'Roger Federer, Nadal, Djokovic base the year on what...', says former No. 1

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'Roger Federer, Nadal, Djokovic base the year on what...', says former No. 1

When we talk about Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal we are certainly talking about three legends of the tennis world and three of the greatest tennis players of all time. Called as the "Big Three", they have won all 4 Grand Slam titles, have been at the top of the world rankings of the ATP circuit, have won at least one edition of the Davis Cup and together form 267 tournaments.

Talking about their records is now almost normal, they are all over 30 years old and despite this they continue to be the favorites when playing a Grand Slam tournament. Steve Flick has written a biography (Pete Sampras: Greatness Revisited, set to hit the bookshelves in September) on Sampras, whose quotes about the Big 3 were reported by TENNIS.com.

Pete Sampras spoke recently about Roger Federer and the Big 3, and how his approach made them focus more on the Slams. The American was also quoted as saying he is glad the 3 players have overtaken his Grand Slam record.

Pete Sampras on the Big 3

"I think I am a part of that," said Pete Sampras.

"I never wanted to bag on the other tournaments, but I looked at certain things as black and white, and this was a black-and-white thing. You based your year on what you did at the Majors. If I won eight tournaments and none of them were Majors, that would be a good year, but not a great year.

I was very open and honest on that. My year was measured on the Slams. The game is not all about numbers, but having a chance to end my career with the most Majors was important to me," asserted the American. "I just wanted that record of being No.

1 six years in a row so badly," said Sampras. The sheer rarity of the feat - any player would practically have only one chance to do it in their career - is what makes it so special for Sampras. "The way I looked at it, I had just this one chance to do it in 1998 and I was obsessed.

It was my one opportunity to break one of the all-time toughest records. I know how hard it is to stay at No. 1 and to do it for six straight years is a beast," Sampras further went on to say. The Big Three are the top three players of all-time in terms of Grand Slam titles won, as well as the top three players in terms of Major finals reached.

Roger Federer has reached 31 finals, Rafael Nadal 27, and Novak Djokovic 26. They are the only three male players in history to win eight or more singles titles at the same Grand Slam: Nadal with 12 French Open titles, Federer with eight Wimbledon titles, and Djokovic with eight Australian Open titles.

(On the women's side, Martina Navratilova won nine times at Wimbledon, while Molla Mallory won eight US Championships, a predecessor of the US Open).