Novak Djokovic Hopes Roger Federer Recovers Fast From Knee Surgery
by Tom Gainey | February 23rd, 2016, 9:25 am

Arguably the only real, consistent threat to Novak Djokovic the last year has been Roger Federer. And now the Swiss is recovering from knee surgery, leaving Djokovic will little resistance in events like Dubai this year (Federer beat him last year in the final).

So, when asked, Djokovic hopes his chief rival returns to the court quickly.

“I’m not pleased to hear what happened to him,” Djokovic said Monday. “I hope he recovers fast, because we are not used to seeing him injured. He’s very fit, and he plays very well throughout the entire year. He’s very important for our sport. He’s most successful player of this tournament. So for sure the tournament will miss him.

“Again, that doesn’t change much in the way I approach this tournament. I will try to go as far as I can, you know, even with him not playing here.”

Yesterday, Djokovic blew out Tommy Robredo 61, 62 in his first match since winning the Australian Open.

“Obviously playing first match in three weeks, different conditions,” Djokovic said. “But everything went well. You know, very few things went wrong. I was putting constant pressure on his serve. I returned very, very well. Served solid and was aggressive from back of the court. I cannot be happier with this performance.”

Djokovic now meets Malek Jaziri seeking his 700th career match win.

“Every milestone is very special, of course. I wish that I make the 700th win in this tournament, obviously,” he said. “But it’s not going to affect too much my preparation for the next match. It’s not going to change too much the way I approach the next match or this tournament.”

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35 Comments for Novak Djokovic Hopes Roger Federer Recovers Fast From Knee Surgery

Giles Says:

Hahaha. Bet he opened a bottle of champagne when news of Feds injury was revealed.

courbon Says:

Stalking Novak tread as usual Giles?

Giles Says:

^^^ YES!!

Nikola Says:

LOL Giles. I am Novak fan but i think you are right on this one.

J-Kath Says:

Well done Stan….keep it going.

Okiegal Says:

I bet Novak is hoping for a quick recovery…..he probably feels a GOAT beat down coming on……

Anna Says:

You’re so right Giles!!! He hopes Roger has a quick recovery – what a lot of bull-sh t! The truth is he hopes that Roger will have a SLOW RECOVERY,!

Van Persie Says:

Does it really matter, what he says, what he really thinks?? He beat Roger in the last GS finals or semifinals, when they have met. With or without Roger on tour, Nole is Nr.1!…and he has the possibility in the future to be the new GOAT

RZ Says:

Looks like Roger’s knee recovery is going pretty well so far.

Wog Boy Says:

Few of my friends on TX, yes I have few friends here, told me to ignore the trolls and that is what I am doing right now.

chrisford1 Says:

Persie – Of course it matters what Djokovic says. Like it or not, with his prominence and articulate responses to significant matters in men’s pro tennis, he is expected to at least be asked. And most times he tries to answer.
He has creds in that.
So it matters what he says and what he thinks.
This one was an easy one. Roger adds to the growth of the sport, and contributes to the Dubai tournament. He is the guy who trains there and who has won Dubai the most times (7 I think) with Nole right behind (4). And Dubai is one of 2 tournaments where I give him 50-50 odds o better of beating Djokovic should they meet(Cincinnati is the other).
But even in what has been a pattern of losing the big ones to Nole, the old champ plays it close.

On top of that, you have Djokovic’s character as a champion. Meaning that he wants to win, expects to win, but wants any injured foe to fully recover and battle him to the best of their ability. Including Rafa if he can get his mojo back.

And I am sure in the back of Nole’s mind, he would quite enjoy opening up the H2Hs against the two guys that held him back at #3 for four years, play more classic matches against them, beat them at the biggest events and Finals. (Because I expect the argument on who was better, not just Fed or Rafa or for that matter Lendl v. McEnroe or Capriati vs. Clijsters to become more than just comparing Slamcounts. The whole body of work is going to be looked at, metrics like ELO and winning %, Masters wins, etc.)

J-Kath Says:

That’s right Wogboy – there’s sometimes a time for retreat (only to come back stronger). +++++++++

Van Persie Says:

CF1, thank you :). My post from 04:05 was more dedicated to Nole’s “haters”(this word is very appreciated here)

Michael Says:

I do not think there is any serious challenger to Novak’s dominance and that is great for him as a player, but not good for Tennis as a Sport since if there is anything that can kill interest in any format of game, it is certainty. Hence, it is natural for Tennis enthusiasts to hanker for a serious challenger to challenge Novak’s dominance by taking him head on.

However, at the moment, nobody is in sight or even in the foreseeable future and so the wheel of Novak’s superiority will just roll on without interruptions in his celebrations.

danica Says:

I really cannot remember people talking of Federer dominance as being bad for tennis. Nor was anyone saying that Rafa should stop winning every clay court in sight. His results were predictable like sun rising up every morning. There is a number of tournaments where Nole does not play and where other players can gain points and silverware. But in terms of building legacies, of course he has every right to be dominant and if he can, win whatever he can. Oakland Warriors are quite a team in NBA now and no one is saying that Curry and the guys will kill interest in basketball. On the contrary.

I do not agree that there are no challengers in foreseeable future. Raonic and Kyrgios, specifically the later, I feel have NOW the power and game to trouble Novak.

Green Lady Says:

True and i very much doubt that Novak or his fans even care that much deep down.

Green Lady Says:

And no Rogers fans didnt complain,and neither did Rafas.

Green Lady Says:

If Novaks in the tournament hes the favorite,if hes in the final hes the favorite,however time will tell.

Van Persie Says:

Nole’s domination is in fact very, very good for tennis. He brings tennis to another level. World Nr. 1 has always a big influence on tennis evolution. McEnroe, Sampras , Federer, Nadal and many, many others had their influence by dominating.

Giles Says:

The guy is running wild and free with absolutely no competition on the horizon in the foreseeable future. He’s milking it every which way he can. All he needs now is to be loved. Poor joker.

Daniel Says:

Alao disagree wth the dominamce beijg bad for sport. What made Fed whatbhe is was his umprecendent dominancd, twice going for a Roger Slam (as Novak eill have the same chance this year in RG), Nadal utter dominance on clay. This great awareness of tennis globablly and even those who couldn’t care less about felt they need to see and know who the h..ll Federer and Nadal was. Even if it is just to be relevant if some friends start discussing about them and tennis.

Same will happen now wigh Djoko. The one that still don’t know who he is (hardly to know much) will know eventually, because the more he wins and the easier he dominates his mark willbe there and global news will spread. If he indeed happens to win RG (hope so this year) the hype willve huge with him holding 4 majors. And he will even have the chance to go for all 4 this year plus Olympics.
If he achieves THe Golden Slam as Graffi did, than my friends, with him having 14 Slams, Gold, Carrer Slam, Djoko Slam, The Grand Slam, winning last 6, 5 Year End #1, The case will be almost assure for him as GOAT with only a few more majors to became clear second, tie ro surpass Roger in Slam count. He knows thatbthis year has a huge weight for him and if he wins everything left for him to win: RG, Olympics, Cinicnatti. He will be the most complete player ever!!

Daniel Says:

And also, the good news for him is that even if he misses RG again, even with him getting older, I don’t think will affect him negative overall. Last 2 years he bouce back and won Wimbledon right after disapointing losses in RG sk he proved that he can overcame a defeat in a second. Of course losing only teaches you how to lose but he already showed that he is not the type to be devasted or quit sport like Borg did. So he will just keep doimg his thing and going for more.

He has a lot of expectations for himaelf but also he is a grounded guy and to overcome what he did, overshadowijg Fed and Nadal like he did, he shoudl be proud already and everything else os gravy from now on. Just enjoy his dominance and try to win as much as possible.

Giles Says:

Nobody enjoys dominance except for fans of the player concerned. It all gets too predictable and borrrrrrring!

Markus Says:

Djokovic is having a great run but I would not say that he has already overshadowed Federer or Nadal. He has only 11 slams against 17 and 14. And he does not even have a complete set of slams. It may happen but until it happens he is still behind those two in terms of lifetime achievement. Wait until it happens.

Ben Pronin Says:

Markus, this is purely hypothetical, but what if Djokovic ends with 18 slams but no French Open. Will the lack of a “complete set” be enough of a knock against him?

jane Says:

“He has a lot of expectations for himaelf but also he is a grounded guy and to overcome what he did, overshadowijg Fed and Nadal like he did, he shoudl be proud already and everything else os gravy from now on”

agree daniel, he should be proud already; huge achievements. :)

i don’t know his opponent today, which is odd because the guy is 32.

looks like berdych and kyrgios won easily today, as did bautista-agut, who decimated chung.

Okiegal Says:

Rafa was dominant on clay….but you have to remember that those don’t count!! LOL

Regarding the Frenchie, this will probably be Novak’s year to get that done…..

Daniel Says:

Agree Ben, this whole “compelte” ser of majors started from
nadal fasn knockong down Federer because he couldn’t beat Nadal on RG. Than after Fed won RG, Fed fans said that Nadal could only be a “great” playee if he win all majors. Now is the same for Novak.

Agassi has all the majors and Olymoics and to me even Lendl with 1 more Slam os a greater player than he is. Becaise Agassi never dominated, just 1 great 52 week spam. But cimpared to what Fed, Sampras, Nadal, Djoko, Mac, Lendl did it is small.

If Novak ends with 4 or more on all the other Slams and no French he would be the greater player. Balance count as well. To me, dominating three Slams is better than only dominating 1 Slam and having 2 or less in all others.

Is a 2 ways street, winning all show that tou could win all 4 and different surfaces. But being consistent enought to have multiple (menianig 3 or more) in other three is maybe even harder to do.

We can compare results of all formers greats with double digitals Slams and the only one right now who has 3 or more Slams in 3 of the Slams is Fed. Djoko can be the second to do that if he wins 1 more USO.

The others who has 10 or more Slams dominated 1 or 2 tops (Nadal RG, Sampras W and USO, Borg RG-W, Emerson AO and Laver W-USO). Djoko right now dominates AO, but is consistent in 2 others and can still improve.

Of the 7 double digiters, 4 has career Slam: Federer, Nadal, Emerson and Laver and 3 don’t: Sampras, Borg and Djoko.

So, it is not a sine qua non condition to me. Specially as Djoko has 3 finals already in RG.

Markus Says:

Ben, if Djokovic wins 18 slams but without a French, he may still lay claim as the greatest ever but the lack of a French Open title will always be used as an argument against it.

Daniel Says:

Agree Markus. The same way Fed not beating Nadal in Slams much or the lavk of Olympics Gold.

But even so, as it stands now Fed has the most complete and balance resume ok all aspects. Djoko has the potential to better some of tis aspects: all masters, Olympics Gold (Fed has a singles silver), better #1 stats (tie Sampras 6 YE#1) and go after Fed’s 300 weeks as number 1. Plus he mau not be shy of total titles won as well. Right now he is at 61 having own 43 of his last 56 a 43-13 as of AO 2011). Of he continues at this pace it’s safe ti say he will go 80+ title. And of he figures in top 3 list of most of the major achievements in tennis the argument will only solidify.

Ben Pronin Says:

It was never really used as an argument against Sampras until Federer showed up and was able to compete on clay in a way that Sampras never did. Sampras’s career results on clay are pretty tame. Federer won a few clay Masters and started making the semis and finals of the French on the regular so everyone expected him to win it to confirm he’s better than Sampras and therefore the GOAT.

Then you had Nadal’s dominance at the French so, yeah, Nadal fans used the French to diminish Federer’s accomplishments. I still don’t think it’s fair. But Nadal seemed to adopt the mentality himself because a year after Federer completes the career slam, Nadal completes his own. And now you have this argument “against” Djokovic for not winning the French, as if though it’s a requirement to be the GOAT.

Maybe it is. But it’s not like Djokovic is a scrub on clay. 3 French Open finals, countless other semis, multiple titles at all the clay Masters. Wins over the clay GOAT at every big clay event and just overall a lot of success on the surface.

Markus Says:

Djokovic with all his current dominance is still ways off Federer’s achievements. Even with Nadal, he is still behind. It is premature to consider him in the GOAT discussion at this time. So for now, let us just say Djokovic is very very good and better than the rest of the field at this point in time.

Wasn’t just a while ago when Nadal, after winning the 2013 French and US Opens, went into the 2014 Australian Open final highly touted to win his 15th major and thus achieve his second complete set of slams, then narrow and eventually equal Federer’s 17 if not that year, in the next year? Most people thought he was all set to kick Federer off his pedestal. Then look what happened!

Markus Says:

Oops, some computing error there, he was supposed to have 14th at the AO.

Daniel Says:

Markus, but some aspects Djoko is already better than Nadal: 4 Year End #1, being #1 for all weeks in a single year. Mtiple YE Championships, twice winning 3 Slams in the same year, reachinf all finals in the same year (currently on a 5 straight Slam finals – tied with Nadal, could be beter next RG, more weeks as number and ammy favorite: postive HxH kkkkkk

The argument for him and Nadal and Sampras also, is narrowing each passing Slam and seems a matter of time. But agree ref Fed still a long, long way to go.

But he sure deserves to be in the GOAT discussion. Once he reached double digits Slams he got his due. Peiple started talking about Fed and Nadal before they got to 10. Fed after 2006 ans Nadal after 2010. So Djoko deserves the same credit.

Also agree that we gave to wait and see. In AO 14′ nadal was 4 away from Fed on a row. Suddenly he only wins 1 more and that was his last beyond semis result as well. Ut the aspect of the game is different, Nadal was always more injred prone than Djoko and started winning at a vert young age. His “burbout” physical or mental or whatever was predicted by many tennis experts way back. The only out of the curve moment in Nadal’s career was 2013 North America swing, which took everybody by surprise.

Djoko is in a complete different stage, only two tgings can stop him now: injury or a mental collapse in another RG whih this tine he will take longer or not recover from. Notice that both are within his control because there is no clear competiton to stop him right now or in near future. My two cents!

Markus Says:

It will be very interesting to see how far Djokovic can go. By all indications, he will go really far. He dedicates fully to improve on everything that he has control over: his diet, physical and mental fitness, all the aspects of the game, etc. He is quite committed to be the best that he can be, I think that is more his goal rather than to be the best in the game. That is a very good attitude because that is one aspect that any player is completely in control of. If in the process, he becomes the best ever, that is a collateral achievement. Whether he eventually becomes the best ever or not, I believe that Djokovic will be fully satisfied with his career.

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