Roger Federer fans to blame for his losses against Novak Djokovic, says Wimbledon champion
Richard Krajicek believes Roger Federer’s losses to Novak Djokovic are due to his fans extreme support riling and pushing Djokovic to victory as he is “used to fighting with the crowd.”
20-time Grand Slam champions Federer and Djokovic have shared some memorable matches in the past, with the duo meeting each other a total of 50 times across their careers.
World number one Djokovic leads the head-to-head record over the Swiss maestro, with 27 wins compared to Federer’s 23.
Although, both were absent from this year’s Australian Open, meaning Rafael Nadal was able to pip them to becoming the first male player to reach 21 Slam titles when he rallied from behind against US Open winner Daniil Medvedev.
Federer suffered a setback with his knee immediately after Wimbledon last year and opted to undergo a third knee surgery. This ruled him out of the ‘Happy Slam’ but he could potentially make a return at Wimbledon in the Summer as he steps up his recovery.
Meanwhile, Djokovic was deported just one day before the first Slam of the season got underway after an 11-day-long saga. The Serbian great had his medical exemption visa cancelled twice and was subsequently ejected from Australia.
Speaking with Tennis365, Rotterdam Open tournament director Krajicek said “one of the reasons why Novak has been so successful is thanks to the Federer fans.
“The Federer fans when he played against Novak were so much pushing for Roger and thought they were helping him, but they were actually helping Novak to win those matches.
“What happened in Australia was tough for him [Djokovic] and it will be interesting to see what happens in Dubai. Normally you would say this is going to motivate the guy and you don’t want to play him because he is more lethal, but this is different.
“He is used to fighting on the court with the crowd, his opponent and maybe himself sometimes, but this must have been difficult.
“This is a total different pressure and a different disappointment than having the crowd against you or being match point down at Wimbledon and coming back to win.
“But you know what, he is one of the toughest guys I’ve ever seen in sport and maybe it will fire him up for. It’s tough to know how he will respond to this.
🎾 Free >> Receive our legendary newsletter
🎾 Order >> World’s best tennis magazine