Throughout history, defining who was the best tennis player has always been an impossible question to decipher and, moreover, the advent of the Big Three has made this question a difficult puzzle to explain. Fans of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have been dueling for years about who is the best in history, among them three, but at the same time it must be said that even in the past there have been great athletes such as Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Boris Becker or Ivan Lendl.
Here is a brief analysis of what the greatest champions ever lack: Mats Wilander: Mats never managed to win Wimbledon, a trophy where he never went beyond the quarterfinals. He never even won Olympic gold medals and the ATP Finals (in 1987 he lost to Ivan Lendl in the final).
Jimmy Connors: his biggest shortcoming is certainly the Roland Garros. On Parisian clay-courts he made four times the semifinal. He never managed to triumph in the Davis Cup or the Olympic Games. John McEnroe: identical failings compared to Connors even though he has a big regret at the Roland Garros 1984.
In the final he was very close to winning and was eventually beaten by Ivan Lendl. Bjorn Borg: here is a separate category: Borg certainly represents a tennis genius, but his early retirement has curbed all his ambitions. He never won at the Australian Open where he only participated once and he lost four US Open finals.
No success in the Olympic Games. Ivan Lendl: he lost two Wimbledon finals in a row, against Becker and then against Cash in 1986 and 1987. These two games represent a big regret for him. Boris Becker: his weak point was the clay-season: in fact he was unable to win even a single tournament on this surface.
Pete Sampras: dominator on grass-courts and great tennis player on hard-courts, he has always struggled at the Roland Garros where he achieved the best result with the 1996 semifinal against Kafelnikov. He never won Olympic medals.
Andre Agassi: he has won anything, the only one to have a career where he has triumphed everywhere. He won the Four Grand Slam tournaments, the ATP Finals in 1990 and the home Olympics gold medale at Atlanta 1996.
What titles are Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic missing?
Continuing the first statistics we get to today, where we can highlight what is missing from the Big Three: Novak Djokovic: his biggest shortcoming so far is the Olympic gold medal.
He has won everything and only this possibility is missing, which is also why he bitterly remembers the knockout in 2016 in Rio against Juan Martin Del Potro Rafael Nadal: injuries and the exhausted finish at the end of the year have affected his only lack.
Rafa has won everything, and only the ATP Finals are missing, a tournament where he lost twice times in the final, in 2010 and 2013. Roger Federer = His collection is enviable for anyone, we are talking about a tennis player with 20 Slams won and his only shortcoming the Olympic gold medal.
He didn't go beyond the silver medal in 2012 in London and next year this will be his big goal in Tokyo 2021. Considering all these analyzes, who among these great champions can be considered the GOAT of modern tennis?