The domination of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic has lasted for nearly two decades. The Big 3 have won 56 of the last 67 Slams played, leaving the crumbs to their rivals. Stan Wawrinka's extraordinary feat at the 2016 US Open represents the latest triumph in a Major of a player unrelated to the fabulous trio.
The Swiss Maestro still leads the all-time ranking at 20 Slam, closely followed by the Spanish (19) and the Serbian (17), who won the only Major staged so far (the Australian Open) . In a recent Tennis Channel interview, the World number 1 described his relationship with Federer and Nadal, based on mutual respect that goes beyond rivalry on the court.
Djokovic: 'Federer and Nadal are legends'
"What Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are doing is epic. Both of them are legends. They do inspire me and I have said this a million times. They made me the player I am today and they still continue to inspire and motivate me to be even better" - the 17 time Grand Slam champion said.
"I think theses rivalries that we have had over the years are great and have been a great promotion to our sport. They are good for tennis in general and also for the upcoming generation," Novak Djokovic added. "Hopefully we give a positive example and inspire the younger guys to be the best they can possibly be."
The Serbian champion also talked about how he is chasing the Slam record: "I like to have my long-term goals and be devoted to them, but at the same time I want my daily routine, my weekly routine, my goals for a season to be well-defined.
I need this balance to understand what is best for me and my team. I love this sport and I'm very passionate and devoted to it. As long as I have the passion and the flair in me I am going to keep going." The “GOAT” (greatest of all time) debate in men's tennis has divided opinions in the last decade and still remains a h*t topic as the triumvirate continue to dominate the field, sharing the last 13 Grand Slam titles among them.
Meanwhile, the Unites States Tennis Association (USTA) announced this week that the U.S. Open would go ahead at the end of August without fans (and media) and with strict health protocols in place.