When it comes to tennis, there are lot of names that stand out as great players, but very few that are viewed as the best of the best.
Without a doubt, Novak Djokovic would be in the ‘best of the best’ category.
The Serbian stallion turned pro in 2003 and never looked back, eventually being regarded as one of the greatest to ever play the game.
He has accomplished basically everything one can in the sport, and has engaged in some of the greatest rivalries in the history of tennis, most notably against Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
His battles with Federer began in 2006 at the Monte-Carlo Masters, in which he had an impressive showing but came up short.
It took three more losses to Federer before Djokovic finally beat him in the Canadian Open in 2007.
Their most recent showdown was at the Australian Open in 2016, where Djokovic did get the win, and now leads the series overall 23-22.
Djokovic also leads in his rivalry with Nadal, which also started in 2006 at the Roland Garros.
They most recently squared off last year in Madrid, in which Nadal defeated Djokovic for the first time since the Roland Garros in 2014.
While it is evident that they respect one another, Djokovic spoke in an interview with the Express that he doesn’t want friendship with either of his biggest rivals in the game.
He claims there are no ‘issues’ between himself and Federer, but would not even consider calling him or Nadal close friends.
Djokovic is currently trying to recover his best form after having to sit out of the second half of 2017 with an elbow injury.
He returned for the Australian Open in January, but was forced to retire early after requiring further surgery on the problem.
He has since been asked why he is never spotted with other top players during his time away from the court.
Djokovic further stated it would not make sense to be close friends with any of the players on tour because of how much is at stake with each match they play.
“We should first define what’s friendship,” Djokovic told Russian outlet Novosti.
“I think that the most important thing is that the relationship is fair and respectful.
“We play big matches with much money at stake in the biggest events because of this I don’t see enough space for an honest friendship.
“I think it’s enough for us to have a correct relationship and respect each other.”
However, Djokovic says he does respect Nadal and Andy Murray because he is part of their generation.
“I never had issues with Roger,” Djokovic added.
“I feel maximum respect for him because he had a great influence on all of us and tennis in general.
“With (Rafael) Nadal and (Andy) Murray we are of the same generation, we grew up together and they helped me to get where I was.
“Anyway, I don’t hate anyone, the word “hate” is not in my vocabulary.”
Fans are hoping Djokovic does make a speedy recovery to continue these great battles with his rivals.