Roger Federer insisted that he has buried the hatchet with fellow superstar Novak Djokovic despite the two having been involved in a number of disputes.
Federer and Djokovic will meet for the 27th time in the Wimbledon semi-finals tomorrow,the latest chapter in a sometimes stormy,often thrilling six-year rivalry.
The Swiss star,a six-time Wimbledon winner,will face the defending champion for the first time on grass,but it’s their earlier history which has often added spice to their duels.
Federer admitted yesterday that his opinion of Djokovic hit a new low in 2006 when Switzerland and Serbia met in the Davis Cup.
Djokovic beat Stanislas Wawrinka in five sets,but he infuriated Federer for his regular summoning of the trainer.
The Swiss great dismissed the Serb as a ‘joke’,claiming Djokovic was abusing the rules.
Federer once also criticised Djokovic’s parents at Monte Carlo,claiming their support of their son was too enthusiastic.
But six years on from the infamous Davis Cup clash,Federer insists that the pair now enjoy a cordial relationship.
“I was just upset at him calling the trainer out for no obvious reason against my buddy,Stan,in a five setter,” said
Federer,who reached a record 32nd Grand Slam semi-final yesterday with a 6-1,6-2,6-2 win over Mikhail Youzhny.
“That was it. We had a quick chat about it in Madrid after that,and things are cool since a long time between me and him. I’ve always respected him.
“Have I gone out for dinner with him? No. But we have had many meetings at the players council,and then now with the Grand Slams. He’s been nice to work with.
“We’ve met on several occasions because of other things together. I have no issues with him,and I hope you believe me.”
Djokovic,meanwhile,made the semi-finals with a 6-4,6-1,6-4 win over Germany’s Florian Mayer and insisted that he has nothing but respect for Federer,the 16-time Grand Slam winner.
“He’s rated probably as the best player in history. He has won everything that a tennis player can win and he’s coming back for more. He has a lot of respect from me,from all the players. There is no question about it,” said the world number one.
“But we are all rivals,we are all opponents. I don’t think about his history or his success or whatever too much when I’m on the court. I just want to win that match.”