The Big Three Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have a goal: top be better the other two. The debate over whether to review the scoring system of grand slam tournaments and align all circuit competitions to the best of three sets is bound to divide the world of tennis.
One day perhaps we will choose to go in that direction, however the road that could lead to taking this revolutionary path appears tortuous and above all not very justifiable at the moment. Speaking of best-of-five-set matches, it's interesting to browse through the statistics and analyze the performance of the great protagonists of contemporary tennis when they were forced to face the dreaded fifth set.
Obviously the calculation between the won and lost matches of the big three is positive for each of them, however some ideas are very interesting and help us to retrace some of the most beautiful and at the same time dramatic moments in the recent history of this sport.
Novak Djokovic proved to be the most efficient tennis player among the three phenomena in the final yield in this special and exclusive ranking. His balance sheet is indeed extraordinary: 32 victories against only 10 defeats in the fifth set for the current world number one.
Novak Djokovic at the 5th set
An authentic long-distance specialist, capable of exalting himself like few others in moments of maximum effort. As the statistics remind us, the first game played in five sets by the Serbian ended with a defeat, remedied against the Belgian Olivier Rochus in 2005 in a Davis Cup match, while the last match that the Serbian played in five sets is very recent and it is the semifinal of Roland Garros this year, where the Belgrade champion defeated the Greek Tsitsipas in a very expensive match from a mental point of view.
One last relevant and at the same time curious statistic that has Nole as its protagonist concerns his great ability not to miss opportunities when he manages to conquer the first game halves. The 17-time slam champion has in fact lost only one game when he was leading 2 sets to zero and it happened at Roland Garros ten years ago, when he was ousted from the tournament at the hands of a brave and never defeated Jurgen Melzer.
To conclude, it is necessary to add the balance to the fifth of Nole's great rivals, namely Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer. The left-handed from Manacor proved to be much better performing than the Swiss in this special ranking, even if the matches played by the Spanish champion in the decisive set were significantly lower, namely 34.
Specifically, Rafa has achieved 22 wins against 12 defeats, while the Basel tennis player has totaled 32 wins out of 55 long-distance matches. As in the case of Nole, the Majorcan also came out defeated only on one occasion from a game in which he was leading by two sets to zero and it happened in New York against our Fabio Fognini.