Djokovic vs. Young Guns: A New Era of Tennis Relationships

Roger Federer is retired, Nadal announces his retirement due to constant injuries, while their once greatest rival Novak Djokovic is still at the top of the ATP and dominates among young rising stars

by Sededin Dedovic
Djokovic vs. Young Guns: A New Era of Tennis Relationships
© Julian Finney / Getty Images

Tennis is a dynamic sport that changes rapidly, legends retire and new talents emerge, one thing has remained constant for years: Novak Djokovic's reign at the top. While Roger Federer takes a step back and Rafael Nadal approaches the end of his illustrious career, Djokovic continues to dominate and set records that will be hard to break for years to come.

He set numbers that will take at least a decade of dominance and constant tournament winnings for anyone to reach them. Djokovic recently shared his thoughts on the dynamics of the development of tennis as a sport, especially regarding his relationships with the younger generation of players who see him as both a rival and a role model.

The backdrop for this story was the statement of Danil Medvedev, who the other day recalled 2017 when Novak Djokovic asked him during a training session if they were going to Serbia together, where Serbia and Russia were playing at the Davis Cup.

Novak Djokovic, Danil Medvedev© Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

Danil first shyly refused the invitation, then changed his mind and accepted the invitation. Medvedev was only 20 years old at the time and was just breaking into the ATP list.

He didn't even dream then that in a few years he would reach the very top of tennis and compete at the top of the ATP against players like Novak Djokovic "I think sometimes people don't know that about Novak. He can be tough on the court, like me, he can be like this or like that, but for me, from the first time I met him, I was 400th in the world, now I'm third, I was alone and first, I feel like he treats me like before.

Of course I've become a bigger rival to him than before, but our relationship off the court when we meet is the same. That's what I love about him. I think that's very good of him as a person." Medvedev said, among other things.

Djokovic acknowledged Medvedev with kind words, expressing his gratitude for the positive feelings of the young ace. "First of all, I would like to thank Danilo for his kind words. He pleasantly surprised me. He has told that story before, but I really appreciate the way he told it.

Thanks to him for conveying that to people. I also have the best opinion of him as a person, a colleague, but also as one of my biggest rivals in the last five years," said Novak.

Huge rivalry

Looking back on the question of whether he regrets not ending his career with Federer or Nadal, Djokovic expressed a very interesting thought.

His respect for these tennis icons and his biggest rivals in his career is huge, and he himself claims that he will never have a rival like Nadal again. "As for the second question, I don't regret not finishing my career with Federer, or doing it with Nadal.

They are my biggest rivals that I've ever had, especially Nadal, I've said that before. I don't think that will ever change. That amount of energy spent on our rivalry all these years and the number of matches. It is impossible for anything else to top it.

It's impossible for me to play 60 matches with Alcaraz."

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer© Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

Of course, Djokovic was referring to the age difference between him and the young Spanish talent Carlos Alcaraz.

Delving into the dynamics with the emerging generation, Djokovic shared his satisfaction with the current state of relations. "I enjoy rivalries with all those guys and we have a very nice relationship. Alcaraz, Medvedev, Siner, everyone who is at the top, Zverev, Tsitsipas, I get along well with all of them.

If I were to compare the relationship I had with Federer and Nadal, with relationship now with younger colleagues, this is much better, it's a nicer relationship. " Djokovic said. Djokovic is a great role model for most of these young players.

However, he gave them the difficult task of breaking his records, which will require years of effort, work and dominance on the tennis courts. He really raised the bar very high, and Alcaraz himself stated two days ago that his main goal in life is to break Novak Djokovic's records.

He just caught up with Roger Federer in one of the few records that he does not hold. He had another stunning performance at the Australian Open. He defeated Adrien Manarino 6:0, 6:0, 6:3 and reached the quarterfinals of the first Grand Slam of the season.

Once the biggest rivals Federer and Djokovic now with 58 each have the most quarter-final matches at Grand Slams in the history of tennis. Rafael Nadal is far worse than them in that parameter. The Spaniard has reached 47 Grand Slam quarterfinals.

Djokovic will play against the American, Taylor Fritz, in the next match that will be played tomorrow at the Australian Open. If he wins, why Janikk Sinner or Andrei Rublev?

Roger Federer Novak Djokovic Atp