The Big 3 have been the great rulers of the men's circuit over the past decade and a half, having boosted the popularity of tennis to previously unexplored levels. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are currently paired at 20 slams each, but the Serbian phenomenon is the biggest suspect to make the extension.
In addition to winning eight of the last twelve Majors, the world number 1 has just reached the semifinal of the US Open and is aiming to complete the 'Calendar Grand Slam' Roger and Rafa are far from the glories of the past, both for physical and personal reasons.
The Swiss has just started rehabilitation after undergoing surgery on his right knee for the third time, while the Spaniard ended his season prematurely with a foot problem. In a recent interview with 'GQ', the legendary John McEnroe - who collected 155 singles and doubles trophies - expressed regret not having enjoyed his time as a player as the Big 3 did.
John McEnroe talks about Roger Federer
John McEnroe said: "Do I wish I could have loved the game as much as Roger Federer? Yeah, I don't know how he does it. It's amazing. I always looked at Jimmy Connors, and I look at Nadal now, and it's like, I wish I could try harder.
Because I thought I tried pretty hard, but compared to them, it didn't seem like I was trying hard enough. There are always things you can do better. And I wish I'd done some things differently. Ultimately, I was out there to try to win a match.
I didn't want to lose that edge. At least as I've gotten older, I think I've gotten – hopefully – better as a person. And my perspective is better." When asked about his outbursts in an interview with GQ, McEnroe said they came from the intensity he felt he had to approach big tournaments with "that would freak my opponents out"
"Everyone has a fear of failure," he said. How do you deal with that? It's changing, and I think for the better, but guys, when I grew up, if you cried, that was a sign of weakness. If there were times when I felt like I was going to lose it, because things were going so badly, it was almost easier to hide behind getting angry."
The American added: "That's not the only reason. There were times when I was genuinely angry, and other times where I overdid it. People think I did it deliberately so I could throw off my opponent. I always thought, if I go up to an umpire and tell him he sucks, that umpire's not going to give me any calls, so why would an opponent be upset about that?"