The Big 3 currently share the all-time record for Grand Slam titles, having won 20 each. Novak Djokovic was the great protagonist of 2021, in which he cleared the gap that separated him from eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The number 1 in the world has three majors on the board this year, touching the legendary 'Calendar Grand Slam' If successful at the US Open, Nole would become the second man in the Open Era after Rod Laver to win all four Grand Slams in the same season.
The Serbian was defeated by Daniil Medvedev in the final, also thanks to the tension and fatigue that hit him one step away from the finish line. The 34-year-old from Belgrade finished the year at the top of the ATP rankings for the seventh time in his career, thus detaching his idol Pete Sampras.
Federer and Nadal, for their part, had to deal with a series of physical problems. The Swiss will not return to the pitch until summer 2022, while the Spaniard will play the Abu Dhabi exhibition in mid-December. In a recent interview with MARCA, former ATP number 4 Robin Soderling spoke at length about the three sacred monsters.
Robin Soderling on the Big 3
"I'm not saying he was the best, but the most uncomfortable for my game was Roger Federer," the Swede said. "His style didn't suit my tennis." Soderling also spoke about his famous win over Rafael Nadal, who was the four-time defending champion at Roland Garros at the time.
Although the Swede played down the achievement, he admitted that the match does give him good memories. "It was a good match, but it was only a tennis match. I had several good years and I have very good memories," he said.
"The name of Roland Garros is more related to Rafa than to me. How many have you won? 12 or 13? It's that I lost count. What he has done there is incredible and will never happen again in history." Even though Robin Soderling didn’t lift a Grand Slam title in his professional career, he has achieved some great feats.
Throughout his career, he has defeated Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic. Interestingly, Soderling became the first-ever player to beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open tournament in 2009. After turning professional in 2001, the Swedish has earned 10 ATP singles titles and 1 doubles title.
Moreover, he has also reached the finals of French Open 2009 and 2010, but was unable to convert that journey into a victory.