Djokovic Not Fazed By Father’s Comments About Federer

Novak Djokovic (photo: Brigitte Urban)

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

The second weekend of the Adria Tour in Zadar, Croatia, got off to a contentious start on Friday when Srdjan Djokovic, father of the charity tournament’s founder, Novak Djokovic, suggested that Roger Federer has animosity towards his son.

In an interview with Sport Klub, Srdjan Djokovic was quoted as saying:

“Federer is the best player in the world, it’s a fact when you look at the record books but it won’t last. He has animosity towards Novak. They have developed a form of mutual respect over the years, but why do you think Federer is still playing at 40?” (Federer is actually 38 and won’t turn 40 until August 2021.)

“He could do a lot of other interesting things, but since Nadal and Novak are right behind him, he continues. He cannot accept that they will overtake him. Come on, man! Do something else, raise your children, go and ski, do something.”

Mind you, the elder Djokovic’s bold statements came in a week in which the younger Djokovic, who has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles, described the Swiss maestro as “possibly the greatest tennis player in history.”

The younger Djokovic didn’t seemed fazed by his father’s remarks. Staying above the fray, on Saturday, he advanced toward Sunday’s championship final with a pair of victories. Djokovic won his first group match against fellow Serbian Pedja Krstin, ranked 244th, 4-3 (3), 4-1, in 46 minutes after trailing 3-1 in the opening set. Djokovic fired five aces, converted three of four break points against his younger opponent three times and outscored Krstin 39-32. Later, he faced No. 33 Borna Coric, who opened the weekend with a 4-1, 4-1 drubbing of No. 19 Grigor Dimitrov, and beat the Croatian No. 1, 4-1, 4-3 (1), in 53 minutes to lead his group with a 2-0 win-loss record after the first day.

Meanwhile, Andrey Rublev also went 2-0 with a pair of victories – 4-3 (5), 2-4, 4-1 over No. 37 Marin Cilic and 4-2, 4-1 over No. 157 Danilo Petrovic.

UTS – Tsitsipas remains undefeated 

World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas improved to 3-0 with a 3-1 (12-14, 18-13, 16-11, 15-10) victory over Dustin Brown Saturday afternoon as the second weekend of play in the Ultimate Tennis Showdown began at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy near Nice, France. After the third day of competition in the month-long exhibition, Tsitsipas is the only remaining undefeated player after both previously undefeated Matteo Berrettini and Alexei Popyrin lost their respective Saturday matches (Popyrin 4-0 to David Goffin and Berrettini 4-0 to Feliciano Lopez).

In Saturday evening’s featured match, Richard Gasquet defeated Dominic Thiem, 3-1 (16-10, 15-12, 16-12, 14-17). Thiem was making his UTS debut after winning the Adria Tour event in Belgrade last weekend.

Everybody’s back on court

Stan Wawrinka / No better feeling training …

Elise Mertens / Serving into the weekend

Noah Rubin / Home court advantage 

The Way Back Machine – Inaugural Fed Cup, 1963

Billie Jean King led the United States to a 2-1 victory over Australia to win the inaugural Fed Cup title at the Queen’s Club in London. The Fed Cup was launched in 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation.

What they’re saying

Angelique Kerber, interviewed by the WTA website on her desire to help grow tennis in her native Germany: “Tennis is such a beautiful sport that can teach you many valuable lessons. But first, you have to make it visible and accessible to get people to start picking up the racquet. For this reason, I have become more involved in other projects to get people engaged with tennis. I am not the only one with this vision and especially in the last months, it was great to see how motivated people are to work on new approaches to grow tennis in Germany.”

What they’re writing

Bill Simons, Inside Tennis editor and publisher, in an exclusive interview with USTA Executive Director Mike Dowse, who has spearheaded a three-month effort to save this year’s US Open – “Mighty Dowse to the Rescue” – asks:

Some have said there has never been an effort in tennis that so battle against the tide. You dealt with so many contingencies. Was there a time when you said, “I don’t know if this is going to work?”

From the start we considered twelve different versions or simulations. I would say we put six of them through due diligence. And one of the options was absolutely to cancel the Open. We kept going back to our three criteria: can we do it safely, is it good for tennis, does it make sense financially? And this is a version that checked all three of those boxes more than any other.

What they’re podcasting

With tour tennis on hiatus, The Tennis Podcast (co-hosted by David Law, Catherine Whitaker and Matt Roberts) recently shared two podcasts devoted to Hall of Famer Chris Evert. The first was a one-on-one interview Whitaker shared with Evert. The second is an oral history, in which The Tennis Podcast discussed Evert’s “most extraordinary records and achievements,” considered “her influence and legacy in the sport,” pondered reasons “she might be under-appreciated” and reflected upon her comments “about the struggle of developing as a person while playing professional tennis” and, finally, looked at the way she’s using her platform for good.

What they’re sharing on social media

Novak Djokovic / Forgive my shorts selection …

Alize Cornet / Green therapy …

Ash Barty / On days off …


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