Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are widely recognized as the three greatest tennis players of any era. The Big 3 have totaled the beauty of 60 Grand Slams (20 each), leaving the crumbs to the rivals who have faced them in the last decade and a half.
If he were to triumph at the US Open, the Serbian phenomenon would rise to 21 Majors and seal a Calendar Grand Slam with epic connotations. The situation regarding Roger and Rafa is very different, both away from the tour due to repeated injuries.
Although the three sacred monsters have helped to increase the popularity of tennis, it is never easy to compare different eras. Rod Laver closed his career with 11 Grand Slams, six of which arrived during his amateur period between 1956 and 1962. With professional players not allowed to compete in the majors from 1963 to 1967, the Australian legend had to skip the staggering 20 Grand Slam tournaments.
Smith: “Roger Federer would have been successful with wooden rackets”
In a long interview granted to La Nacional, Stan Smith spoke on the issue of the GOAT. Former American champion compared this era with the past, rpaised Roger Federer.
He said: “I think the list of the best ever should include at least six players. Pete Sampras, Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Fortunately there are three that happened at the same time. Tennis fans from all over the world had the chance to admire three absolute legends at the same time. Unfortunately, this era has now come to an end.
Which of the Big 3 would have been more successful with wooden rackets? I think Federer is the only one who would have achieved great results. His playing style is very precise and accurate. If you think about it, for many years he played with a racquet with a very small head size.
The 40-year-old from Basel will have to undergo a new operation on his right knee, the third in the last year and a half.