For many professional athletes, it is challenging to build a friendship with another player. In many cases, rivalry gets in the way of a good friendship. But which tennis players are friends?
In this article, we take a look at eight unique friendships between top tennis players. Read on to find out which tennis players are friends!
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, two of the best players to ever grace a tennis court, are childhood friends.
They played each other for the first time when they were both eleven years old and have been friends ever since.
The pair were born just a week apart, with the Serb being exactly seven days younger than his Scottish counterpart.
Their friendship may have become less close in recent years due to their highly competitive natures and the fact that Djokovic has said he can’t be friends with his rivals.
However, the two have the utmost respect for each other and will always be fond of one another.
One of the best episodes in the Murray-Djokovic saga was at the 2016 ATP finals. The winner of the game would be world number one at the end of the year, a coveted prize indeed.
According to Djokovic, Murray emerged victorious in a match that was straight out of a movie script.
Even though their rivalry may have lessened their friendship or put it on hold, they were still close.
Murray has said that the pair spoke often and that they wouldn’t discuss tennis.
Instead, they would talk about their personal lives and their families. The Scot said he spoke to Djokovic about newly becoming a father.
From childhood friends to arch-rivals, Murray and Djokovic’s story is one for the ages.
On the tennis tour, players from the same country are often close friends.
It is not surprising; they have a common culture, way of life, and pop culture, so they would get along easier thanks to these common things.
This is the case with Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer.
The two Swiss players have produced truly incredible tennis over the years, with Federer in the debate for the best player of all time.
Wawrinka is no slouch, though, and on his day, he can play unstoppable tennis, including beating both Nadal and Djokovic in Grand Slam finals.
The two have been through a lot together and shared a lot. They have also been fierce opponents and even once had a spat on the court.
Mirka Federer, Roger’s wife, allegedly called a ball out during a point, which angered Wawrinka.
However, the pair smoothed it out and are great friends to this day.
Forever known as Switzerland’s second-best tennis player, it would be easy for Stan to be jealous of Federer, but that isn’t the case.
Wawrinka is proud of Federer, and he has said that everything they share will bind them together forever.
With only two years separating these exciting players, they basically grew up together in Canada.
They have always spoken highly of each other, both for their on the court skill and their relationship off the court.
The two play doubles together regularly for Canada in the Davis Cup and in many other tournaments on the ATP tour.
They get along very well on the court, and their friendship is evident.
They also shared a touching moment at the US Open in 2018.
The pair faced each other for a tantalizing match-up. Unfortunately, it was cut short by Auger Aliassime being forced to retire.
The younger Canadian was in pain and emotional distress and sobbed into Shapovalov’s shoulder as they shook hands.
Denis comforted him as best he could, and it was a beautiful image to see the two players embrace.
Luckily, the pair were laughing about it later the same day in their hotel, back to being great buddies.
The two of them are carrying Canadian tennis on their shoulders and still have the time to be great friends in between.
A friendship is something that cannot really be measured. Most people would be unable to pick one best friend if asked as it would be too difficult.
That is, unless you’re getting married, in which case you need to pick the best man.
For Taylor Fritz, the best man at his wedding was Reilly Opelka. Both hailing from the United States, they have one of the most genuine friendships on tour.
It is so genuine that they are still close friends even right before matches.
Indeed, Fritz revealed that before playing against each other in a quarter-final match in Atlanta, they planned to have dinner afterward and spoke to each other a lot the day before.
Even when in the elevator, they were cracking jokes for each other!
Opelka apparently doesn’t have a prankster personality, but that changes around Fritz!
They giggle together when being interviewed as a pair, and their friendship is plain to see whenever they step on a court together.
Dominic Thiem and Diego Schwartzmann may not seem like the most likely friends on the tour, as one is from Austria and the other from Argentina, but they are good friends.
When Thiem announced that he would come back from injuries at the 2022 Cordoba Open, Schwartzmann immediately said he was looking forward to welcoming Thiem.
The pair have played each other nine times over the years for some very entertaining matches.
The most recent was at Roland-Garros in 2020, in which the Argentinian emerged victorious after an epic five-set match.
However, the two friends had to suspend their friendship before that game, as Diego said in an interview jokingly.
Thiem is generally a very liked man on tour, with lots of different players looking at him as a friend, from Alexander Zverev to Andriy Rublev.
He has close friendships with all these players and even Novak Djokovic. He is a very popular player with fans and players!
Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams are two of the best tennis players this century.
Of course, Serena has dominated women’s tennis as long as she has played in it and has won more Grand Slams than anyone else, including men, with 23.
However, Wozniacki also has her own very impressive resume, having spent 71 weeks at number one throughout her career. She recently retired and played her testimonial match.
As well as being great rivals, these two are also great friends.
They spend lots of time with each other off the court and often post photos on social media at various events or just having a girl’s night together.
When Wozniacki got married, Serena was one of the bridesmaids.
When Williams defeated Wozniacki in the US Open final, it didn’t take long to be friendly again; they were having drinks together that very evening!
Serena was there when Wozniacki completed the New York Marathon. The two go to hockey matches and ice skating together.
The pair are clearly very good friends.
After a long time of women’s tennis players needing to be involved in some kind of ‘drama,’ the two are setting a lovely example of how great rivals can be great friends.
Two of the most exciting prospects in the WTA today, Iga Swiatek and Naomi Osaka, also happen to be very good friends.
In fact, Iga Swiatek may not even be a tennis player if it wasn’t for Osaka.
At a dinner they had together in Melbourne, Swiatek told Osaka that she was considering putting tennis on hold and going to college.
The Japanese player advised her not to, and two years later, Swiatek became world number one.
They didn’t immediately become friends. Both players are known to be rather shy, and both wanted to speak to each other, but neither had the courage.
Finally, they did speak, and then their friendship blossomed.
The two often speak on social media, and Osaka interviewed her for her series, where she interviews other tennis players.
They often joke around together and are there for each other when they need it.
Out of any other friendship on the list, this one is by far the most likely to be the most relevant for years to come. The pair may compete for the number one position for years to come.
These two Americans first met each other on the junior circuit. Instead of becoming rivals, the two struck up a friendship and have been friends ever since.
They have admitted that they are better friends than rivals.
When they play each other, they have some difficulty going into ‘game mode.’
Rather than being fiercely competitive, they will still encourage each other minutes before their match. However, they know that they both desperately want to win.
With two very similar career trajectories, they support each other whenever needed. They know what they have been through, which solidifies their relationship.
They also help out younger WTA players as much as possible and are a very positive influence on women’s tennis.
Hopefully, thanks to this blog, you’ve figured out which tennis players are friends.
Even though there is a lot of rivalry between all the players, close friendships have developed between some of them.
There is a good chance that more friendships will develop after players retire. There is no more rivalry at that point, and nothing stands in the way of a good friendship.