Can Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic be considered the greatest tennis players in history? Numbers and records would say yes, although there are many considerations to be made, both on past tennis players and the evolution of tennis, courts, training and technology.
Yet the Swiss, the Spaniard and the Serb demonstrated and are still demonstrating that they have gone beyond the legend. The Big Three are the most successful tennis players in the Slams and the ATP Masters 1000, and in the course of their career, they wrote pages that in the future will hardly be equaled.
Their level of tennis was sensational, for different aspects and different reasons. The unparalleled beauty of Federer's tennis, The amazing power of Nadal's tennis and the mental strength of Djokovic's tennis.
There are some matches in which they reached unequaled heights, winning titles and breaking records. But it's not just this. There are matches in which Federer, Nadal and Djokovic lost, despite they played their best tennis.
Federer in 2009 came from two historical successes: the victory at the French Open (and the conquest of the Career Grand Slam) and the victory at Wimbledon. In the US Open final, he came as a favorite, also strong of the semi-final victory against Djokovic, at the end of four incredible months, with an incredible level of tennis.
In the final against Juan Martin del Potro, he lost in five sets, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-7(4), 2-6. After four simply fantastic sets, with an almost perfect level of play, Federer lost in the fifth set, ending a series of sensational triumphs.
Not to mention the final lost this year at Wimbledon, where Federer's level reached unbelievable peaks. But the victory went to Djokovic. Glory to both. Novak Djokovic expressed perhaps his best level in the semifinal of the French Open 2013 lost against Rafael Nadal.
That was one of the most intense and high-level matches of the past few years. In the last two sets, the two tennis players reached the heights of unforgettable competitive spirit, tactics, technique and mental strength. Nadal won with the final score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7(3), 9-7.
Nadal lost in 2012 the Australian Open final against Djokovic himself playing with a higher level of tennis. Despite all the weapons and the unparalleled level, Nadal lost that challenge in five sets, with the final score of 7-5, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6(5), 7-5.