Novak Djokovic’s dad has tabled an incredible allegation at Roger Federer, saying the Swiss ace “attacked” his son in 2006.
The world No. 1 has been locked in a decade-long battle with Federer and Rafael Nadal in a bid to considered the greatest tennis player ever.
Djokovic has now won 18 Grand Slam titles following his Australian Open win in February – and sits just two behind his rivals, both on 20, The Sun reports.
Despite Djokovic’s success, his failure to be perceived with the same level of awe as his two greatest rivals has repeatedly led to friction between the 33-year-old and Federer.
Earlier this month reports identified Federer and Djokovic as being at the centre of tennis’ civil war with Djokovic’s rogue Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) threatening to split the ATP, campaigning for greater conditions, power and prize money for players.
Federer and Nadal famously opposed Djokovic’s first push to form a second tennis lobby group and have remained silent while Djokovic has spoken out against the treatment of players by the ATP.
Federer and Nadal remain on the ATP Player Council — even when Djokovic split.
And now Djokovic’s dad, Srdjan, has lashed out at Federer while defending his son following a spate of “defamatory” comments.
The king of Melbourne Park.Source:AFP
Srdjan told Serbian TV channel K1: “About 15 years ago Federer attacked my son when he was still young, he was 18 or 19 years old.
“I knew someone would be there who would be better than him.
“So I said that [Federer] was a great champion, the best at the time.
“But as much as he is a great champion, Federer is not such a good man.”
Srdjan continued by hitting out at ‘unbelievable’ criticism of his son, calling him a “great champion the world will never see again”.
He added: “It is obvious that foreign media outlets do not have the best opinion of us and think that we are constantly bothering them.
“To tell you the truth, I do not want to be part of your twisted world.
“I’m sorry you don’t like Novak. I just tell you the truth. What should I do?
“They defame him so much and say so many disgusting things about him that it is unbelievable.
“My answers are much clearer compared to how they treat this great champion, that they won’t have again in this world.”
Srdjan has repeatedly issued public missiles at Federer – previously accusing him of being jealous of his son’s divine tennis.
Roger Federer is returning to tennis this year.Source:AFP
During his recovery to claim an unprecedented ninth Australian Open crown in February, Djokovic also brought up his friction with Federer when suggesting he was treated unfairly by the world’s media, compared to his rival.
He said there was a lack of appreciation for his gutsy win over Taylor Fritz – where he took a medical time out with a claimed abdominal injury – was part of an “injustice” in how he is treated by the world’s tennis media and portrayed at times as the inconvenient threat to Federer and Nadal.
He said it seems unfair that Federer’s five-set win over Tennys Sandgren at the 2020 Aussie Open — where he survived a groin injury and defended seven match points — was celebrated so differently to his own great escape.
“That’s like opening Pandora’s box,” he said of his portrayal, according to Serbian journalist Sasa Ozmo.
“If we begin to discuss that, we won’t finish this evening. Presumably there are millions of different reasons.
“Truthfully, I have mostly made peace with it. I cannot say that it doesn’t sometimes get to me – of course an injustice or an unfair portrayal by the media affects me. I am a human being, I have emotions and naturally I don’t enjoy it.”
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