Serbian tennis legend Radmilo Armenulić has accused Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer of being 'vicious to Novak Djokovic, who he says is nothing but a 'gentleman' towards them.
Armenulić is a hugely respected figure in Balkan tennis having captained the Serbian Davis Cup team as well as coaching numerous players from the region, including former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic.
And, according to him, Nadal and Federer not only fail to give Djokovic the respect he deserves, but actively try to undermine his status in the game.
"What happened at the US Open (when Novak Djokovic was defaulted for accidentally hitting a line-judge) is a scandal," Armenulić told Alo.rs.
"I’ve looked at dozens of worse cases for which players haven’t even been warned, let alone punished.
"The big players are involved in that [to make sure] that Roger Federer stays first, so that Novak doesn't accidentally overtake him. Sponsors are also involved.
"It is telling to me that none of Djokovic's opponents reacted after the disqualification, no one commented.
"Novak Djokovic is a gentleman, he immediately admitted guilt in order to calm his passions.
"I have never heard him criticize Roger and Rafa in his statements, but they seem vicious [toward him]."
Djokovic recently lost the French Open final to Nadal, leaving him three Grand Slam titles behind both the Spaniard and Roger Federer.
However, he does hold many other records over them, including most Masters-level wins, and is expected to pass Federer for total weeks spent at word number one next year.
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