First the Adria Tour own goal, with Covid cases and a thousand controversies, then the sensational expulsion from the US Open: for Novak Djokovic 2020 season - despite the triumphs on the field - is proving to be a decidedly complicated year.
Introducing himself to New York as a favorite - especially given the absence of Federer and Nadal -, Nole created a bizarre and accidental harakiri by hitting a line judge during the duel with Pablo Carreno Busta. The Serbian champion lost the opportunity to get close to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the number of Grand Slams won.
7-time Grand Slam winner Justine Henin was asked if Novak Djokovic did not get the respect that a player of his level deserves.
Henin on the Big 3
"It's very strange," Justine Henin said. "Personally, I respect the champion he is.
You can like or not his on-court personality. We are witnessing a golden age in men's tennis because of the Big 3, but also because of all the players who are coming up behind them. Novak Djokovic is different from Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, and he also broke onto the scene a little later, so we have to have the utmost respect for what he's doing in tennis."
The Big Three monopolized the top spot in the ATP men's singles rankings from 2 February 2004 to 6 November 2016 and again from 21 August 2017 to the present, for a total of 802 weeks (equivalent to over 15 years) as of 24 August 2020.
Federer was ranked number 1 for a record 310 weeks, Djokovic, the current number 1, for 283 weeks, and Nadal for 209 weeks. Each player has occupied the top position at the end of the year five times. The Big Three have played each other in 145 matches, including 69 finals.
Of all the matches, 46 have been played at Grand Slam tournaments, including 22 finals. The first match between two players of the Big Three occurred in March 2004 at the Miami Masters, where Nadal defeated Federer. Roger Federer and Djokovic first met in April 2006 at the Monte Carlo Masters.
Nadal and Djokovic first faced each other a month later at the 2006 French Open. After an unceremonious exit from the US Open, Novak Djokovic will now shift his focus to the clay-court season in Europe. Djokovic, a four-time champion here, will be attempting to win a second straight Masters 1000 title following his triumph in August at the Western & Southern Open.