Novak Djokovic's father in bizarre swipe at 'jealous' Roger Federer

Novak Djokovic's rivalry with Roger Federer is already legendary, but the Serb's father has now made it personal.

Srdan Djokovic has taken a bizarre and unprovoked attack on the 20-time grand slam champion, who he claims has always been jealous of his son's ability.

‘DISGRACEFUL’: Djokovic video puts Australian Open fans to shame

Federer is the current men's grand slam record holder, but with 17 titles to his name and age on his side, Djokovic is widely backed to eventually surpass the 38-year-old.

Rafael Nadal sits second with 19 major titles and the pair are generally regarded as the most popular male players on the planet.

Tennis pundits have often suggested that Djokovic gets infuriated as well as galvanised by overwhelming support for Federer and Nadal when he locks horns with them, but the 32-year-old from Belgrade offered a different view.

Nadal and Federer have often enjoyed more support than Djokovic from fans. Pic: Getty

“I've read a lot of stuff suggesting that I am disliked but I really don't have that impression, especially off-court,” Djokovic told a news conference at his tennis academy in the Serbian capital.

“Even if that was true, why would I want to add fuel to the fire?

“I don't want to stir up negative emotions. I have no ill feelings for people who don't support me. Having said that, I am not proud of my occasional reactions on the court as my passion gets the better of my self-control at times.

“I will always admit that I do make mistakes and I always try to learn from them. You reap what you sow and it is never my intention to generate bad energy.”

Djokovic's comments come in stark contrast to his father Srdan, who has decided to take aim at Federer's "humanity" during a stunning attack on the Swiss ace.

"Federer has been jealous of Novak from the moment he made his breakthrough because he knew that my son was better than him and that he would tower over him,” Srdan told Serbian newspaper Novosti.

Novak Djokovic is three major titles off Roger Federer's record haul of 20. Pic: Getty

"Federer is an outstanding tennis player, but I couldn't say that about his humanity.”

The younger Djokovic says that while he has no ill feelings towards Federer or Nadal, it is awkward sharing a locker room with his fierce rivals.

“We mostly avoid each other,” Djokovic said.

“Locker rooms aren’t that big everywhere, so we sometimes hide behind our lockers or something like that.

“Sometimes we take shower cabins next to each other, but we don’t look.

“It’s a bit uncomfortable, we are in awkward situations there with our team, huge emotions are on the line.”

Djokovic admits lack of support at times

Djokovic conceded that there were places where he has less support than in others.

“It is a fact that most fans support Federer and Nadal against me but that's due to what they represent in world tennis,” he added.

“It doesn't mean that fans hate me and it certainly doesn't mean that I need to turn Serbia against the rest of the world just because fewer people support me in grand slam finals.”

Novak Djokovic claimed his 17th major title by winning the 2020 Australian Open. Pic: Getty

Djokovic won his 17th overall major honour last month at his favourite hunting ground in Melbourne, where he captured his eighth Australian Open title amid vocal support from local Serb expatriates.

The atmosphere was in stark contrast to last year's Wimbledon final, where Djokovic forced Federer into submission after five dramatic sets despite raucous fan support for the Swiss maestro, who has won a record 20 grand slam titles.

Djokovic revealed how he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the face of adversity.

“When they chanted 'Roger, Roger' I willed myself into believing they were chanting 'Novak, Novak',” he said.

“Sometimes it does give me an impetus. But honestly, I do prefer having the crowd on my side.

“Where would you rather be, in a place where 10,000 fans are with you or against you?”

with Reuters