Tennis has always been a sport built on rivalries.
Think Bjorn Borg/John McEnroe, Chris Evert/Martina Navratilova and Pete Sampras/Andre Agassi, but few can argue the greatest rivalry of all is that of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The sheer dominance of these three men in tennis over the last two decades is staggering, and the following stats, per tennishead.net, certainly don’t lie.
- 55 of the last 66 majors have been won by the Big Three. Only Andy Murray (3), Stan Wawrinka (3), Andy Roddick, Juan Martin del Porto, Marin Cilic, and Gaston Gaudio have been able to deny them in what amounts to 16-and-a-half years of Grand Slam tennis.
- Not only have they dominated Grand Slams, but they also have a stranglehold on the Masters too, winning 56 of the last 80 titles between them.
- In fact, only 12 of the last 63 Masters 1000 finals have been contested without one of Federer, Djokovic, or Nadal involved.
- Of the last 834 weeks (16 years), Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal have spent 793 (95%) ranked world number one.
- In fact, ONLY Andy Murray has been able to keep them off the top spot. All 41 weeks that they were not at world number one, Murray was.
- Either Federer, Djokovic, or Nadal have been year-end world number one in 15 of the last 16 years. Again, Andy Murray (2016) alone has been able to deny them.
There are surely two main takeaways from the above stats: Firstly, just how this magnificent trio have managed to sustain their dominance over such a long period in possibly the most physically demanding individual sport there is.
But also, it reminds us all just how great Andy Murray has been in recent years, since he is the only player who has ever been able to at times supersede the Big Three.
Unfortunately, neither Federer nor Nadal will be adding to their Grand Slam tallies after defeats to Dominic Thiem and Djokovic in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively at the Australian Open.
Djokovic, aiming for his 17th Grand Slam title, will face Thiem or Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final after a dominant straight sets victory over Federer this morning.
The race to be the tennis ‘GOAT’ continues, with both Djokovic and Nadal hot on Federer’s heels in Grand Slam titles won.
As things stand, Federer has 20, Nadal 19, and Djokovic 16, however, the Serb, who has won six of the past nine tournaments at Melbourne Park, will be aiming to reduce the gap further on Sunday.
Almost six years younger than Federer, Djokovic could add plenty more, barring a loss of form or fitness.
His pursuit of Federer and Nadal is made even more remarkable by the fact that he won his first major in 2008, when Federer had claimed 13 and Nadal five, and only added a second three years later.
Nadal, however, is another major obstacle for Djokovic, and also a concern for Federer, he is just one behind the Swiss maestro and will be determined to tie his great rival’s record at Roland Garros in June.News Now - Sport News