In 2004, Roger Federer became the leader of the pack in men's tennis, winning three Major titles and leaving all the rivals far behind. A year later, a teenager, Rafael Nadal, introduced himself as the main rival of the Swiss player, raising the bar and forging one of the greatest duos in the game's history.
In 2007, Novak Djokovic entered the scene, starting to challenge Federer and Nadal for the most notable titles and conquering the ATP throne in 2011 after a brilliant season. Novak secured his spot in the top-3 after Wimbledon 2007 and the trio was ready to dominate the ATP Tour like no one before them, winning mind-blowing 56 Majors together and sharing many records that will take some beating in the future.
Thirteen years after forming the big-3, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are still among the players to beat, extending their legacy and competing on a high level way after turning 30.
Starting from the Australian Open 2017, the trio has one 13 consecutive Majors, pushing each other to the limits in the GOAT race and always drawing the best from each other.
Speaking to Tennis Channel, world no.
1 Novak Djokovic repeated once again that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are an inspiration for him, calling them the ultimate legends of our sport. Mentioning their rivalry, Djokovic believes it's a perfect example for the upcoming stars and the best way to promote the sport and its values.
Novak has been the dominant figure in the opening two months of the season before the coronavirus outbreak, claiming 18 wins from as many encounters and earning the 17th Major crown at the Australian Open, beating Dominic Thiem in an epic final.
Djokovic led Serbia towards the title at the ATP Cup and won the title in Dubai, performing for the last time before the break that will last until August. "You do look at the macro picture and the micro picture, and I like to find the balance and what works the best for me.
I love the long-term goals and be devoted to them, but at the same time, I have a daily routine and short-term goals; I also know what I want to achieve this season, together with my team. What Roger and Rafa are doing is epic; both of these guys are legends and they do inspire me, I have said that millions of times.
They made me the player I am today and they still motivate me to be even better. Our rivalry is an excellent promotion of our sport; that's good for tennis in general and the upcoming generations. We all give positive examples and inspire the younger guys always to give their best."