-hearted nature. In the same breath, Djokovic's father also took a thinly veiled swipe at Roger Federer, questioning whether the Swiss deserves to have won that award as often as he has.

"Rarely has Novak ever received an award for fair play, and you know how many such awards Federer has? About 15," Srdjan Djokovic went on.

How many times have Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic won the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award in reality?

Roger Federer has 13 Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Awards to his name
Roger Federer has 13 Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Awards to his name

Srdjan Djokovic was, as most would be aware, referring to the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award. Roger Federer has won this prize a record 13 times so far, while Novak Djokovic is yet to win it even once.

Federer remarkably won the award six times in a row from 2004-2009, and then again for seven straight years from 2011-2018. Nobody except Rafael Nadal has been able to challenge the Swiss for this accolade.

The Spaniard has won the Sportsmanship Award prize four times in his career.

The winner of this prize is announced at the end of every year, based on a list of nominees compiled by the ATP. The votes for the award are cast by active tennis professionals on the tour, showing how highly Roger Federer is regarded by his peers.

Published 24 Feb 2021, 01:20 IST
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