During a long interview with Tennis Magazine, former German champion Michael Stich highlighted how much tennis has changed since his time, focusing on the Big 3 Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Stich said: "When I was a child, I remember that tennis was considered a fairly elite sport.
We didn't have the money to buy a nice tennis suit, but we all loved John McEnroe's headband or Bjorn Borg's bracelets. We didn't have our own racket, as the cost was high, so we swapped them. How has tennis changed compared to my times? Well, I think there is less authenticity on the part of the players today.
Fans don't just want to know who is number 1 in the world, which records have been broken and who has won the most games. People hunt for emotions. Tennis players today are quite introverted and do not bring out their character.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are three extraordinary champions, but once upon a time there was more spontaneity. In this regard, Bjorn Borg changed our sport. If social media existed, he would have had an incredible following."
The Big 3's 2021
Tennis has undergone numerous changes over the past few decades. The men's circuit has experienced the endless domination of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, three authentic legends who have rewritten the record book.
The Big 3 are currently tied with 20 Slams each, after the Serbian has closed the gap thanks to his resounding 2021. The world number 1 has in fact won three Majors this season, having even touched the Grand Slam. Should he triumph in New York, the Belgrade champion would become the second man in the Open Era after Rod Laver to win all four majors in the same year.
Federer and Nadal are going through a rather complicated moment. The Swiss is back from his third knee operation in the last 18 months, while the Spaniard has played just seven official tournaments in 2021.