60 Slam in three. This is the incredible loot collected by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic from 2003 until today. Thanks to the sixth triumph at Wimbledon last Sunday, the Serbian phenomenon has hooked his eternal rivals at an altitude of 20, with the greedy opportunity to further increase the show already at the US Open.
In fact, being the youngest of the Big 3, the number 1 in the world still seems to have a margin in the coming years, while the same cannot be said for the Swiss and the Spanish. At the age of 40, King Roger now seems close to swan song, also due to the double operation on his right knee in 2020.
Rafa, for his part, remains competitive at the highest levels, but his worn out physique has need to stop frequently to avoid injuries. In a recent interview with the Times of India, 12-time Doubles Grand Slam Champion Mahesh Bhupathi praised the behavior of the Big 3 both on and off the pitch.
Bhupathi on the Big 3
"Off court, his (Roger Federer) warm and friendly demeanor with his fans pretty much extended to the locker room as well," Mahesh Bhupathi said. "There was no player or coach or locker-room staff he wouldn’t greet or even have a chat with.
He was always one of the boys in the locker-room, cracking jokes or discussing issues the sport faced. Rafael Nadal is probably the most humble and down-to-earth champion I have ever interacted with," Bhupathi said. "The respect and courtesy he shows everyone off the court doesn’t reflect the warrior-like killer instinct he shows on it."
The 47-year-old believes the Big 3 has given tennis its best era, and reiterated that he considers himself fortunate to have witnessed the trio at their best. "Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have continued to push the bar to dizzying heights and in the process have given us the Golden Age of men’s tennis," the Indian continued.
"I for one have had a front row seat during this amazing time." In the last 18 years, the ‘Big Three’ have won 60 Grand Slam titles- which is more than 90% of the Grand Slams. Their record is splendid and what is even more astonishing is the fact that they still continue to dominate the sport.
Interestingly, Novak Djokovic is on the verge of accomplishing a Golden Slam if he manages to win the Olympic Gold and the US Open 2021 title. Will he be able to end his career with the most number of Grand Slam titles?