For a decade, the Big Four remained the impenetrable wall. Except for Juan Martin Del Potro at the 2009 US Open, no one had managed to intimidate them during their long reign. Marat Safin’s name isn’t worth mentioning as he petered out once Roger Federer established his dominance; for long, until 2014, the Grand Slam tournaments had been predictable, but not monotonous all the same.
Stan Wawrinka’s Australian Open win in 2014 was a real game-changer. Along came Marin Cilic, who shocked us all when he walked away with the US Open crown last year. Wawrinka was deemed a One-Slam wonder, but his French Open win proved that the Big Four fortress can be infiltrated, if not destructed. The 2014 Cilic-Nishikori US Open final was the least popular Grand Slam final of the season, and owing to the inconsistency of both the players, their disruption of the pattern didn’t qualify to be regarded a paradigm shift in tennis.
Cilic came pretty close to proving that his win wasn’t a fluke by making it to the semi-final at Flushing Meadows this year, only to give up to his injured foot and of course a deft Djokovic. The 2014 and 2015 season, we heard relatively less about the oft-repeated term -- the Big Four.
Does that mean the term has become obsolete? No. Wawrinka’s two Grand Slam win in 18 months is quite an achievement, but it was neither him nor Cilic that cloaked the Big Four, instead, it was Novak Djokovic’s phenomenal dominance and Rafael Nadal’s downswing. Talking about Djokovic, his three titles from four Grand Slam finals say it all; 2015 belonged to the killing machine Serbinator.
Djokovic has further upped his dominance against the other three, making them appear less significant when compared with him.