“If He Doesn’t Have It Then Who?”: When Novak Djokovic Supported Roger Federer on Receiving Preferential Treatment

Published 10/18/2021, 3:15 PM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 14: Roger Federer of Switzerland and Novak Djokovic of Serbia embrace at the net after their singles match during Day Five of the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 Arena on November 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)


In the men’s game, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have dominated the tour (along with Rafael Nadal, of course). Currently, both players are tied on 20 Grand Slam titles each. Although they are firm rivals, the rivalry has always remained respectful. In fact, there was a point in the past when the Serb came and spoke in favor of the Swiss maestro. 

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In the past, former French player Julien Benneteau accused tournament organizers of handing special treatment to Roger Federer. He felt that the other players were being treated in an inferior manner by making them play during the hot day sessions. Federer, however, would always be handed the slot to compete during the evening sessions, specifically at the Australian Open.  

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When asked Djokovic about his opinion on this topic, he stated, “In a way, he deserves this special treatment because he’s a six-time champion of the Australian Open and arguably the best player ever so if he doesn’t have it then who is going to have it? People want to see him on Center Court and he won his place. So to see him play in the showtime, 7:30 at night, which is the best hour.”

Roger Federer is a fan favorite all over the world 

It’s nice to see the Serb speak in favor of the 6-time Australian Open champion. The popularity of Federer exceeds all limits as he’s one of the most universally admired sportspeople of this generation. Organizers have to cater to the needs of fans and to have Roger compete guarantees a full house.  

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PARIS, FRANCE May 23. Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Roger Federer of Switzerland great each other as they cross over training sessions on Court Philippe-Chatrier at the 2019 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on May 23rd 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Coming to tennis, Federer has not featured in any event since the loss at the Wimbledon Championships. He was required to undergo another knee surgery and warned fans that he would be out of action for many months. 

On the other side, Djokovic was halted by Medvedev in his quest to win the US Open. He too has not competed in any event since then. Recently, Nole did confirm that he will be participating in Paris, Turin, and the Davis Cup before the end of 2021.  

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Rohan Kollare

1336 articles

Rohan Kollare is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Rohan has studied Sports Management and has a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering Tennis and Formula One.

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