Ten years ago the situation in world tennis was the following: Roger Federer could boast 16 Grand Slams. Rafael Nadal was at 9, Novak Djokovic had won only one. In ten years, therefore, the Spaniard recovered and equalized the Swiss record.
An average of one Grand Slam per year more than the Swiss, who had started before the other two rivals to ring the Majors, as the Slams are called. We understand how the descending parable of the Swiss begins, forced to face growing rivals (then the episodic blows of Wawrinka, Murray and Del Potro will also happen): in 2011 Djokovic is the protagonist, who rises to 4 Slam.
But Nadal, thanks to the safe Roland Garros, always takes at least one step. Basically it's Federer who doesn't hit anymore, and Nadal / Djokovic are trying to get back in the current. Then, however, the Spaniard loses two years due to injuries (2015 and 2016), and Federer takes advantage of it, until 2018 when he obtains the last Grand Slam and stops at 20.
Nadal retraces his steps and, in the last three years, returns below the record. Equalized in the right place at the right time: 100 wins in Paris, 13 Roland Garros and 20 Grand Slams. Like the Swiss. Now the remuntada is up to Djokovic.
The games are always open and the annals are all to be written. Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet & Gilles Simon recently spoke about the 'Big 3' on Twitch. Gasquet also revealed that him defeating a 13-year-old Rafael Nadal is still fresh in the French public's memory.
Monfils on Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic
"We have the three best players of all time who have played the 15 years that we have played. It was not easy to be compared to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. We were 5-6-7th.
We all pushed our tennis to the maximum of what we could at one point. We don't have to be ashamed of what we did," Tsonga said. The French public has often lamented their star players' inability to challenge Rafael Nadal, and the fact that a Frenchman hasn't won Roland Garros in the last 37 years.
But Gael Monfils was quick to defend his countrymen, pointing out that Roger Federer, for all his greatness, has only won the French Open once in his career. "Why didn't the French win Roland? Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, tennis legends, they won it only once. This is completely crazy. We are far from being Roger and he won it once," Monfils remarked.