Novak Djokovic shares hopes for his tennis send-off amid Federer's farewell

Tel Aviv, Israel - Novak Djokovic wants to replicate Roger Federer's emotional farewell by having all his tennis rivals present when he brings down the curtain on his own career.

Novak Djokovic says he hopes his retirement from tennis will be as "emotional" as Roger Federer's.
Novak Djokovic says he hopes his retirement from tennis will be as "emotional" as Roger Federer's.  © Collage: REUTERS

Federer played his final top-level tennis match in last week's Laver Cup when partnering long-time rival and friend Rafael Nadal in the doubles competition.

Djokovic and Andy Murray, two of Federer's other great adversaries, were also part of the 41-year-old's side at London's O2 Arena.

Despite boasting an all-star cast of talent, Team Europe fell to a first ever defeat against Team World, yet it was Federer's teary send-off that made the headlines.

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And Djokovic, who has no current plans to retire, would like to share a similar moment at the end of his playing days.

"It was just a very touching, very emotional moment," Djokovic told reporters on Wednesday ahead of Thursday's last-16 match against Pablo Andujar at the Tel Aviv Open.

"Seeing his kids and his family, it got me emotional as well. I also must say I was thinking about how it would look for me when I say goodbye to tennis."

"There is definitely one thing that I will wish to have, other than, of course, my family and the close people in my life, I would love to have my biggest rivals and competitors there."

"Because it added something more special; it added more importance to that moment."

Djokovic sees Rafael Nadal as his biggest rival

Federer retires as a 20-time grand slam winner – one fewer major title than Djokovic, who is himself one behind men's record holder Nadal.

With Federer now out of the picture, Djokovic says Nadal remains his biggest rival on the court.

"We played the most matches against each other of any other rivalry in the history of tennis," he said. "The rivalry is very special and keeps going."

Team Europe's Roger Federer (l.), Rafael Nadal (c.), and Novak Djokovic are pictured together during the 2022 Laver Cup.
Team Europe's Roger Federer (l.), Rafael Nadal (c.), and Novak Djokovic are pictured together during the 2022 Laver Cup.  © REUTERS

"Hopefully, we'll get a chance to play against each other more times. Because it's exciting for us and also for tennis fans and sport fans around the world."

Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS

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