Novak Djokovic claims it is not possible for him to be friends with Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer.
The trio — known as the Big Three — dominated tennis for nearly two decades, winning a collective 64 Grand Slam titles and each having their own claim to being the tennis GOAT.
But while Djokovic has immense respect and admiration for both Nadal and Federer, he claims they have never been friends. They have never been enemies either, but given their rivalry, friendship is out of the question for the Serbian superstar as long as they're actively playing.
“We have never been friends, between rivals it is not possible, but we have never been enemies,” Djokovic was quoted as saying (via Tennis 365). “I’ve always had respect for Federer, he was one of the greatest of all time. He had an extraordinary impact, but I’ve never been close to him.”
Novak Djokovic also denied being friends with Nadal prior to having success against him on the court.
“No. Nadal is only a year older than me, we are both Geminis, at the beginning we even went to dinner together, twice,” Djokovic added. “But even with him friendship is impossible. I have always respected and greatly admired him.
“Thanks to him and Federer, I grew up and became who I am. This will unite us forever, therefore I feel gratitude towards them. Nadal is a part of my life, in the last fifteen years I have seen more of him than my mother.”
Federer is now retired while Nadal's career also looks to be winding down soon. Perhaps we may see a friendship develop between the Big Three once their careers are all said and done?