Obsession: the word that intersects the glory of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer

Limitless perfectionism and obsession (in a good way) with victory and records: is this the characteristic that distinguished the Big 3 from all the others?

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Obsession: the word that intersects the glory of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer
© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

It is now a question that is becoming like an aphorism that we will carry with us for centuries. Who is the greatest tennis player of all time between Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer?  The Big 3 have rewritten the history of tennis, I've said it over and over again to the point of nausea, as all tennis fans say, or as we media write, who live with tennis.

One of the great absentees in the first Slam of the season, the Australian Open, is undoubtedly the home idol Nick Kyrgios. The Wimbledon 2022 finalist is involved in the technical commentary of the Melbourne matches for Eurosport.

Nick was the last in chronological order to express his opinion on the Big 3 and their quest for eternal glory. "Novak is definitely the best of all time. Roger Federer is the most beautiful thing to watch, he is the most talented, he makes the game look easy, he is like the Michael Jordan of tennis.

Without Roger there would never have been a Novak or a Rafael Nadal, someone to try to capture in the statistics. He is the most complete player, even on all surfaces, because Nadal is dominant on one surface, while Novak is dominant and has been on all. I think the simple ability to put the ball wherever you want is very underrated. That's something I felt playing with him, because he could change direction with every shot he hit," analyzed Kyrgios.

The Australian has expressed its thoughts on Djokovic several times and, during its commentary, underlined that the Serbian is a tennis player without defects.

"His forehand is very solid and then with his backhand he manages to hit every shot, perhaps the best backhand that has ever been seen on a tennis court. Then his serve is also solid and he is the best returner of all times. His net play hasn't always been lethal, but it's been good enough. He is also one of the players with the best mobility," he told.

The finalist of the 2022 edition of Wimbledon continued by expressing himself on the GOAT by stating and, going unbalanced in terms of the future, he predicted Djokovic's dominance especially in the Slam.

"I think he wins at least three or four more Grand Slam tournaments. I suppose there will also be a couple more ATP 500s and Masters 1000s. Sinner beat him a couple of times in the Davis Cup and then in the ATP Finals, but until he starts to lose consecutive Slams with a couple of bad defeats for me he always comes into tournaments as the favorite.

I think Margaret Court's record is in the back of his mind. He wants to be the most awarded of all time, in fact the Olympic gold medal is also important to him. That's the crazy thing about tennis, every time you step on the court you try to improve something and I think he just likes it, he likes the process.

It's him and that's why we admire them so much and that's why I have so much respect for the Big 3 and for Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, who are so old and continue to compete and try to get better, which is a source of inspiration. They're obsessed," said Nick.

Why obsession (in a good way) is the right word

Obsession. The word used by Kyrgios is - in a good way - right. Djokovic has this obsession stuck in his head. Becoming (in reality he already is), the greatest and most successful tennis player of all time. his obsession with perfectionism is maniacal. We know this from the hundreds of interviews, anecdotes and stories that have emerged over the years. He counts everything. Training, talent, mental health, family, diet. All.

You got it right? ALL! Like him Rafael Nadal. It was not humanly possible or conceivable for a tennis player to win a Slam in singles 14 times. Nadal did it at the Roland Garros.

The Big 3
The Big 3© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

Is that enough for you? Federer is the one who holds the record for most wins at Wimbledon, the most famous and important tournament in the world. He was the first tennis player to reach 20 Majors, in men's singles. He has pursued his goal well into his 35s, persevering, achieving diabolical sporting revenge against his friend Rafael Nadal in the 2017 Australian Open final, losing Wimbledon's most epic match in 2019 against Djokovic.

Isn't STILL that enough for you? Together the Big 3 have shattered every possible record - almost - and brought tennis to enjoy unparalleled popularity. If this isn't an obsession, then explain to me what is?