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Novak Djokovic has defended Roger Federer over claims the Swiss great enjoys preferential treatment on tour.

In an interview with French radio station RMC, Julien Benneteau, the 2014 French Open doubles champion, claimed the 20-time Grand Slam winner carried too much influence within the game.

Benneteau also voiced his belief that Federer was awarded kinder scheduling and referred to this year’s Australian Open where he played the majority of his matches during the night session.

The Frenchman also alluded to Team8 – Federer’s management company – which launched the Laver Cup and has earned the backing of Tennis Australia and the United States Tennis Association, suggesting there are conflicts of interest.

Asked for his views on the subject on Monday, after making a winning start to his ATP Finals campaign against John Isner, Djokovic said: “At the end of the day, in a way he deserves the special treatment because he’s six-time champion of the Australian Open and arguably the best player ever.

“If he doesn’t have it, who is going to have it? People want to see him play on the Centre Court, and they want to see him play in showtime, the best hours, which is 7:30 at night on Rod Laver Arena.

“I really don’t see a very strong argument there. I understand Julien’s point, because sometimes it does seem that maybe certain players get more favoured year after year in certain tournaments.

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