Andy Murray was the first British player to reach the Wimbledon final after 35 years (first man after 76 years). With victory in the subsequent US Open, the former World number 1 broke the UK fast in Grand Slam tournaments, which lasted since Virginia Wade's victory at Wimbledon in 1977.
In the first part of an episode titled "What if the Big 3 had not existed", former French player Rodolphe Gilbert believes Andy Murray might well have been the most dominant player in the world.
Gilbert on Andy Murray
"I think that without the Big 3 of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Murray would have been at the top of the Grand Slam ranking.
He was able to compete with them for almost 10 years and even dominate the Big 3 in 2016 with notably a series of 60 victories for only 3 defeats" - Rodolphe Gilbert said. "It also cost him the rest of his career at the physical level since since Wimbledon 2017, he has been absent from the circuit.
We can't compare him to the Big 3 of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic but without the Big 3, he would have been, in my opinion, the dominant player on the circuit," added Gilbert. The Big Four, along with Rod Laver, Tony Roche and Ivan Lendl, are the only men in Open Era history to reach the semi-finals at all four Majors in a single calendar year.
Federer has achieved this a record five times in his career so far and Djokovic four times. However, this feat was accomplished many more times in the pre-Open Era. Similarly, the Big Four make up four of the seven players (along with Andre Agassi, Ken Rosewall and Ivan Lendl) to have made the semi-finals three or more times at each of the four Majors.
Additionally, the Big Four make up four of the ten players to have reached the final at each of the four Majors. Finally, prior to 2009, no man had made 20 Grand Slam singles finals, with Ivan Lendl leading the way with 19.
Djokovic and Murray have met 36 times with Djokovic leading 25–11. Murray and Roger Federer have met 25 times with Federer leading 14–11. Murray has played against Rafael Nadal on 24 occasions since 2007, with Nadal leading 17–7.