Roger Federer has scolded a reporter for asking a "stupid question" after it was suggested Novak Djokovic does not have the rivals the former world number one had.
Roger Federer has scolded a reporter for asking a "stupid question" after it was suggested Novak Djokovic will face no great opponents in the future.
Federer was speaking after his 6-1 6-2 3-6 6-3 loss to world number one and defending champion Djokovic in Thursday's Australian Open semi-final.
It was put to the 17-time grand slam champion that Djokovic will "face no great opponents" worthy of Federer's rivalry with Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and the Serbian.
And while it may appear to some that the way is clear for Djokovic to continue his dominance of the sport, Federer did not take kindly to the question, particularly given fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka and Croatian Marin Cilic have both won grand slams in the last two years.
Canadian Milos Raonic will face Murray in the other semi-final on Friday, while Kei Nishikori has also reached a slam final, losing to Cilic at the US Open in 2014.
"You have to be careful how you phrase a question," Federer said.
"You don't want to be rude to the other players because you have to face them [in news conferences].
"I don't have to face them. I don't ask them stupid questions like that.
"I think there are a lot of good players on the tour. I'll tell you that. I think it's hard to keep up that level of play. What he's been doing is amazing. I was very happy how I've been able to keep up my level. Is it better or not? I don't know.
"I think we're both, all of us, with Rafa, Novak, me, Murray, you name it, Stan, we're all very happy with our careers. Of course, you can argue all these cases.
"We're trying our best, you know, everybody. I think we'll all walk away very happy that we were as successful as we were."