2022 the year of destiny for Djokovic, Nadal and Federer
by LORENZO CIOTTI | VIEW 8065
The moment of fate seems to hang over Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. If Nole participates in the 2021 Australian Open, he will have the chance to overtake the two rivals and reach 21 Slams. The Serb has already begun preparations for 2022, although it has not yet solved the mystery surrounding its participation in the ATP Cup and the Australian Open.
The number 1 in the world appears on the entry list of both events, but an official confirmation from him is expected. Djokovic has just returned from a formidable 2021, in which he touched a legendary milestone. Had he triumphed at the US Open, Nole would have become the second man in the Open Era after Rod Laver to win all four Majors in the same season.
The victories at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon still allowed him to reach Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 Slams. The 34-year-old from Belgrade also finished the year at the top of the ATP rankings for the seventh time in his career (permanently detaching Pete Sampras).
The Big 3 have dominated the ATP Tour for the past decade and a half, extending their hegemony far beyond expectations. The 2021 season has gone into the archive with the three sacred monsters paired at 20 Slams each. Novak Djokovic has been the great protagonist of the last twelve months, in which he has conquered three majors, almost touching the Grand Slam.
The situation of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both struggling with a series of physical problems, is much more complicated. The Swiss underwent knee surgery for the third time in the past year and a half, while the Spaniard returned to the pitch during the Abu Dhabi performance.
The 35-year-old Majorcan will compete in the Melbourne ATP 250 in January, hoping to reach 100% form in time for the start of the Australian Open. Rafa has only won the Happy Slam once (back in 2009), but a possible forfeit by Djokovic would increase his chances.
Alex Corretja said about this amazing race: "Rafa is not a fool, he knows very well that Novak Djokovic is still in great shape, he is the youngest of the Big 3 and has a chance to win Grand Slams on all surfaces. No doubt that Nole is the biggest suspect to prevail in this special ranking.
Being a humble and rational type, Nadal has acquired the knowledge that another player will improve his numbers. He accepted it without problems. This is what made the Big 3 great: they always tried to be the best version of themselves and they improved each other.
Rafa is 35 years old and knows perfectly well that his career is coming to an end. He can't waste time and energy thinking about others. " Now comes the moment of destiny, the year of judgment: after 2022 things will no longer be the same.