I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that I'm a bit of an on-off tennis fan. I thoroughly enjoy the sport, both watching and playing, but I'm afraid that I'm not very good at either. 

The playing part is self-explanatory, but when it comes to watching I generally get a bit disinterested when it's Novak Djokovic winning again. 

Of course, this had led me to miss some absolutely superb matches, most recently the 2013 French Open final. 

However, now that it's Wimbledon season again I'm back into the swing of things and it recently hit me that there are just so many fantastic players out there. 

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, the aforementioned Djokovic and, of course, Britain's own Andy Murray have all been unlucky in a sense, in that they would be dominant in the sport if the other three weren't around. 

Of course this brings great benefit to the sport and to the fans, but it must be slightly annoying for those four.

If you know me at all, you'll know that I've complained about this exact scenario in football. Manchester United and City, as well as Chelsea and, to a lesser extent Arsenal and Liverpool, have dominated English football in recent years, and it's even worse in other leagues. 

Scotland only had Celtic and Rangers until last year, when it became just Celtic. Spain have Barcelona and Real Madrid. Germany have Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. 

So having a few dominate the rest is no rare thing in the world of sport, but tennis is different. 

In tennis, it's refreshing to know that the top four are the top four (alright, five, since David Ferrer has beaten Nadal into fourth place) purely based on talent. 

There's no oil-rich billionaires making you spend your way to the number one spot, and no one perfect, 'Barcelona' style of play. 

No, Djokovic is currently the number one because he is simply the best tennis player in the world and that talent has taken him to multiple titles. 

Federer was the best for so long because no one could figure out how to beat him consistently, especially on grass. 

Nadal's aggressive style helped to overcome the Swiss maestro's reign at the top and he stayed there until Djokovic powered his way to number one. Murray is yet to break into the very top position but he could well do it, especially as he seems to be continually improving.

This could well be considered the golden age of tennis. Of course there have been other brilliant players, but rarely has there been an era when four players of such high quality have all emerged at the same time.

And even looking elsewhere from these four there are some superb players. Ferrer has done so well that he's broken into the world's top four, the gigantic Juan Martin del Potro has a fantastic style of play which allowed him to be a Grand Slam winner in 2009, and who is incredibly still only 24. 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, too, is an excellent player and a crowd favourite yet has not broken through the barrier. 

The likes of these three would likely be multiple-time Grand Slam winners in any other generation, and yet have been stopped by the top players. 

That is not to say that they won't win a Grand Slam; Del Potro has age on his side while Tsonga and Ferrer are both supremely talented. And yet it seems that Murray and Djokovic will continue to dominate, with Federer entering his 30s and Nadal's history of injury problems.

However, this is no bad thing. Despite a bit of monotony these players are excellent and will continue to serve up excellent tennis for years to come, and I'm sure they, among others, will provide many fantastic matches like they already have.

We have to look forward to matches with the same quality as those Federer-Nadal Wimbledon finals in 2007 and 2008 and the Murray-Djokovic US Open final last year. 

Perhaps some fantastic new talents will come through, too, such as Australia's Bernard Tomic. Regardless of who's winning tournaments, tennis has become one of the world's greatest spectacles. 

 

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Topics:
David Ferrer
Roger Federer
Wimbledon
Jo Wilfried Tsonga
Rafael Nadal
Tennis
Andy Murray
Juan Martin Del Potro
Novak Djokovic