The beef between World No. 1 Novak Djokovic's father and Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer seems never-ending, with the latest of the former's accusations being that Federer 'attacked' his son back in 2006. The allegation refers to comments made by Federer during the Davis Cup tie between Serbia and Switzerland when he is said to have called Djokovic a 'joke' for taking continuous medical timeouts during the match. While there have been no comments exchanged between Djokovic and Federer regarding this, the volleys keep on coming from Srdjan Djokovic and it seems that his son is helpless against them.
While it is uncommon for celebrities or sports personalities' parents to step into the limelight, tennis champion Novak Djokovic's father, Srdjan Djokovic is anything but camera shy. Having played a huge role in his son's training and in ensuring that he got everything he needed in the war-torn Serbia of his youth, Djokovic Sr. has remained an active figure in his son's life. Constantly attacking Federer, Nadal and even the Western media for their portrayal of their son - sometimes fairly, sometimes not - Srdjan Djokovic has made things tough for his son more than once in recent times.
Currently playing at the Monte Carlo Masters 2021, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic refused to fan the flames sparked by his father's most recent comment about Roger Federer. Instead, the dutiful son simply said, "I love him, he is the great support of mine. I can’t control what he says, everyone has a right to speak their mind, but I don’t always agree with everything he says. He is passionate and wants to protect me, of course, I stand by him". Having received a bye in the first round of the tournament, Djokovic saw off Italian up and comer Jannik Sinner in straight sets in Round 2. He will now face UK's Dan Evans to set up a quarter-finals spot.
The Novak Djokovic vs Federer rivalry has taken a new turn this year, despite the fact that the two men have not played against each other since the semi-final of the 2020 Australian Open where Djokovic made quick work of Federer. This new turn in the rivalry refers to Djokovic's historic takeover of Federer's record of 'Most weeks spent at No. 1' by a male player. Held by Federer since he completed 310 weeks atop the ATP rankings on July 16, 2012, the record fell to Djokovic this March.
With the Novak Djokovic Grand Slams collection soaring to 18 titles after his Australian Open 2021 win, the Serb is also inching closer to Federer's long-held record of 20 Grand Slam titles, another dimension to the already heated rivalry. With Federer having a tough time bouncing back from his year-long hiatus and dropping down to No. 7 on the ATP rankings, it is unlikely that the pair will face off any time soon. The current head to head between the two stands at 27-23 in favour of Djokovic.