Djokovic defends Federer following claims of preferential treatment

Updated: 26/11/2022

Novak Djokovic has spoken out in defence of rival Roger Federer, over claims that the 20-time Grand Slam winner gets preferential treatment at major tournaments. A debate has formed over the last few days, following claims by doubles champion Julien Benneteau, that Federer is often given a kinder schedule than many of his opponents.

Roger Federer is perhaps the greatest player to ever grace the game of tennis. The 37-year-old has received high praise over the last few years for steps that he has taken to extended his playing career; however, Federer is not without his critics.

Earlier this week, French tennis star Julien Benneteau accused the Australian Open of granting Federer a kinder schedule, pointing out that many of the Swiss Maestro's matches were played during the night session, allowing for more time to rest between games. Benneteau also suggested that there was a conflict of interest with Federer's management company Team 8 and their links to the Laver Cup.

Federer is yet to comment on these accusations of preferential treatment; however, Novak Djokovic shared his thoughts on the situation, following his ATP Final victory over John Isner yesterday.

“At the end of the day, in a way he deserves the special treatment because he's six-time champion of the Australian Open and arguably the best player ever.” said Djokovic. “If he doesn't have it, who is going to have it? People want to see him play on the Centre Court, and they want to see him play in showtime, the best hours, which is 7:30 at night on Rod Laver Arena.

“I really don't see a very strong argument there. I understand Julien's point, because sometimes it does seem that maybe certain players get more favoured year after year in certain tournaments.

He added: “Again, on the other side, you have to understand that also Federer is a driving force of tennis in terms of revenue, in terms of attention, in terms of all these different things.

“Julien and guys like him are also benefiting from tennis, because of Roger, because of what he has done for the sport.”

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