Robert Frost as soon as famously noticed, “Writing free verse is like enjoying tennis with the web down.” The “Huge 3” of males’s tennis (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic) – enjoying in what many think about to be the golden age of males’s tennis – have been poetically dominating the game for many years, regardless of enjoying by the identical guidelines as everybody else, with the web up and all.

Dominating tennis for many years was once a close to impossibility. Even on the flip of the 21st century, the lifespan of an expert tennis participant struggled to eclipse the age of 30. Three many years in the past, the common age of the highest 100 ranked males’s gamers was 23.74 years, however by the top of 2017, that common rose to 28.26 (credit score: Tennishead.internet). In 2002, Corridor of Famer, Pete Sampras, who held the boys’s main championship title report (14) earlier than he was surpassed by Federer, retired on the age of 31. In 2012, Corridor of Famer, Andy Roddick, the final American to win the U.S. Open, introduced his retirement on his 30th birthday. The “Huge 3” of Federer (39), Nadal (34), and Djokovic (33) are the archetype for a brand new age in tennis, the place longevity reigns, permitting for a re-writing of the report books.

Federer, after his Wimbledon victory in 2012 (his 17th main title) on the age of 30, got here up empty over the next 4 seasons, triggering a refrain of requires his retirement. In 2017, he flipped the script dramatically, nonetheless, defeating Nadal in a legendary Australian Open closing, after a six-month layoff following left knee surgical procedure. Federer went on to win two of the following 4 main championships, securing his 20th main title on the Australian Open in 2018, on the age of 36.

With Federer able to re-emerge after two arthroscopic proper knee surgical procedures and sitting out the whole thing of 2020, hoping to repeat his 2017 magic on the Australian Open, and Nadal simply coming off his record-tying 20th main title at Roland Garros in 2020, the holy grail of tennis information stands earlier than us for the taking, to kick-off 2021.

Whereas Federer and Nadal at the moment share probably the most coveted report in males’s tennis, heading into 2021, Djokovic, proprietor of 17 main titles, is more likely to be the favourite to win three out of the 4 majors (Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open), and Nadal will undoubtedly be the favourite to win what could be his 14th French Open title.

Magnifying the historic nature of 2021, throughout this golden age of males’s tennis, is the quadrennial alternative to actually take residence the gold, with the 2021 Olympics going down this Summer season in Japan. Whereas Nadal has one gold medal in singles tennis (2008 in Beijing), neither Federer nor Djokovic has matched that feat thus far, leaving Nadal as the one of the “Huge 3” to assert the “Golden Slam” (all 4 main championship titles, plus a gold medal).

Which of the “Huge 3” finally finishes his profession with probably the most main titles would be the main, however not the only, foundation to declare GOAT (biggest of all time) standing. Nadal’s win at Roland Garros was his 86th tour title, which leads Djokovic (81) however trails Federer (103). In the meantime, 2020 will likely be Djokovic’s sixth season by which he finishes with the #1 rating, tying a report beforehand held by Pete Sampras. Djokovic, as nicely, holds the report for many Masters 1000 match victories with 36, simply edging out Nadal (35) and Federer (28).

There’s, after all, the following technology of stars trying to take over the reins from the “Huge 3” and foil the record-breaking play. Dominic Thiem, the third-ranked participant within the World, received his first main title on the U.S. Open in 2020, whereas Daniil Medvedev, the fourth-ranked participant within the World, received the ATP Finals in November, changing into the primary man in 10 years to beat each Nadal and Djokovic on his strategy to the year-end title. Whether or not Thiem, Medvedev, or any of the opposite next-generation stars can preserve the “Huge 3” from accumulating further main championship titles – having received 57 of the final 69 – is one other story.

Based on Paul Annacone, Tennis TV commentator and former coach of Roger Federer, “2021 will converse volumes by way of the Huge 3,” all starting with the “crucial” Australian Open. The motion, and history-making, begins on February eighth.

Tim Shelley


Tim Shelley

Tim Shelley was born in Rockville Centre, NY, and raised in Massapequa, NY. Whereas a scholar at Villanova, Tim contributed to the varsity newspaper, The Villanovan, writing articles protecting the soccer, baseball, and tennis groups. Tim at the moment performs in tennis and seashore volleyball leagues, and follows all sports activities, focusing totally on tennis, golf, the NFL, and school basketball.


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