None of the Big 3 are competing in the Indian Wells Masters 1000 this week. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played very little in 2021 due to a series of physical problems. The Swiss played just 13 official matches this year before undergoing surgery on his right knee again due to a relapse.
The Spaniard was instead limited to seven tournaments by a foot problem, which affected him above all from Roland Garros onwards. The 35-year-old from Manacor tried a timid return to the hardcourt in Washington, but had to surrender to the pain.
Fans are hoping to see both again in 2022. Unlike the speech relating to Novak Djokovic, who touched the 'Calendar Grand Slam' this season. After surrendering to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final, the Serbian has never returned to the field.
The world number 1 appears in the Paris-Bercy entry list and is already qualified for the ATP Finals in Turin, but it is not excluded that he decides to remain in the pits until the next Australian Open. In the course of a recent interview with the 'Tennis365' portal, the well-known New York Times correspondent Christopher Clarey addressed the issue relating to the GOAT.
Clarey on the Big 3
“I’m not going to make a call on who is the best of all-time, but Novak Djokovic looks like he is the best player in pure results on who is the best player in this era,” began Clarey.
“In my view, it has been both a burden and a blessing for Novak to have Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal around. If he was the dominant player in tennis, he wouldn’t have become the player he is now. To have a chance to go after the great champions who were so popular and to beat them on their best surfaces was a great opportunity for him and he has seized that.
Who is the greatest of all-time in tennis? That’s a different debate. Does it come down to their performance and achievement on the court or is also about what they have brought to the sport? In that situation and with a wider lens, Roger’s argument gets stronger as he has had.
He’s had a huge impact with fans and people outside of the sport of tennis. I won’t make a call on who the greatest of all time, but Novak will win that debate on pure results”. Djokovic broke down in tears during and after his US Open final defeat against Daniil Medvedev earlier this month, as he confirmed the support he received from a New York crowd that has often been hostile to him down the years during his battles with Federer, Nadal and most rivals had warmed his heart.