Novak Djokovic Denies Closeness to Federer; Says Rivals Can't Develop Friendships

The world no. 2 Serb explained his relationship to Federer, stating that they have never been and probably never will be pals.

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, along with Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, formed the formidable 'Big Four' for the last two decades. Although the two legends have crossed paths at numerous places and competitions, a lesser-known fact regarding them is that they never truly were friends.

Djokovic's statement

Recently, the Serbian star gave an interview where he talked about his chemistry with the Swiss legend. He revealed that they were never really close, like friends, throughout their careers. He also mentioned that they will probably never build up a friendship in the future. The 'Tennis Letter' posted Djoker's statements on their Twitter page.

The post read, "Novak Djokovic says him & Federer aren’t friends: ‘We have never been friends, between rivals it’s not possible; but we’ve never been enemies. I’ve always had respect for Roger, he was 1 of the greatest of all time. He had extraordinary impact, but I’ve never been close to him‘."

On-field relationship

Twenty-seven of their fifty meetings between the legendary Djoker and Federer ended in favour of the Serb. The players from Serbia and Switzerland have not been close buddies for the majority of their careers. However, recent interactions between them showed how they had become somewhat amicable.

The atmosphere in the arena became extremely emotional as Federer announced his retirement and played his final match, including both his seasoned court competitors and the crowd. Djokovic sobbed after Federer's final match, despite the fact that they don't get along.

Djokovic on the Big-Four rivalry

Novak Djokovic previously said that his rivalry with the big four, including Federer, helped him win a lot of tough matches.

"Luckily for me, in my career, I managed to win more matches than I lost when I was facing difficult circumstances," Djokovic said, as quoted by Sportstar, "For a few years, whenever I needed to make that final step or win a Grand Slam, I didn’t manage to do that, so I learned a lot."

"I got stronger because of the rivalries, particularly with Federer, Nadal, and Murray," he added