Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have created an incredible rivalry over the past decade and a half. In addition to having won a total of 59 Grand Slams, the Big 3 have monopolized the ATP Tour as never before in the history of this sport.
Novak Djokovic's recent triumph at the Roland Garros 2021 has rekindled the long-standing debate on the greatest ever, as the number 1 ATP has now moved within one length of his eternal rivals in the all-time rankings of the Slams.
Wimbledon and the US Open could be decisive in this regard, even if the Next Gen are more than ever willing to overturn the hierarchies. Nadal has announced that he will not participate in either Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympic Games, while Roger's state of shape is still far from 100% (as evidenced by the bad defeat in Halle).
Horner: "I couldn't ask for better"
Roger, Rafa and Novak have also contributed to increasing the popularity of tennis outside the narrow circle of fans and insiders. On the eve of the French Grand Prix, which will be staged this weekend at Le Castellet, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner used the Big 3 to describe the rivalry between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
Horner said: "As an F1 fan, I couldn't ask for anything better. I want to see the two of them compete against each other and find out who really is the best. It's like when Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic face off.
Max forces Lewis to make the most of himself and vice versa of course. Both have improved each other." At the age of 23, Verstappen seems ready for the definitive leap in quality and to compete for the World Championship until the last race.
The Dutchman lost a great chance to extend the standings in Baku a couple of weeks ago, thanks to an unfortunate puncture while he was leading the GP. Max will try to make up for it on Sunday, but Mercedes has a crazy record on the transalpine circuit.