Novak Djokovic recently sat down with John Wertheim on the famous "60 Minutes" show to discuss his career, aspirations and relationships with fellow tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. While the "Big Three" have dominated the sport for decades, their competitive nature has often overshadowed their personal connections.
The Serbian ace openly addressed the challenges of creating friendships amid intense rivalry. He acknowledged the difficulty of forming close bonds when constantly competing for the top spot, sharing personal information that could be used as leverage later.
“I'd like, I'd really like to be friends with them. I mean, I know we certainly didn't get along that well during our careers off the field. We're not friends because, you know, we're rivals and it's very difficult for us as competitors to be close and share things like details about our personal lives, how I feel.
Because that can be used against you later", answered Novak Djokovic honestly.
Djokovic wants to be friends with the two main rivals of his career
Djokovic expressed his sincere desire for a future friendship with Federer and Nadal when their playing days are over.
He envisions a time when they can sit down together, reminisce about their careers and share their experiences without the pressure of competition. "I would like, I would really like to hang out with them," remarked Djokovic.
"We certainly didn't get along that well during our off-field careers. We're not friends because, you know, we're rivals and it's very hard for us as competitors to be close and share things like details about our personal lives, how we feel...
Because that can be used against you later." With a record 24 Grand Slam titles, Djokovic cemented his place as the most decorated tennis player in history. He surpassed his rivals Nadal (22 titles) and Federer (20 titles) and remains the only player to boast seven Final Masters titles and 400 weeks at the top of the ATP rankings.
While Nadal's absence due to injury during 2023 has cast a shadow over the competition, his announced return next year promises a renewed chapter in the "big three" saga. It remains to be seen whether their relationship will develop into a true friendship.