Novak Djokovic reveals what he told Roger Federer during Wimbledon’s Centre Court celebrations

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer Wimbledon Centre Court

Novak Djokovic hopes that Roger Federer will return to top-level tennis so that they “can play at least one more time”, adding it has been “weird” not to see his great rival competing at Wimbledon.

Federer has played only a handful of matches over the past few years due to a knee injury and this year marked the first time since he turned professional that he was missing from the Wimbledon main draw.

However, the eight-time champion was at SW19 on Sunday as he attended the Centre Court centenary celebrations along with six-time winner Djokovic and a host of other former champions.

Federer received a warm reception when he entered the arena and the Serbian whispered something in his ear when they stood next to each other during the ceremony.

The told Serbian media: “I’ve told him he’s loved by many people and that he’s been greeted very nicely, and that he needs to come back so we can play at least one more time – like he said himself.

“We’ve all seen how special it was when he entered Centre Court. Everyone was on their feet, everyone showed their love and respect towards him – and he really is a legend in every way.

“Of course, he’s been one of my biggest rivals in my career and it’s been weird not seeing him participating in tournaments.

“Roger’s been struggling with injuries for the past few years and played only a couple of tournaments – and like he said, it was weird seeing him here at Wimbledon in a different role.

“I think it’s very important for the sport that players like him play as much as they can, because it brings a lot of attention and benefits all of us.”