If Novak said that, I like him even more, that's the right attitude to go after the #1.
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.
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.
well, I just think what happened was natural, I don't think it means that Fed expected from other players that they would bend down, that's where I disagree, I don't get what that caricatural image does come from.
For instance, Murray didn't bend down at all to Fed and gave him many problems from the start, from their very first match in Bangkok when he was 18 and then his great win in Cincy when he was just 19.
And from their first match, Fed did praise Murray a lot (the Dubai story came later and actually in that match, Fed reproached Murray not to use all of his weapons and that he could get much better, which shows the esteem he had for Murray's talent).
Djokovic in that initial time did much more than not bending down : he put himself in frontal aggression (the words I quoted and Dijana's words "the king is dead" are enough evidence imo), and well in these conditions it was natural imo that Fed, who had success AND experience (and don't forget that Federer had not had success at such a young age as Djokovic had, he had many tough years as a youngster before), would think "WTF is this young guy ?"
Add the faking matter, notably in DC against Wawrinka ...
Besides, in 2006, Fed was more impressed by Murray, as were many people in that time from what I remember. And as much as I think Djokovic is a better player than Murray and I prefer his attitude on-court, it was perfectly understandable for me since I saw both of Djokovic and Murray on court : Murray has those slice and volleys which look like a more varied and talented game than Djokovic, and when you look at a young guy, these things make impression and make you say "this guy is talented". And especially for a guy like Fed from whom people should never forget that he was brought-up in love with Becker or Edberg's game, that's what he loved and looked at in tennis, I think that people underrate that education matter a lot.
Djokovic didn't have that : in 2006 he was a promising player but didn't look like a "supreme talent", rather a hardworking new guy with a solid but not special game from Eastern Europe. In 2006 I remember that I looked at Djokovic the way I've looked at Cilic later, nothing more, I was very surprised and pleasantly by him in 2007 actually.
Then imagine Fed : you're on top of the game, and you see a young guy coming, with frontal aggression to you, faking, and not even looking greatly talented. It's natural that you look at him a little bit like a clown with a clownish family. I don't think Fed created that nickname "the Djoker".
And Fed saw it from very near, in Davis cup.
I mean : imo top-players' personalities are very often caricatured, personally I look at all that and I try to understand without caricaturing, and I think "what happened was just natural".
I like both Fed's and Djoko's personalities : although they're very different (Fed is a "direct/honest" guy for instance, Djokovic is a seducer who wants to be loved and does his best for that, both attitudes can be very nice imo), were brought-up very differently, different age, both of them are very clever imo and also have some things in common.
I think there are to many caricatures and I don't get that ugly image of a Fed wanting all other people to bend down to him, which some people have for what reason exactly apart from the fact that they see a player who has had a lot of success and has received an unbelievable appraisal (Fed has not always been number 1, no sorry for the ones who look at him like that, he has been an average player for long) ? Many players and persons say that Fed is a very down-to-earth person who talks a lot and very naturally with everybody. I have not heard anything bad about his attitude with people off-court, only nice things about such a busy guy. Do you think all other players would say that if he really looked at them with conceit ?
I also like very much Djokovic, and admire his personality because as I meant, coming from such a family, it was very hard not to become a brat. He had that clever, opened and nice look to the world which allowed him to become a good guy actually ... because that's also something I've kept from what everybody says of him, that he's a "sponge", able to imitate the others very quickly to learn new ways to do (for instance that's what his coaches said of him, and it's not surprising that he's so talented at imitating).