Roger Federer ‘couldn’t have been more happy’ for record-breaking Djokovic
Roger Federer has spoken publicly about Novak Djokovic winning a record 23rd major for the first time, with the Swiss reflecting on how ‘tennis is writing its own history’.
Federer has been away from professional tennis since he retired at the Laver Cup in September, and commented on how ‘it’s a great time in tennis to be a fan’ after Djokovic made history at Roland Garros.
“I thought what Novak did is incredible,” said Federer at an event in London. “Honestly, it’s great for tennis, great for sports when tennis writes its own history and keeps on adding to it like we’ve seen with Serena Williams as well, Rafa [Nadal] then myself and now with Novak. It’s a great time in tennis to be a fan as well, but also a player.”
Novak Djokovic defeated Casper Ruud in the men's singles final to capture Grand Slam title No. 23.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 11, 2023
The 20-time Grand Slam champion also reflected on the past, suggesting that he believed Pete Sampras’ tally of 14 majors would have been the record ‘forever’ at the time.
“I remember when I came on tour, and Pete Sampras reached 14 we thought ‘Okay, that one is gonna stay forever’,” claimed Federer.
The Swiss continued, “Then I went to 15, I eventually ended up at 17, and then we pushed each other to 20 – I don’t remember who was first – and then Rafa pushed it to 22.”
The Big 3 & the Grand Slam race 🏆
2010:⁰16 – Federer⁰9 – Nadal⁰1 – Djokovic
2020: ⁰20 – Federer⁰20 – Nadal⁰17 – Djokovic
2023: ⁰23 – Djokovic⁰22 – Nadal⁰20 – Federer
🥇 @DjokerNole #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/9Q1wJuMH2Q
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) June 11, 2023
Federer also predicted that Djokovic would keep winning majors ‘for a long time to come’, as the Serb bids to equal the 41-year-old’s Wimbledon tally this year.
“Then now Novak pushed it to 23 and he looks like he’s gonna keep on doing that for a long time still to come, which is great. And I wish him all the best,” said the tennis legend.
Federer added, “I think also the way he’s doing it still – he isn’t the youngest anymore, we forget. He looks young and he does it in a young way, but it’s not easy, and I thought it was an amazing victory. So I couldn’t have been more happy.”
Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic head-to-head
Federer and Djokovic have played against each other 50 times in a very back-and-forth rivalry that included five Grand Slam finals.
Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic: 23-27
Federer vs Djokovic in Grand Slam finals: 1-4
Last meeting (2020) – Djokovic beat Federer, 7-6(1) 6-4 6-3 (Australian Open Semi-final 2020)
Read >> World’s best tennis magazine