‘Roger Federer struggled to accept Novak Djokovic rivalry’ claims renowned biographer
Roger Federer had a tough time coming to terms with the emergence of Novak Djokovic according to this respected journalist.
Between 2003 and 2007, Federer was unmatched on the ATP tour. While a young Rafael Nadal did begin his run of Roland Garros titles in 2005, Federer won 11 of 17 Slams following his first at Wimbledon 2003.
The Federer Nadal rivalry came to a head at the famous Wimbledon 2008 final when the Spaniard finally dethroned Federer at the third time of asking there.
While their on-court rivalry was fierce, the Nadal and Federer shared a much warmer off-court camaraderie, something biographer Christopher Clarey chalks up in part to their similar childhoods.
Clarey recently released ‘The Master: The Brilliant Career of Roger Federer’, a biography on the career of the Swiss maestro based on numerous interviews with the man.
“Nadal and Federer came from comfortable childhoods, they had choices,” described Clarey in an interview with Moneycontrol.
By contrast, the up-and-coming Djokovic did not have the same experience, fighting tooth and nail for his chance at greatness.
“Djokovic came from a war-torn country. Unlike Nadal and Federer, he had no choices,” Clarey continued.
“He just wanted, and needed, to succeed. Nadal was Federer’s first major challenger.
“By the time Federer made peace [with that rivalry], Djokovic came along. Federer had a tough time accepting that.
“Nadal was deferential, Djokovic did impressions, perhaps Federer didn’t appreciate that.”
The 2000s was the Federer decade, as the Swiss won 15 of his 20 Slam titles then.
The 2010s were dominated by Djokovic, the Serb winning 15 of his 20 Majors in that span.
And as Federer passes 40 into the 2020s, Djokovic has only accelerated into the decade, winning four of the seven Slams contested in 2020 and 2021.
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