Milos Raonic suggests Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have "messed up everybody's expectations of what's normal" by being so dominant over a lengthy period of time. After being out for two years, former world No 3 Raonic returned to tennis in June and this week he competed in his third tournament since returning.
Following a Toronto Masters round-of-16 loss to Mackenzie McDonald, Raonic was asked if the level of men's tennis improved in recent years as now it's more frequent to see a player ranked outside the top-50 upsetting a seeded player.
In his answer, Raonic suggested seeing that is only surprising to some because the Big Three put abnormal standards.
Raonic: The Big 3 kind of messed up everybody's expectation of what's normal
"I think just three guys, to have three exemplary kind of legendary athletes in one sport, not even in one generation, period, but in one sport at the same time, you kind of messed with everybody's expectation (or recalibration) of what is normal, right? If you look back at a lot of tournaments, yeah, you would have the three of them playing.
Obviously, I'm talking, like, when all the three guys were taking Masters series seriously. I think, you know, we've kind of forgotten a little bit now because it's been kind of just a pure focus on Grand Slams for them for the last couple years.
When I was first on tour, it was pretty much them and Andy. Pretty much, I would say, 60%, 70% of the semifinals were them. And maybe when it came to clay, David Ferrer was kind of the guy changing things up a little bit. So, yeah, you had three guys that were there all the time and winning most of the events.
But I think you were still seeing the same kind of thing, the rotation of guys from 16 to 5 in the world, let's say, that were kind of maybe losing early in events. You know, they weren't -- like, it's not like every week the top eight seeds were all in the quarters; right? So it's quite different," Raonic said, via Sportskeeda.