Novak Djokovic will struggle to match the ‘perfect persona’ of Roger Federer and thus isn’t held on the same ‘pedestal’ as the Swiss maestro, according to ATP star Noah Rubin.
Djokovic, sitting on 17 Grand Slam titles, is quickly closing the gap to Roger Federer’s 20 titles and many expect the Serbian to surpass his record and potentially hold claim to the ‘Greatest of All Time’ pedigree.
But despite the race, Federer is seen as one of the most popular athletes of all time and Djokovic has never enjoyed the same fan support the Swiss maestro receives around the world.
Despite Djokovic’s on-court achievements and being a part of the ‘Big Three’, along with Rafa Nadal, the ardent support for Federer has irked him throughout his career.
Now, Rubin claims the popularity debate is more of a reflection on Federer’s ‘perfect persona’ and has been out of Djokovic’s control for quite some time.
“Over the years, whether it is because of being the fan favourite or something else, Roger Federer has created this persona,” Rubin said on the Tennis Major podcast Match Point.
“There’s some mistakes that Djokovic has made. Federer has as well but at different levels. I think at this point, they are on different pedestals.
“I do think that Djokovic has to fight what the media is saying but Federer has built this from the ground up, he has worked very hard.
“Federer was a racket-throwing 18-year-old that turned into this perfect persona, that despite making a few mistakes, has upheld those high standards.”
Rubin has previously had a dig at Djokovic after not attending an ATP Zoom meeting during the coronavirus pandemic, while he was hosting the Adria Tour.
Djokovic cops it for Adria Tour debacle
Djokovic has recently copped criticism after hosting the Adria Tour exhibition tournament during the coronavirus pandemic.
Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all tested positive for COVID-19.
The World No.1 claimed the criticism had become a ‘witch-hunt’, after players such as Nick Kyrgios blasted him for hosting the event in the first place, despite following government restrictions.