In a recent interview with B92, Novak Djokovic’s father Srdjan Djokovic took yet another shot at Roger Federer. Srdjan expressed hope that Federer keeps playing on the tour, just so that Novak can increase his head-to-head lead over the Swiss.
Novak Djokovic currently leads Roger Federer by a margin of 27-23 in the head-to-head rivalry. The Serb has been particularly dominant over Federer in recent years, winning seven of their last 10 matches.
In that context, Novak Djokovic's father believes that if Roger Federer were to continue playing for five or six more years, the gap between the two would widen even further.
"I would like him to play for another 5-6 years to make the difference in the mutual score even bigger," Srdjan Djokovic said.
This is not the first time that Novak Djokovic's father has targeted Roger Federer with his comments. The bitterness has been so pronounced that during the B92 interview, Srdjan was even asked if he had noticed any ill-will from Federer towards his son.
The 60-year-old replied in the negative, but he did point out that players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic cannot be on the best terms personally given that they are such fierce rivals on the court.
"I don't notice (the animosity) anymore," Novak's father said. "The three of them are the best players in history, they pulled each other (forward). That's the only way to look at them. It's very difficult to be friends with someone with whom you fight for No. 1, for titles, for money."
It happened to Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal & others, but no one was disqualified like Novak Djokovic: Srdjan on US Open 2020
Srdjan Djokovic then proceeded to give his thoughts on his son’s US Open disqualification.
The World No. 1's father claimed that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had committed similar acts in the past, but were not penalized as harshly as his son was. Srdjan considers that to be a sign of disrespect towards his son.
"I do not support what happened," Srdjan said. "It was an accident, a woman was beaten. It happened to Federer, Nadal, and others, but no one was disqualified like Novak. Not only do they not have respect for the best in the world, but the opposite."
Players like Dominic Thiem are coming to Serbia Open because they appreciate and respect Novak Djokovic: Srdjan
The Serbia Open is returning to the ATP calendar in 2021 after a gap of eight long years. And that has been made possible mainly due to the concerted efforts of Novak Djokovic and his family.
During the interview Srdjan Djokovic confirmed his son’s participation in the event, although most had assumed that to be a foregone conclusion all this while.
"It's normal that he will play," Novak Djokovic's father said. "A family tournament, it is played in his city, his country. Well, that would be amazing. With the greatest pleasure, the greatest pride, he will play."
Dominic Thiem’s father also recently confirmed his son’s participation in the ATP 250 event. Wolfgang Thiem even made it a point to mention that the World No. 4 chose Belgrade over Barcelona because he was requested to do so by Novak Djokovic.
In that context, Srdjan Djokovic claimed that top players like Thiem would only attend a low-ranking tournament like the Serbia Open because of their 'respect and appreciation' towards his son.
"They don't come for free and where they don't like it," Srdjan said. "It's a small tournament and they come because they appreciate and respect Novak."