Novak Djokovic, fresh off his eighth Australian Open title, indulged in a bit of fun on the sidelines of Dubai Tennis Championships on Sunday before his opening match. In an interview with the organisers, he revealed that the “Big Three” indeed have a WhatsApp group of their own.
Talking about the chase for the all-time Grand Slam record in the interview, Djokovic confirmed the existence of a common WhatsApp group with the Spaniard and the Swiss.
“WhatsApp group, yeah we do,” said Djokovic with a laugh. “We are all active, and we are not active as well.”
“When we are active, everybody responds. We got it, we get along very well, I think we know, there is tremendous respect for each other, privately and professionally. As long as this is the case, everybody benefits from that and the sport as well,” Djokovic added.
For the majority of the 21st century, the “Big Three”, namely Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer have dominated the sport, winning 56 Grand Slams between them. But despite being arch-rivals on the court, the three of them happen to share quite an amiable relationship off it. Djokovic, a 17-time Grand Slam winner didn’t reveal the name of the WhatsApp group.
Talking about friend and rival Federer, who is out till June after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, Djokovic expressed his astonishment.
“It was a surprise to hear about Federer’s injury and surgery. I knew he was struggling with an injury in the Australian Open. But I think no one knew what the injury is and how serious it is. I don’t like to see anybody going through a process of surgery,” he told the reporters.
“Roger is Roger. This sport needs him,” Djokovic added.
The three veterans of the sport have been quite supportive of each other off the court. Back in October 2019, the Serbian flew to Kazakhstan to play a match for the Rafa Nadal Foundation. Returning the favour, the 33-year-old Spaniard also played an exhibition match in Milan for Djokovic’s foundation.
Nadal also recently enjoyed a trip to South Africa for the “Match for Africa” series for the Roger Federer Foundation, while Federer was also involved in the promotion of the Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain.
“We try to help each other which is very logical. And as the days pass it’s getting better and better. I can assure now that after we retire we will still have a great relationship,” Nadal had once said.
The World No.1 will be up against Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri on Monday in a Round of 32 clash in Dubai Tennis Championships, the ATP 500 event. Djokovic is vying for his fifth title in Dubai.