It is the end of an era for Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. In the inevitable succession of the sporting era, a decisive step was experienced during the night with the elimination of Rafa Nadal in the round of 16 of the US Open.
In the quarter-finals in Flushing Meadows Serena Williams were not present in the women's draw, and in the men's one out Roger Federer, Nole Djokovic and obviously the Majorcan. In a Grand Slam, it hasn't happened since the US Open 2003.
Slam quarters without Federer, Nadal, Djokovic
Australian Open 2003, seeded number 1 is Lleyton Hewitt, Roger Federer is number 6 but falls in the fourth round in five sets with Argentine Nalbandian. The title goes to Andre Agassi in the final with the surprising German Rainer Schuttler.
In France Roger, seeded number 5, comes out in the first round with the Peruvian Luis Horna while the tournament goes to Spain thanks to Juan Carlos Ferrero (3-0 to the Dutch Martin Verkerk), while Wimbleon Roger is given the first slam of his career by beating Mark Philippoussis 7-6 6-2 7-6.
What about Serena Williams season? Important, after 2002 which guaranteed her number 1 in the WTA rankings, and before the darkest period of her career, between 2004 and 2006. The queen of Saginaw wins in Australia both in singles and in doubles, closing the Career Grand Slam.
In France she comes out in the semifinals while beating her sister Venus, in England confirming herself as the ruler of Wimbledon. It is a piece of tennis history, like the next US Open. For Serena the injuries arrive, and the renunciation of the tournament then won by Justin Henin in the all-Belgian final with the number 1 Kim Clijsters.
In the men, a young Rafa Nadal gives in the second round to El Aynaoui, while Roger Federer, number two of the draw, bows in the fourth round again in Nalbandian, with the tournament ending in the hands of Andy Roddick. He will be the last American player to do so, and above all, since then, the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam have always hosted a great signature such as Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Nole Djokovic and Rafa Nadal. It was the beginning of a great story, which ends precisely in these hours.
• Tennis icon Legend Serena Williams built a business empire• Foresight and media appeal: how tennis legend Roger Federer became millionaire• Andy Murray shades Novak Djokovic after old footage of Serb hitting Roger Federer • Will Novak Djokovic pass Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer?• Roger Federer's first ATP win• Serena Williams' childhood coach drops major statement on American's athletic ability