The Big Three (Federer, Nadal and Djokovic) have been in flaming form lately. Out of the last 4 grand slams this year, each one has been won by one of the three and not to mention at least one of them has reached every ATP 1000 semi-finals leaving out the ones they missed. These are crazy numbers for guys who are all in their 30s, not to mention Federer being 38 years old.
These guys were supposed to be long gone, either be washed away unceremoniously by the youngsters or commit to retirement. And yet here we are, it’s 2019 and no one can begin a conversation in tennis without mentioning their names. Their stronghold on the sport is unmistakable, but, as posterity shows, this is hardly going to be the case in the coming years. They may continue to terrorize youngsters on court for years to come, but it is no secret their strength wanes with each passing day.
The “age struggle”
There are many concerns that arise when a player ages. For starters, at this age, Roger can barely make it an entire calendar year without missing some of the pivotal tournaments. The old guys need to conserve all the energy they have and need to ensure they do not suffer a burn out mid-season, or worse risk an injury. These missed tournaments may seem like a small deal right now but they are sure to be the big difference in the future. As we saw Djokovic (32 years old) pull out injured in the US Open and Roger struggled against Dimitrov, one must question how far they can really push themselves. Every slight injury or pull demands a lot more from an older player as compared to a younger one. Each one of these becomes a big deal to handle and leads to missed tournaments.
It’s extremely hard to keep up with the pace of the modern game, and the Big Three seem to be understanding that. Skipping tournaments and planning their playing schedule takes a major presence in their career, now more than ever and their longevity ultimately depends on how well they plan their calendar. But as long as the three of them continue winning slams not allowing the young ones to come up, who knows when age will really catch up with them?
Roger Federer’s ranking and performance in 2019
Ranked no.3, Federer played his last match on the 3rd of September when he lost to Grigor Dimitrov 3-6 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-2 in the quarter in U.S. Open.
This year the Swiss has a 43-7 win-loss record. The Swiss has won 3 titles in 2019 in Dubai, in Miami and in Halle. Federer was the finalist in Indian Wells and in Wimbledon.
Rafael Nadal’s ranking and performance in 2019
Ranked no.2, Rafael played his last match on the 8th of September when he beat Daniil Medvedev 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 in the final in U.S. Open to win his 84th career title.
This year the Spaniard has a 47-6 win-loss record. The Spaniard clinched 4 titles in 2019 in Rome, at the French Open, in Montreal and at the U.S. Open. The Spaniard was the finalist at the Australian Open.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
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