One of the most exciting challenges that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will face in the coming years as professional tennis players is to become the first player of the Open era able to win all Grand Slams more than once.
And it is necessary to specify before the Open era because before it started, there were two heroes who achieved this feat. Rod Laver managed to do this by mixing his amateur career with the early steps of the Open era, winning twice at Roland Garros and the US Open (1962 and 1969), the two major tournaments that cost him the most and in which he accumulated the least number of titles.
The Australian won every Grand Slam in 1969, but was unable to win them all again after that season. His compatriot Roy Emerson did too, winning for the second time at Roland Garros when he was already 31 years old. But from there, the absolute emptiness.
André Agassi tried but only added one title to Wimbledon (1992) and Roland Garros (1999). After winning in Paris he failed to make it to the quarter-finals while in London he played the final in 1999, where he lost to Pete Sampras.
It goes without saying that this and other legendary names in tennis history, such as Bjorn Borg or Ivan Lendl, could not even reign in all Grand Slam tournaments. Leander Paes showered a slew of compliments on Rafael Nadal after his record-extending 13th Roland Garros title.
Paes praised Djokovic and Federer as well, claiming he has tremendous respect for the top three players in the world.
Paes on Rafael Nadal's unreal success at Roland Garros
"I have tremendous respect for the top three players in tennis in the world," Leander Paes told India Ahead News.
"Roger Federer has 20 grand slams wins and suddenly Nadal comes around and equals that," the Indian international went on. "The next conversation is if he going to better that at next year’s French Open," said Paes.
"And it’s pretty hard to see anybody beating Rafael Nadal on clay at the moment. He’s so invincible, winning 13 French Open titles at Roland Garros." Federer ($106 million) amassed more in annual pre-tax earnings than Cristiano Ronaldo ($105 million), Lionel Messi ($104 million), Neymar ($95.5 million), and LeBron James ($88.2 million).
This year has also seen the emergence of a new star in the women’s game. Naomi Osaka won her maiden Grand Slam title back in 2018 against Serena Williams. She added to this by winning the Australian Open in 2019 and then winning the US Open again in 2020.
This increased profile and success at the age of just 23 has seen her become earmarked as the next big thing in women’s tennis. Therefore, she has this year pipped the great Serena Williams to become the highest paid female player in terms of income from tournaments and endorsements.