Tennis has birthed some true sporting icons. Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and Roger Federer have all graced the courts and showcased some of the finest tennis to date.
But, gone has the time when fans believed Federer would be the best the game has ever seen. Now, a certain Novak Djokovic threatens to disturb that claim.
Federer, now 34 years of age sits at number three in the world rankings while still holding the most grand slam titles with 17 to his name, including seven Wimbledon trophies. He has won every grand slam in tennis and in doing so, became a sporting legend as well as fans favourite.
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Sure, Lionel Messi is pretty good on grass. But never has anyone moved on grass as gracefully as the Swiss maestro. His style of play raved about by fans, peers and pundits alike for his suave backhand and master class in finesse, on and off the court.
A clear dominance of the sport didn't look to be coming to a halt. That was of course, until Rafael Nadal. A young Spaniard took the tennis world by storm by closely emulating Federer's career. Nadal won every grand slam and although he left the grass to Fed, he quickly became the king of clay.
Nadal is famed for his aggressive game. A stark contrast to what tennis had become accustomed to through Federer. His speedy footwork, heavy ball strokes and impressive court coverage made him the most hostile of opponents.
While 14 grand slams places the 29-year-old in joint second for most slams won, along with Pete Sampras, it is far from a disappointing tally, but an injury stricken career has seen Nadal fall off the pace and his dominance fade away. Enter - Novak Djokovic.
Ther Serbian has no trouble breaking his opponents now, but he struggled to break out of his number three ranking. That was until a couple of years ago. In 2015, Djokovic finished the season similar to Federer in 2006. He won 11 tournaments, three of which were grand slams.
Some may argue that Federer's season was the single greatest season ever. But, one could also argue the game was in a different era then and the competition was not as strong as it is now.
Tennis boasts a "big four". Undoubtedly, Roger Federer rightfully takes his place in the category, along with Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.
They say, to be the best, you have to beat the best. Well, Djokovic's head to head record against the three tennis giants is as follows - Djokovic 23 - 22 Federer, Djokovic 24 - 23 Nadal, Djokovic 21 - 9 Murray. Need any more be said?
At the age of 28, there is still more to come from this man. He is already being considered as the greatest ever half way through his career. The ball is in his court, he's young, extremely good and has proven to be even too good for Federer.
He is known for being the most well-rounded player of all time. It is a chore to pick at faults in his game. And, even if they are faults, he is still better at them than most. His returns are lethal and it is no question he is the best returner- ever. His defence is as solid as a back four in a football team and his double backhand is comfortably the best on tour at the moment.
Greatest of all time?
It is no debate that Roger Federer is one of the greatest of all time. But the looming question is whether he will remain the status as the greatest of all time.
The Djokovic dominance is far from over. His game is a class above the rest and he is virtually unplayable. As he continues to raise the bar and edge nearer his rival's all-time great title, the debate will continue between fearful Federer fans as what was once merely just a threat, is now a reality.
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