The more time passes the more the idea of a ‘Big Four’ in tennis is laughable
The tennis world is undoubtedly paused in a moment of collective reflection now that Rafa Nadal has managed to win his 13th French Open title and equal Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 Grand Slams.
We are indeed in uncharted waters now that the Spaniard has finally drawn level with the Swiss legend after a 15-year rivalry that has produced the most incredible level of breathtaking consistency the world has ever seen.
Wanted to share a nice picture with you
#Paris #13 #Vamos pic.twitter.com/SNgy5YYWCa
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) October 12, 2020
Thoughts will now turn to who will be regarded as the greatest after Nadal was able to come out trumps at Roland-Garros. The winner of that debate will undoubtedly be the one who manages to finish with the most slams after Federer, Nadal and, of course, Novak Djokovic have all retired.
The Serb is the dark horse for that honor and had he not been disqualified from the US Open, he may well be within striking distance. But at 17 Grand Slams, three back from Federer and Nadal, he has his work cut out for him although age is still on his side. It does feel as if this marathon battle to be the greatest of all time has been going on forever, but in a mere five years – at the very latest- we should have the answer to one of sport’s greatest ever questions.
There will be many different opinions floating about as to who the eventual greatest will be but the general feeling is one of uncertainty. Indeed, even those who possess an expert knowledge on how to bet on tennis couldn’t quite call this one as things stand. After all, you wouldn’t write Federer’s chances off at the Australian Open in early January.
But now that these three have pulled off into the distance, their records never to be caught ever again, it does make you question the legitimacy of there ever being a ‘Big Four’ in tennis. Of course, Andy Murray makes up the quartet but the Scot’s last Grand Slam win was in 2016 when he won Wimbledon for a second time.
All in all, the 33-year-old has recorded just three Grand Slam wins after also managing to scoop the US Open title in 2012. You could argue that he should be included after finishing as the runner up in eight Grand Slam finals but then again Federer has finished second on 11 different occasions, Djokovic nine and Nadal 8. This does significantly discredit any theory that he could have matched their records with a bit more luck.
🏆20. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/WqUiSo3fd5
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) January 28, 2018
Now, Murray’s injuries haven’t helped either but part of the Big Three’s legacy is that they have, for the most part, been able to avoid any type of injury that could potentially derail their careers. This isn’t by luck or by chance given that these three have put physical conditioning at the top of their respective priorities as they moved into the latter part of their careers.
Whatever way you look at it, the continued success of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic to this day, whilst Murray goes back and forth between the odd regional tournament and the treatment table, does obliterate the idea of there ever having been a Big Four in tennis.
French Open under fire for gender disparity in scheduling
The French Open has been criticized for failing to schedule women’s matches for their evening sessions.
Monte Carlo win over Novak Djokovic won’t be a factor in Paris says Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Davidovich Fokina was eager to put his previous triumph into context.
Cameron Norrie not allowing Carlos Alcaraz to dominate his mindset
Cameron Norrie insists he is not deterred by the potential of facing top seed Carlos Alcaraz in the Roland Garros last 16.
Jessica Pegula bemoans bad luck after getting food poisoning from first Paris dinner
Jessica Pegula feels that she has missed out on the full Paris experience.
How Jessica Pegula beats the grind of the WTA Tour
Jessica Pegula admits that being on the WTA Tour can become monotonous.
Mirra Andreeva reveals dreams of ‘winning 25 grand slam titles’
The Russian is making a big impression at Roland Garros.
Jannik Sinner toppled by Daniel Altmaier in five-hour French Open epic
Altmaier saved two match points in the fifth longest match in Roland Garros history.
Andy Murray confirms Surbiton Trophy entry following French Open absence
Murray and Dan Evans have been given wild cards, while Venus Williams will play in Birmingham.
Cameron Norrie invites rock royalty to his Wimbledon player’s box
The Briton revealed an unlikely friendship earlier this year when he hit with the singing superstar.
Teen sensation and Andy Murray fan Mirra Andreeva to crack 100 in rankings
Mirra Andreeva set to surge to a career-high of No 97.