In an interview with Sports Illustrated, the former world no. 4 Tim Henman commented on what makes Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic special. The Brit said: "I think one element that isn't talked about so much is their defensive skills.
They have great weapons, they played consistently at such a high level, but it's often how well they defend and are able to stay in rallies and nullify their opponents' shots. Their athletic ability, their balance. I commentated on Nadal against Querrey, and it's phenomenal how well he moves from the back of the court.
His footwork, when he's able to stay in points. I think being a lefty, when he hits that sort of looping forehand crosscourt deep into the backhand side. They are just at a different level. People talk about the next generation..."
On the younger players' attempt to break Federer, Nadal and Djokovic dominance, Henman added: "I think everybody is aware that these three are perhaps three of the greatest male players of all time. So it's not like they're saying this is an easy opportunity, they should be stepping up and winning these titles.
That's not the case. I was saying the other day, it would be much easier to quantify if they were 100-meter sprinters. Cuz you would say, 'These three are running it in 9.5 seconds, and the rest are running at 10.5 seconds.' ... Unless they slow down or the others speed up, that gulf is not going to be breached."