Roger Federer had stood as the player with most Major titles since 2009, keeping the record for 11 years until Rafael Nadal caught him in Paris last year. Roger's final pushes at Majors came in 2017 and 2018 when he claimed three out of five Majors between two Australian Opens, increasing his tally to 20 and hoping to stay in front of Djokovic and Nadal.
Instead, the Serb and the Spaniard have been pushing hard in a previous couple of years, moving closer to the Swiss and matching him in 2020 and 2021. As we already said, Nadal's 20th Major crown came at Roland Garros last year, and Djokovic joined the party after conquering three Majors in 2021, with three legends standing on 20 trophies ahead of 2022!
Speaking about the GOAT race ahead of the last year's Australian Open, Federer was convinced that he could not keep Roger and Rafa behind for too long, especially after they shared all four Majors in 2019. After a severe knee injury and three surgeries, it's tough to expect more Major success from the 40-year-old Swiss, which leaves the door open for his greatest rivals to pass him in the years to come.
Novak is currently a safe bet, playing on a high level and winning 27 out of 28 Major matches in 2021 and barely missing a chance to pass Federer and Nadal already. Djokovic will have more chances in 2022, while the Spaniard has to overcome a severe foot injury first, struggling since the Roland Garros semi-final and wrapping up the season at the beginning of August to focus on the upcoming season.
After the Australian Open 2010, Federer had been on a steady course towards winning enough Major crowns to stay safe ahead of all the competitors that would come in the next couple of decades, although Nadal and Djokovic had other plans!
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are tied on 20 Major titles.
The Spaniard had trailed ten titles after the mentioned event in Melbourne 11 years ago, reducing the gap already in the rest of 2010 and staying on Roger's trail for all these years.
Delivering at least one Major crown in almost every season since 2005, Nadal matched Roger at the last year's Roland Garros. Novak Djokovic had to wait for a couple of years after that first Major title in Melbourne 2008, becoming the player to beat since 2011 and adding 19 trophies to his tally in the previous 11 seasons to chase and match his rivals.
Roger has won just three Major crowns after Wimbledon 2012, staying empty-handed for four years and bouncing back in 2017 and 2018 to extend his time on the throne for a couple of more years. "I think the way it's going, Rafa and Novak will win more Majors than me because they are that good.
The season they had in 2019 shows that there is more to come for them. After that knee injury in 2016, I would have taken one more Major and was able to grab three amazing ones. I had my moment and always said everything that comes after 15 was a bonus," Roger Federer said.