While the announcement Thursday of Roger Federer’s retirement sparked a torrent of tributes in the world of tennis, Novak Djokovic is, twenty-four hours later, one of the few players who has not yet reacted.
The Serb, one of the Swiss’ great rivals with Rafael Nadal, did not post any comments on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, unlike the Spaniard, who hailed his “friend and rival” and confessed that he would ” wish that day never came”.
Djokovic was admiring a few years ago about Federer’s talent (“Impossible not to wonder if he is from the same planet”).
Within the “Big three”, Nadal and Federer have often displayed their friendship, despite the rivalry on the courts. Together, they also sometimes distanced themselves from Djokovic, especially when the Serb announced in 2020 the creation of a new association of professional tennis players independent of the ATP, ignoring calls for unity from the Spaniard and from Switzerland.
A cause and effect relationship? No evidence. But the silence of “Djoko” sparked debate on social networks on Thursday, and even surprised the Serbian media, like the daily Kurir. “Novak’s message to Federer is missing”, headlined the newspaper on its website, evoking a “still silent Nole”.
– Wimbledon 2019 –
The last Twitter message from the winner of 21 Grand Slam titles – one more than Federer and one less than Nadal – dates from August 30. This is a retweet from his wife Jelena’s account announcing parenting conferences she is due to attend in late September.
On Instagram, the latest posts of the Serb, a few days ago, show him in training or wishing a happy birthday to his five-year-old daughter Tara.
If the photos with his two rivals or the allusions to the two players are very rare on his accounts, he nevertheless tweeted at the end of July on the next Laver Cup (September 23-25 in London), where he will be part of the European team composed of Roger Federer – who will play his last competition there -, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.
Like Djoko, the Scot is one of the few other players who has not yet reacted to Federer’s retirement.
Djokovic and Federer have faced each other a total of 50 times, with the Serb having won 27 times (11 Grand Slam wins to six).
One of their most memorable finals was that of Wimbledon in 2019 where, despite two match points, Federer failed to garner his 21st Major. This final is the longest in the history of the London tournament (4h57).