Rafael Nadal is aware that this period of the season represents for him the most insidious circuit window both from a physical and technical point of view. These fast courts, mostly indoors, have never represented a rich feast to go hungry for.
Fifteen years have passed since Rafa won his last indoor tournament in Madrid in the autumn. The Spaniard, wanting to increase the dose, has never won either the Paris Masters 1000 at Bercy or the ATP finals which this year will be played in London for the last time before landing in Turin.
Despite this, Manacor's left-handed press conference statements were somewhat confident, albeit, as always, imbued with realism. Rafael Nadal is much ‘more likeable’ a character than Roger Federer, says Iga Swiatek’s coach Piotr Sierzputowski.
Sierzputowski on the Big 3
“I can see why Iga is a huge fan of Rafael Nadal,” Piotr Sierzputowski told sport.pl. “He’s a great guy, well-behaved, who always says hi, winks, smiles at you. He is never rude.
Novak Djokovic is very helpful, you can’t deny it. Roger Federer is a legend, one can’t dislike him, but he can’t be liked as much as Rafa. Roger Federer isn’t where all the players are, he disappears.
Rafa plays board games with his team, sits with other players and eats the same stuff as others. Roger has his own cook who flies with him. These details make Rafa more likeable, more human, despite being a machine on court”.
The Big Three are the top three players in terms of Grand Slam men's singles titles won, as well as the top three male players in terms of Major finals reached. Federer has reached 31 finals, Nadal 28, and Djokovic 27.
They are the only three men to win eight or more singles titles at the same Grand Slam tournament: Nadal with 13 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.) They are the only men to have won consecutive Grand Slam titles since Andre Agassi in the 1999 US Open and 2000 Australian Open, Nadal achieving this twice, Djokovic thrice, and Federer five times.
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 812 weeks (equivalent to over 15 years) as of 2 November 2020.
Federer was ranked number 1 for a record 310 weeks, Djokovic, the current number 1, for 293 weeks, and Nadal for 209 weeks. Each player has occupied the top position at the end of the year five times.