Is it really plausible that both Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are really missing from the Australian Open 2022? It would be the end of an era, as we have known it for the past 17 years.
A Grand Slam tournament without the Big 3, who have dominated the tennis scene for the past 20 years. A very strange and sensational phrase, which however has a small chance of being able to become reality.
It certainly surprises all fans and professionals, but at the moment no one between Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer is sure to participate in the Australian Open, the first prestigious tournament of next season 2022.
The situation is surreal, to find the last Grand Slam competition without the three champions you have to go back many years, even to 1999: that edition of the US Open did not have the winners of 20 Major titles each, won by the American. Andre Agassi (it was the last triumph in Flushing Meadows after that of 1994), then a very long and very open streak as the Swiss started in the 2000 Australian Open, pushing himself up to the third round.
Australian Open 2022 without Big 3? It would be the end of an era
The only certain thing is the absence of Roger Federer from the Australian tour: already canceled from the entry list, the 40-year-old from Basel is still struggling with recovering from a long injury, hoping to be able to return to the field soon to train and then in competitive events (the Swiss player hopes in the summer, to stamp his presence at Wimbledon).
Rafa Nadal is also not doing well and the odds to see him at the Australian Open have dropped a lot in recent days, also in light of the positivity to COVID-19 announced on the morning of Monday 20th December 2021.
Despite the virus to overcome, the Spaniard some good sensations during the performance in Abu Dhabi at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, where he lose the two matches with Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov, especially in the match against the Scot.
A more complex situation to evaluate instead as regards Novak Djokovic, who at least is in good condition from a physical point of view. The doubt about his presence is linked to the anti-COVID vaccination, which has never been publicly confirmed after his opinion against the administration in the course of 2021.
The Serbian champion, if he had not inoculated two doses (not both Sputnik by the way), would greatly risk participation: the only chance to go to oceanic land would become that of overcoming two external commissions. The next few days will be decisive in understanding whether Nadal and Djokovic will be at the starting line of the 2022 Australian Open in Melbourne.