Djokovic expresses desire to become friends with Nadal, Federer

The 36-year-old competed with the two for over 15 years

By Web Desk
December 10, 2023
Novak Djokovic (L), Rafael Nadal (C), and Roger Federer (R)  formed "The Big Three" in tennis. — AFP

Novak Djokovic expressed his desire to become friends with his ex-rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer after competing with the two for over 15 years.

While Nadal and Federer became really good friends after the latter’s career ended, the same cannot be said about Djokovic.

However, as Nadal enters his retirement year and Federer already being retired, Djokovic, 36, is open to a potential friendship with the tennis greats.

The 24-time Grand Slam winner reiterated that he is not friends with the two and also explained his reasons. Djokovic gave an example that his secrets could’ve been used against him if he were close.

"I would like to. I would really like to. Personally, I would like to. I mean, I know that obviously (laughs) we didn’t get along so well throughout our careers in, like, off court. And we are not friends because, you know, we’re rivals and it’s difficult as competitors to be very close and kind of share and give insights to you know, to your life or to how you feel because, you know, it could be used against you," said Djokovic.

"But we have shared the stage for so many years. And I think the greatest respect is always there, at least from my side, towards them. So yeah, I hope that one day, when the curtains are slightly more closed, that we are, yeah, able to sit down and, and reflect. It would be, it would be amazing."

Djokovic leads the Grand Slam race with a whopping 24 titles to his name, he is followed closely by Nadal who has 22, while Federer retired with 20 Majors.

The Serb also dominated the 2023 tennis season where he won the Australian Open, French Open, and the US Open. The 36-year-old also claimed the ATP Finals event.

The dust has started to settle on the 2023 season as the 2024 season is set to begin, which is likely to be Nadal’s last season as the Spaniard plans to retire soon.

On the other hand, Djokovic has no plan to stop anytime and he would be looking forward to extending his Grand Slam tally as the Serb is still in perfect shape.

Nadal will be seen competing on the court for the first since January 2023 where he suffered an injury that kept him out for almost a year.