Djokovic: “For the sake of tennis, I hope we see Federer play at least one more time”

After beating Andrey Rublev in two sets and 68 minutes on the second day of the Green Group of the ATP Finals, Novak Djokovic spoke to the media and spoke, among other things, about the situation of one of his great rivals, Roger Federerwho in a recent interview questions his participation in the Grand Slams, at least until Wimbledon, although not even sure about that.

“I read that Ivan Ljubicic, his coach, said a few days ago that the Australian Open was in question, and he believes that it is still unrealistic for Roger to return there. Obviously, Roger is an icon of our sport and of the people around us .Everyone loves him. They love to see him play. It is very important for our sport on and off the field. For the sake of tennis, I sincerely hope that we can see him play at least another time,” said the Balkan, who is “sure” that the Swiss “does not want to end his career this way.” “I think he’s going to give it one last push, one last try. I’m not sure what his injury is, and I know he’s been struggling with his knee for quite a few years. I think for everything he’s accomplished and created for this sport, “He deserves to play and he deserves to have a proper farewell, if his illness does not allow him to play more frequently on the circuit.”

Djokovic also commented on why he had spent 15 minutes signing autographs and taking photos with young fans after the match: “I understand how unique an opportunity it is for a lot of kids who maybe come to a match to see the best and want to take a photo. or have something, a souvenir or an autograph. It is not possible to satisfy everyone, but I try to be there, especially for young people and children, because I was also in that position. I wasn’t so lucky when I was a child, because there were no big events in Serbia. Only Futures or Challengers. I remember that I was already a junior and Nadal, Gasquet and Mario Ancic were in my country Serbia to play one of them and for me that was an incredible feelingto already have these stars who at that time were young but very famous in the world of tennis.

Meeting Pete Sampras

The one from Belgrade also acknowledged that “when he was young, traveling to the Grand Slams,” he asked “all the players for a photo” when he played against them. “So I know the feeling and I really try to be aware of the importance to these kids of not just seeing you play, but seeing you up close, getting an autograph or exchanging a few words with you.” He had an important moment while still quite young when he met Pete Sampras, who recently praised him, “in 2010.” “It was the first time, in Indian Wells. I was very, very nervous. He was at the La Quinta Resort, on one of the training fields. He approached. We had a chance to talk and hit some balls. Yes, it was a very simple moment for him, but very special and unforgettable for me.”

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