Rafa Nadal counters
that he and the world number one are 'still great mates' and 'would
immediately talk about any misunderstandings'
tennis number one Novak Djokovic's father has criticised Spain's Rafa
Nadal, saying: “He and my son were best friends when Rafa was
beating him, but it's a different story now.”
however, denies this and says he and the Serb (pictured) remain great
buddies and that if there was 'a problem' between them, they would
'call each other and talk about it'.
Djokovic, whose son Novak is currently at the top of the global ATP
rankings, says Mallorca-born Rafa 'was Novak's 'best friend while he
was beating him', but adds: “When things changed, they were no
longer friends. That's not sportsmanship.”
also took a swipe at former ATP number one, Switzerland's Roger
Federer, during his interview with Serbian newspaper Kurir.
talent as a tennis-player does not coincide with his qualities as a
human being. He might still be the best player in history, but as a
person, he is completely the opposite,” says Mr Djokovic senior,
adding that the Swiss star 'attacked' Novak during the Davis Cup in
Geneva since Federer 'understood that he was the successor and
attempted to discredit Novak in any way he could'.
success is something extraordinary, and it's something that some of
the others cannot understand,” lamented Srdjan.
he was quick to praise his son's sportsmanship with his fellow
no other sportsman who treats his rivals so well, whether he wins or
loses – Novak is the only one who does this, both in his sport and
in his private life,” Srdjan insists.
of the epic Wimbledon final this year, which saw Scotsman Andy Murray
become the first Brit to win since 1977 and the first UK citizen to
win the men's title in 77 years, were sceptical of this when the Serb
exhausted his quota of objections within a very short time – and
then still tried to carry on objecting – but their faith in
Djokovic's sportsmanship was restored when his speech at the end was
televised and his delight for Murray was very clear and genuine.
Novak's father admits his son has a good relationship with the Scot,
whom he calls a 'true example of sporting nature' and a person who
'is a good loser and a good winner'.
they cannot be the best of friends because they are fighting for the
most important trophies and, at the end of the day, an awful lot of
money. But they are very correct in their behaviour as rivals and I'm
sure that once their careers are over, they will be great friends,”
Nadal: “Mr Djokovic Senior should talk to his son”
for the 'man from Manacor' and former world champion, who lost his
slot to Djokovic after the 2011 season and missed the latter half of
last year's due to injury, Rafa insists the ATP number one's father
father really ought to talk to his son. My relationship with Novak
has always been very good and continues to be so. I've lost countless
matches against him, and he's lost countless matches against me, and
neither of us has ever had a problem with that,” Rafa (pictured
above right) stated categorically when questioned.
is entitled to their own opinion; I'm not here to contest that and
least of all, not having heard or read these comments,” adds the
Mallorca-born ace, just after having played the opening serve as a
symbolic act at a match between various friends in his native
if ever there was a problem or misunderstanding between me and Novak,
we'd have no qualms about calling each other up to talk about it.”