that's your way of seeing Roger as the bad guy, but I heard other things from guys working for sponsors : Novak told them "see this guy : I will have kicked him off in one year".
If Novak said that, I like him even more, that's the right attitude to go after the #1.
Call it "not being afraid of him" if you want,
but that's more aggressive than "not being in awe of him" as you say with the typical vision some fans of other players have from Fed as full of conceit enjoying others bending
I'm only criticisisng Roger for what he said about Novak in 2006, which I still think was wrong from the #1 player, talking about an 18-year-old. There must be a reason why Novak got under Roger's skin so soon. That's my hypothesis.
I criticise the other players for waving a white flag when entering the court to play Roger. It was happening then. It still happens ... I don't think it's the right attitude for a top athlete. One thing is to be self-aware, another is to enter the court already defeated.
Roger wouldn't be human if he didn't enjoy that state of things. It's not his fault. It's the other players' fault. And they have paid the price, because even now, Roger is winning some matches with his name, not necessarily with his tennis.
Let's say that their story started in conflict, both with what happened in DC 2006 (I agree that Djokovic's health problems have been underrated by many ones but Djokovic admitted that he faked sometimes in that time, notably against Monfils in the US Open, it's not something which was entirely wrong)
and that way Djokovic put himself in frontal competition with him from the start.
Of course their story started in conflict: Novak was after the #1, he never tried to hide it (I miss cocky Nole
I'm sure Novak has faked in the past, same as Murray and others... I'm glad it's not happening so much now. But the way it was written about, you'd think it was the worst crime ever commited. The double standards in the tennis establishment are appalling. Just imagine what would happen if Novak said something similar about Harrison, or Tomic, or Raonic...
But I think Novak has been using the whole situation in his favour. After all, he has backed his former cockiness with his tennis. He's now #1, he's become very savvy, he's a great entertainer, he has a great personality and will be (already is) a huge asset for tennis for many years to come.