‘I’ve had to learn how to handle it’ – Novak Djokovic expecting crowd to favour Roger Federer

ATP Tour
Novak Djokovic ATP Finals press conference

Novak Djokovic says that he fully expects the London crowd to be behind Roger Federer when they meet at the ATP Finals on Thursday.

The pair met earlier this year in arguably the greatest Wimbledon final of all time, with Djokovic coming out on top despite the crowd rooting for Federer.

They will meet again in the same city later this week, and Djokovic admits he is not expecting anything different from the crowd, but has promised it won’t affect his game.

“I understand why there is so much support for Roger, he is who he is, and what he has achieved and the personality that he is, he deserves that,” said Djokovic.

“Sometimes the crowd is on your side, sometimes it’s against you. It’s something throughout my career I’ve had to learn how to handle, how to accept, and how to deal with that.

“It will not be anything particularly different in terms of my reaction if that happens.

“I’m going to accept it and respect it, and that’s it. I’m going to try to focus on what needs to be done in order to win a tennis match.”

As for whether Federer’s mindset would be affected by that gut-wrenching defeat in July, Djokovic said: “Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know. But I will not expect that.”

Djokovic needs to at least reach the final of the season-ending tournament to stand a chance of overhauling Nadal, and thus equalling Pete Sampras’ record of ending the year on top of the rankings six times.

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