Tennis star Novak Djokovic heaped rich praises for Roger Federer, the Swiss legend who will be seen for the last time on court at the Laver Cup, starting September 23 in London. Ahead of the tournament, Djokovic said that Federer is not only the greatest tennis player but the greatest sportsperson.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, Federer is one of the most-loved athletes on across the world and his retirement announcement made everyone very emotional. However, all his fans are eager to see him on the court at Laver Cup when he will partner with his fierce rival and friend, Rafael Nadal for Team Europe on Friday.
Laver Cup will be an iconic show as tennis giants Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray, the Big 4 in men’s tennis, will be playing together as a team for Europe for the first time since the Australian Open in 2019.
Djokovic, who had posted a heartfelt note for Federer after his retirement announcement, now lavished praises on 41-year old’s impact on the sport.
“His impact on the game has been tremendous, the way he was playing, his style, effortless, just perfect for an eye of a tennis coach, player or just a tennis fan,” said Djokovic.
Djokovic added that Andy Murray and himself were not aware that Federer would hang up his boots after the Laver Cup and now when everyone knows it then the excitement about the farewell match will add more to the atmosphere at the O2 Arena in London.
“Both Andy and I didn’t know that this is going to be his last match, his farewell this weekend, so that makes this occasion even greater because he’s one of the greatest athletes ever to play sport, any sport,” Djokovic added.
Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and Murray are often known for their rivalries on court but it is to be noted that all four have mutual respect for each other. The Serb has beaten Federer in 4 major finals, including the 2019 Wimbledon which was the legendary Swiss star’s final appearance in a Grand Slam final.
Djokovic further said that Laver Cup is a great opportunity for him and others to spend time and know each other — something that is not possible while on the tour.
“It’s great we will have a chance to spend some quality time off the court together,” Djokovic said.
“We have team dinners and will chat about tennis, sports, life. We don’t normally do that on tour, we have our own teams and families, so this is quite unique,” he added.