Roger Federer struggled to come to terms with the rivalry with Novak Djokovic, says renowned biographer
Roger Federer struggled to accept the emergence of Novak Djokovic according to this respected journalist.
Between 2003 and 2007, Federer was unrivaled on the ATP Tour. While a young Rafael Nadal started his streak of titles at Roland Garros in 2005, Federer won 11 of 17 Slams after his debut at Wimbledon 2003.
The rivalry with Federer Nadal came to a head in the famous 2008 Wimbledon final when the Spaniard finally dethroned Federer on his third request.
While their rivalry on the pitch was fierce, Nadal and Federer shared a much warmer camaraderie off the pitch, which biographer Christopher Clarey attributes in part to their similar childhoods.
Clarey recently published ‘The Master: The Brilliant Career of Roger Federer’, a biography of the Swiss maestro’s career based on numerous interviews with the man.
âNadal and Federer came from comfortable childhoods, they had choices,â Clarey described in an interview with Moneycontrol.
On the other hand, the promising Djokovic did not have the same experience, fighting tooth and nail for his chance to grow up.
âDjokovic came from a country torn by war. Unlike Nadal and Federer, he had no choice, âcontinued Clarey.
âHe just wanted and needed to be successful. Nadal was Federer’s first major challenger.
“When Federer made peace [with that rivalry], Djokovic has come. Federer had a hard time coming to terms with this.
“Nadal was deferential, Djokovic made impressions, maybe Federer didn’t like that.”
The 2000s were the Federer’s decade, with the Swiss winning 15 of his 20 Slam titles.
The 2010s were dominated by Djokovic, with the Serbian winning 15 of his 20 Majors during this period.
And as Federer spends 40 years in the 2020s, Djokovic has only accelerated into the decade, winning four of the seven Slams contested in 2020 and 2021.
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