Novak Djokovic missed the opportunity to complete the Grand Slam, crashing to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final. The number 1 in the world would have matched Rod Laver's historic feat in 1969, as the Australian is still the only man in the Open Era to have won the four majors in the same year.
In the event of a triumph in New York, the Serbian would also have overtaken eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to reach 21 Slams. Despite the setback at Flushing Meadows, Nole remains the main suspect to end her career with the most Grand Slam titles.
Federer has undergone three operations on his right knee, while Nadal is dealing with a serious foot injury. Both are expected to return to the field in 2022, but there cannot be too many guarantees regarding their competitiveness.
During a long interview with 'GQ Magazine' during the Laver Cup, King Roger expressed some interesting thoughts on the future of the Big 3.
Roger Federer on the Big 3
After winning his 20th Major at Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic had said that he expects himself, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal to keep fighting to add more Slams to their tally.
"It means that none of us three will stop [on 20]! That's what it means," Novak Djokovic had said with a smile on his face. Federer acknowledged that Djokovic had good intentions when saying what he said, but pointed out that the Serb may not have been fully aware of his or Nadal's physical condition.
"Well, look, he obviously was speaking for himself: he’s on adrenaline when he's saying that and he doesn't know where I am or where Rafael is. But he means well, obviously," Federer said. The 40-year-old went on to heap praise on Djokovic's season and expressed his curiosity to see what his, Nadal's and Djokovic's careers end up looking like.
"I think his year again has been phenomenal," Federer added. "And it's going to be very interesting to see, for all three of us, how our careers continue. I mean, it's amazing, to be honest, that all three of us are at 20 Grand Slams.
I feel like there were hardcourt players, claycourt players and there weren’t so many players who could play on all surfaces," Federer said. "Sure, [Bjorn] Borg did it, but things were different. Players weren't chasing one Slam after another like they are today and record after record.
Nowadays such a strategy is much more part of your career. So, yes, a new, incredible player will, I believe, break our run of 20 Grand Slams eventually – but not overnight!"