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I think with this parent jab, the fight between Federer and Djokovic has become personal and will get ugly. Sounds like fun.

Posted by tennisplanet on April 29, 2008

If you are a 20-year old and your parents are publicly ridiculed by none other than your biggest rival on the tour, it’s more than challenging your manhood. I think this was the classic ‘gloves are coming off’ moment for the two of them.

Federer may not have meant it to be that way and heat of the moment probably swayed him to spontaneously say what he did “Keep quiet, OK’, but based on what we have seen of Djokovic and his family this will be taken very seriously, initiating a response both on and off the court that may not be pretty.

You think Djokovic will look for even the slightest of opportunity to shout back at Federer’s parents? You bet!!!!! You can take insult to yourself, but anything directed at your parents is crossing the line. Sampras was furious when it spilled over to his wife. She was being blamed for the decline in Sampras’s game in the last two years. That was big part of the reason Sampras wanted to win another Grand Slam and shut these people up.

If you have ever been in a situation like this, you will instantly know how infuriating it can be. And if you are young and restless and in your early twenties, it further exacerbates the degree of pain and humiliation.

Each of us have an extra gear, no matter at what level we are operating on currently. Of course, you all have a few more than that, considering how active you are. Remember Sampras operating at a level that got him to No. 6 in the world and he felt rather comfortable there? He stayed with that pace for a while and may have remained there forever if not for that 1992 US Open finals against Edberg which he lost in four sets.

Sampras confessed that to be a turning point in his career and the rest is like they say history. The turning point in the life of successful people usually come when they face a calamity or go through extremely trying times. That’s the time they are introduced to their real self and discover abilities and talents that lay dormant all those years.

Is this one of those times for Djokovic? Will this be enough for him to work even harder to get even on the court? Like they say, it’s not how good we are, it’s how bad we want it that determines our final destination. Will the motivation to avenge his parents humiliation trump his desire to be No. 1, to dethrone Federer from his perch?

This has to be the first time in the history of the sport that a player has publicly asked opponent’s parents to zip it. Based on the previous infractions from Djokovic’s parents it does not seem too surprising. Nevertheless it does not have a precedent.

Will this turn into an open war between the two players upstaging even McEnroe-Connors bickerings? That should add another interesting twist to the saga, don’t you think? Now, if we can somehow get both moms on Jerry Springer show, tennis will once again become a mainstream sport.

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15 Responses to “I think with this parent jab, the fight between Federer and Djokovic has become personal and will get ugly. Sounds like fun.”

  1. Rock said

    “Like they say, it’s not how good we are, it’s how bad we want it that determines our final destination”.

    Very true and we all know how badly Nole wants to be the number 1 in mens tennis.

    I doubt this latest incident adds any fire to their ongoing dislike against each other. But boy, if this is the sort of thing that’s been missing for quite sometime in mens tennis, to bring the best game out of these two chaps, then I guess Nole is game for it and everytime they meet should turn into a blockbuster face-off.

  2. sceral said

    TP. I think you are reading more than there was meant by Fed in his remark. I think there were no hidden messages. It was stated matter-of-factly and was meant this way. Djok’s parents are disgrace to tennis anyway and their skins are sooo thick, it takes more than a polite(in my opinion)reminder to be quiet, to make them reconsider their arrogant behavior. And what was the deal of Djok repeatedly naming Fed the best player in the world in his interview? Didn’t they assume that “the king is dead ” already?

  3. qp said

    first of all, we really do not know if Federer’s “be quiet” remarks was toward Djokvic’s box. it was the commentators comments. Secondly, I do not think that Djokvic paid much attention to this if you look at the vido record. Djokvic is a very emotional guy and so if he is upset, he would probably show it. so please do not exaggevate the situation.

    Djokvic probably wants to win all the matches with Federer, which probably lots of other players (but could not make it most of time) want to do too because the headline would be: xxx stunned Roger Federer (again)…. But that he retired when he was losing with an excuse of sore throat is beyond rediculousness.

  4. k7 said

    However, I don’t think it would add anything like the fight they have on NHL. That would increase viewership.

  5. Sarah said

    Roger yelled at Novak’s parents out of sheer frustration – which was totally out of character. I don’t anticipate Novak turning this into some kind of war. Novak is aware of Roger popularity (which is why he is so jealous of Roger). Novak has tried to tone it down a bit. And I think he will TRY and keep his battles with Roger on the court. I think he is a smart player and to go after Roger’s parent would not be in his best interest.

  6. GG said

    Federer’s parents have never and would never behave like Djokovic’s parent have. They have manners and respect and they keep quiet both on and off the court. They have never bragged or boasted about Roger. So Djokovic will never be able to say anything to them to get his revenge, as you put it., TP.
    I pray that what you have stated above will not ever happen.
    As for Roger, he did what he had to do and in a nice way. He wasn’t ugly – just said be quiet, OK. If he was being disturbed he had the right to ask them to be quiet. He should have never even had to say anything to them because they should have had enough respect for the game to be quiet in the first place. The umpire asks the crowd to be quiet all the time during tennis matches. Aren’t they in the crowd and shouldn’t they have the same rules as the crowd? YES, they should!!! The umpire should have said something to Djoko’s parents, as well, since he would ask the same thing of the fans.

  7. room_and_boarder said

    No precedent, you say? What about the Djokovic family, who set several precedents at the AO, and before. “The king is dead. Long life the king.” That is, the new would-be king, Djokovic. And the thumbs down signal from pere djokovic to Fed after the match?? What do you call that? So thye are exmpt from decent behaviour? And then there was all that put-down, belittling kind of commentary Djokovic made publicly at regular intervals, and the clearly misplaced comment at Montreal about hos “Federe will have to share his titles.: Wsan’t that the wrong moment, the wrong time to say that? Wouldn’that get Federer’s ire up?
    Gee, I wonder how his parents felt about that. Did they yell and shout, and have people ejected from the stadium? Did they interfere with other players and trash talk them on the court?
    Partlyl the aTP is to be blamed, for not stepping in and politely explaining to djokovic what is acceptable and what is beyond the pale.
    No matter how you look at this, the djokovic clan, including th eson,are in the wrong. They sit courtside ina box, right behind Federer, and carry on, talking loudlly, still debating the previous line call, which Fed had conceded. Then he asks them to “Be quuiet, OK?” after it had caused him to double fault. Don’t they know any better? Doesn’t Novak know any better? Isn’t he the one who was incensed with fans during a match and ina rage pinted his racquet at them, for much the same thing? Isn’t he the one who displayed rage toward the umpire for a time-warning?
    So let’s not ry to turn this around inDjokoivc’s favor. This had nothing to do with picking on his family, Actually, it is rather surprising how quiet the media is, how they don’t discuss these obvious problems, andhow even his quitting at Monte Carlo is not questioned and probed.
    But then, is there a cure for wrongheadedness, for determiend ignorance? Why do theythink they have the right to v=behave any way they want? And there was not impoliteness, no shouting. Anyone else had been in that box, it would have been perfectly reasonable for Federer to ask them to be quiet, OK?
    This is not about Djokovicc’s parents, and it shouldn’t be, just as it is not about Federer’s parents. They never gave cause for anyone to ask them to be quiet when they should have been.
    I hink that Djokovic’s parent shsould be given a spot further away from teh court, so their behaviour won’t cause problems. It’s not about them, it’s not about anything else but the two players on the court.
    Trying to justify Djokovic’s behaviour in any way, his quitting, and attributing it to an imagined “insult” to his parents, does not fly at all. Do you thnk the fans will buy that?
    Judging by the booing at Monte cArlo, and elsewhere , they don’t like this kind of behaviour.
    If Djokovic is enraged for something for which he shouldn’t be, and he coninues his behaviour, as you claim, to make him fight all the more, and be all the more obnoxious, it won’t benefit his career. Quite the opposite. And it won’t benefit him regarding other players either. He may ahve his own circle on the tour, in the locker rooms, but the majority of players will alredy have drawn their conclusions about him. And it is not helpful when specators, and your fellow players, don’t have a good opinion of you.
    Defend him as you will, but the dfese and its conclusions are incorrect and flawed. He has no special rights, and should not be allowed to have any, beyond what any player gets.

  8. Jenny said

    I think this incident has been blown out of all proportion IMO. Admittedly I was only dipping in and out of the match because we had guests. Was it really one of Novak’s parents shouting out, or could it have been one of his fans in that area? The bits I did see before the incident and on camera showed Mr & Mrs Djokovic behaving appropriately. In any event, Fed had every right to object, it was a mean spirited disruption by whoever made it. However, if Fed had identified the call as coming from Novak’s parents, I would like to believe Novak has the maturity to draw a line under it and move on, I think he will, because he’s intelligent enough to know he’ll be the only one to suffer. When Novak retired, I didn’t see any animosity towards Roger.

    TP, We don’t want our gentleman’s sport compared to anything the Springer and our Jeremy Kyle show’s ‘guests’ have to offer, some of their behaviour is more than outrageous. I can’t begin to imagine the over zealous Mrs Djokovic or the dignified Mrs Federer going down that route. Quite rightly, their sons would be horrified – in your dreams TP!! lol

  9. Colette said

    I agree with Jenny – I definitely think this has been overblown.

    I sincerely hope Nole’s parents have the sense to keep quiet on court and also let him handle the press from now on. I saw nothing from them at MC to suggest they were being obnoxious and as far as I know there have been no further unfortunate press interviews. I uess the test will come though at the next GS.

    Say what you will about him, Nole is a smart lad; he just lacks some perspective, which at 20 is not really surprising. I have never heard him say anything remotely uncomplimentary about Federer; he has just been not quite as deferential towards him as many others and this has caused some of Fed’s more ardent fans (and the media who are clearly thirsting for bad blood) to perceive insults where none were intended..

  10. Smox said

    Good reasoning is present here. From what I saw, it is very likely that Feds ‘comment’ was directed at Novaks parents, although it is not certain (they were seated at the place Fed was shouting, but its still inconclusive). If it is the issue of rivalry is than centered in motives that were driving Fed to perform such a dramatic act. You know as much as I do. What? Mama-queen proclaiming ‘Fed is deed’ routine, or maybe funnily done impersonations of ‘The Dancing Fed’? Or something maybe Novak said about not going with the white flag?

    I don’t buy it. IMO it is more a pressure induced moment of outburst coming from a man who – unlike his opponent – realizes what is at stake. If both of the players make much of it, my opinion on them both would diminish. We are not in the ‘wild ages’ anymore, when everything that was being said and done had much barring, especially considering the importance of media in the bigger picture. This is an age of ‘class’ where public figures, and sport people in general, look to get as much politically correct, if for not some other reason, than to enhance their ‘selfish’ hunger for success. That does tell of Baghdatis controversial act that caused a stir a while ago, and of Novaks and Feds toning down (in general there are/were exceptions, this alleged jab being one).

  11. MP said

    Novak will remember this slight for a very long time. I honestly think that that, along with his game being down that day, ultimately pushed him to retire. I think he is training like mad right now to take on Roger in Rome.

  12. anna said

    I think what upset Roger was the fact that whomever balked about the line call from the Djokovic box (I would guess it was Dad) did not give Roger the opportunity to check where the ball landed as he always does to see if it was in or out. He was on his way to check when someone yelled something – probably “that ball was in” I would imagine. This made Roger feel as if they were saying that he would not be honest and would not say the ball was in if it were in. This is why he said “Be Quiet”. . .and was probably thinking “I will check the line and will say it’s in if that is the case. This was all proper behavior and I don’t think it bothered Novak at all. As we know most of the players trust each other when it comes to line calls on clay. I think that’s what upset Roger the most.

  13. MMT said

    I believe the exact thing they told him was to “check the mark”, which is not AT ALL their place to say, but the gist of it is as describes above. It is true that players tend to trust each other’s opinion on clay, and as such it is expected that if the player sees the mark and was good, and it was called out, he is to either concede or replay the point. However, this is strictly between the players, and the coaches, fans, players have absolutely no bearing in this at all – in fact, often even the umpire is left out it – to say nothing of the parents.

    So, in my opinion, he was absolutely spot on in telling them, “Be quiet, okay?”, as in, “I’m going to check the mark like we always do, okay, so just keep quiet.” You’ll notice that they didn’t say anything once he requested a let, but can you imagine the gesticulations and histrionics from these unbearable people if he had seen the mark out?

    Nobody likes to be pressured into doing the right thing, even if it’s the right thing.

  14. Dee said

    Wouldn’t that be funny if ever Djokovic would tell his own box to be quiet. He might even do that as a joke. But I think Federer might be regretting for what he did.

  15. Mika said

    Haha, Dee I was just about to say the same thing. That would be sooo Djokovic.

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