Richest era in world Tennis
Tennis is, undoubtedly, amongst the most played sports of the world. Though modern Tennis gained recognition in last decade of the 19th century but with the emergence of television and technology it is now followed throughout the world. Many stars ruled the hearts of the people with their performance for many decades, after the sports became professional. Every decade has its own stars and their performance is gauged by their ATP and Grand Slam Titles.
Roy Emerson ruled the Tennis courts in 60s with 12 Grand Slam Titles. Bjorn Borg was the pick of the 70s with 11 majors to his name and he was followed by great Jimmy Connors with eight titles. In 80s, competition was more tough with many stars with special skills in different types of courts outperformed others. Ivan Lendl remained on top with eight Grand Slams but his desire to win a Career Grand Slam title never came true. Angry young man of the USA, John McEnroe won seven Grand Slam titles. Boris Becker of Germany came into limelight by winning a major at the age of just 16 years and went on to win five more. Mr. consistent of Sweden, Stefan Edberg managed to clinch six Grand Slam titles.
If the last two decades of the 20th century were a remarkably golden age for the game, the stars of 21st century have taken the game and competition to the miraculous heights. The present era is, undoubtedly, the richest era of the Tennis history. Roger Federer of Switzerland, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia share 56 Grand Slam title among them and these three all-time greats of the game are still paving ways for more major victories.
Roger Federer, though 3rd in the current world ranking, is on top in the race for the most grand slam titles. He has won 20 majors in his two decades long professional carrier, which includes eight Wimbledon titles that is also a significant record. From 2003 to 2008 he was at his peak where he won 13 Grand Slams. In the coming 12 years he has been able to win seven more. This is because of the emergence of two more greats in the same era.
King of Clay Court, Rafael Nadal is second in this list with 19 titles, which includes record 12 French Opens that is played on clay court. Injury prone Nadal couldn’t compete in many of the major events. Many experts are of the opinion that if Nadal had not missed those events he would have been on the top of Grand Slam winners list.
Novak Djokovic, youngest among the three, is unique in a sense that he challenged two all-time greats and is not far behind in the race. With his recent win in the first Grand Slam of the year Australian Open 2020 he has took his major title tally to 17.
This is interesting to note that in remaining seven players in the top ten men’s singles rankings, not a single player has been able to win a Grand Slam.
Austrian Tennis star Dominic Thiem is 4th in the world ranking and he has lost all three Grand Slam finals, which he has qualified till now. He was runner up in 2018 and 2019 French Open tournaments and same was the result at the 2020 Australian Open.
Daniil Medvedev of Russia, 5th in the rankings, has been able to qualify for just one major final where luck didn’t favour him and he had to content on the runner up position in 2019 US Open. Sixth-placed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece till now has just qualified for 2019 Australian Open Semi Final, where he remained unsuccessful.
Seventh in the singles ranking Alexander Zverev of Germany has reached just one grand slam semifinal and two quarterfinals. Matteo Berrettini of Italy has qualified for just one grand slam semifinal and Gael Monfils of France has qualified for two semifinals.
David Goffin of Belgium completes the top 10 in men’s rankings and he could not win any of three quarter finals he reached at major tournaments. So, none of the last seven of the top ten men’s singles ranking has been able to win a single Grand Slam title, which is itself a unique situation, showing the dominance of game’s Big Three.
The only other player active on the ATP circuit with some grand slam titles under his belt is on 13th placed Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland, who had won Australian Open in 2014, French Open in 2015 and US Open in 2016. Andy Murray of UK had also won three Grand Slam titles couple of years ago, but now unfortunately he is at 127th ranking.
This is really a tricky situation where three Greats who are in their middle 30s are not been challenged by any of their competitors. At the same time experts have also started thinking that it is also a barren era where there is no player who could challenge these all-time greats.