The golden age of tennis began back in 2005, when a very young Rafael Nadal managed to beat the World number 1 Roger Federer in the semifinal of Roland Garros. Few people imagined that it was only the starter of what would be considered the greatest rivalry ever.
The Swiss and Spaniard sparked memorable battles, including Wimbledon's epic finals, the 2009 Australian Open and four at Roland Garros. It's no secret that Roger and Rafa have contributed more than any other to increasing the popularity of tennis and the number of fans.
Novak Djokovic's sudden rise broke their duopoly, with the Serbian ready to mock them and break their records. No one among the Next Gen seems ready to take up their legacy, at least until now. Well-known Daily Mail reporter Mike Dickson analyzed the future of tennis in the 'Control the Controllables' podcast.
Dickson on the Big 3
"The one thing that really shifts the dial is edgy personal rivalries, that is the kind of salt and pepper of the game. Sometimes, the men's tennis world seems like a cozy, kinda corporate mate's club, always slapping each other on the back," Dickson said.
"There should be more people competing with the attitude of 'You're trying to take the food off my table' Male players should be able to express themselves more," he went on. The Big 3 will once again be the most anticipated players at the resumption of the season, even though Roger Federer will return to the field only at the beginning of 2021.
Novak Djokovic seems intent on playing the US Open, while the impression is that Rafael Nadal will focus all his energies on Roland Garros, in an attempt to match Roger 's 20 Slams. Federer, who turns 39 in August, will miss the remainder of the 2020 season when it restarts.
He underwent surgery on his problematic right knee in February but had to have a second op when his recovery was not going to plan. Speaking to SRFSport, Federer admitted he will call time on his incredible career when his body tells him enough is enough.
He said: “It is already clear that I am at the end of my career. I cannot say what will be in two years. “That’s why I plan year after year. I’m still happy right now. But when the cogwheels don’t grip anymore, I stop.
When I am old, I will surely play tennis. But no longer train but just ‘ball’. It will be a very interesting step not to always work on something and only to play with colleagues”.