Novak Djokovic makes honest admission about his relationship with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer

Novak Djokovic has declared he “didn’t get along so well” with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal off the court and that he is “not friends” with either of his great rivals.

The Serbian legend explained that it is “difficult as competitors to be very close” but expressed that it would be “amazing” to “sit down and reflect” with Federer and Nadal in the future.

The rivalries between the ‘Big Three’ of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer are some of the greatest in tennis history and made the years shared by the three icons a golden period in tennis.

Djokovic and Nadal have faced off a men’s Open Era record of 59 times from 2006 to 2022, with the former holding a 30-29 edge. The pair could resume their rivalry in 2024, with Nadal set to return from a lengthy injury layoff.

The 36-year-old Serbian also won 27 of the 50 matches he contested against Federer between 2006 and 2020, with the Swiss great retiring in 2022.

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Djokovic has won a men’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles, while Nadal and Federer sit second and third on the all-time list with 22 and 20 respectively. The world No 1 had a remarkable 2023 season, winning seven titles, including three Majors.

Speaking in an interview with Jon Wertheim for 60 minutes, Djokovic addressed his relationship with his two biggest rivals and revealed he hopes this changes after his career.

“The greatest of respect is always there, at least from my side. I would really like to [become friendlier]. Personally, I would like to,” Djokovic said.

“I mean, I know that obviously (laughs) we didn’t get along so well throughout our careers in, like, off court.

“And we are not friends because, you know, we’re rivals and it’s difficult as competitors to be very close and kind of share and give insights to you know, to your life or to how you feel because, you know, it could be used against you.

“But we have shared the stage for so many years. And I think the greatest respect is always there, at least from my side, towards them.

“So yeah, I hope that one day, when the curtains are slightly more closed, that we are, yeah, able to sit down and reflect. It would be, it would be amazing.”

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