'It's easier because Roger Federer, Nadal, Djokovic are...', says former Top 10



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'It's easier because Roger Federer, Nadal, Djokovic are...', says former Top 10

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have all taken part in various initiatives over the years to promote the sport. Additionally, the Big 3 have also done their part to raise funds for several major humanitarian causes.

The Swiss and Spaniard are currently paired with 20 Grand Slam titles, after the 34-year-old Majorcan won Roland Garros for the 13th time (without giving up a single set along the way). Djokovic's season took a turnaround after his resounding disqualification at the US Open, but the world number 1 still secured the opportunity to break the all-time record of weeks at the top of the ATP rankings in March 2021.

The former Polish player Wojtek Fibak believes that Federer, Nadal, Djokovic have made a fundamental contribution to the sport in general. Fibak is a successful businessman today, but he has also achieved several awards as a professional tennis player.

The Pole clinched the doubles title at the Australian Open in 1978, as well as a brief foray into the Top 10 singles.

Fibak on the Big 3

"In my time, the leaders, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, were more selfish," Wojtek Fibak said.

"It was difficult to get them to act for the benefit of sponsors, the public or charity. Today it's definitely easier because Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are fair play icons, but also dedicated tennis ambassadors who are happy to do something to popularize their sport."

Fibak cited Roger Federer's Match for Africa series exhibition with Rafael Nadal recently as an example of their commitment to the sport. He did add, however, Bjorn Borg was an exception among the superstars of his time; the Swede was much more like the Big 3 of today.

"For example, Roger Federer's charity matches with Rafael Nadal in South Africa," Fibak went on. "In my day, only Bjorn Borg was an example of fair play and gentlemanly off the court. The proof may be his arrival by private plane, at my invitation, to the performance in Arena Poznan also with Tom Okker, where we played an exhibition match."

The trio have also often made themselves available for Kids Day events at the Grand Slams as well as other fundraising affairs, such as the Rally for Relief Bushfire Appeal earlier this year in Melbourne. Interestingly, Thiem is the only player apart from Andy Murray to have 5 career wins each against Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic.

Djokovic has lost five of his last seven matches to Thiem, and Nadal has lost 3 of his last four matches to the Austrian.