World No 1 Novak Djokovic says he has “huge respect” for Andy Murray and jokingly admitted he still remembers the Briton “kicking his a–” during their junior match 25 years ago. Djokovic and Murray, who created one of the best rivalries on the ATP Tour in the 21st, have met numerous times on the biggest stage.
Stunningly, Djokovic and Murray haven’t played against each other since meeting in the 2017 Doha final. Last year, Djokovic and Murray were scheduled to play in Madrid but the Briton suffered food poisoning just before the match and had to withdraw.
Djokovic and Murray maybe haven’t met in years but the Serb still deeply respects the Briton.
Djokovic on Murray: Huge respect for him
“It’s not guaranteed that we’re going to meet, but off the court we meet, but on the court we both need to win two matches.
I mean, huge respect to him. Andy and I go back a long time, I think since we were 11 or 12 years old. That’s the first time we met, first time we played against each other. He kicked my a– – sorry for my language – at that time.
Ever since then we kind of followed each other on the journey to become professional players. We didn’t have much separation in terms of results, in terms of time. Maybe I broke through to the top five earlier than he did, but we were very close always
He’s got so much talent, incredible grit, incredible mentality of a champion, of a fighter. What is happening now this year with his match points saved in literally every match he plays, the amount of hours he spent on the court since the beginning of the year, particularly in Australia, is just something you must admire and say ‘Chapeau’ because of everything he has gone through with his him,” Djokovic said, per Sportskeeda.
This week, Djokovic is returning to action in Dubai. Murray, who was awarded a main draw wildcard into Dubai, was forced to withdraw from the tournament. For at least one more week, we won’t see a Djokovic and Murray match.