Novak Djokovic has been able to enter the rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal by breaking the duopoly and establishing himself as the great ruler of the last decade. The Serbian champion has significantly reduced the gap that divides him from the Swiss and the Spanish, also thanks to the recent triumph at the Australian Open 2021.
The ninth triumph at Melbourne Park allowed him to climb to 18 Majors, just two points away from the eternal rivals in the all-time ranking. At the beginning of March, the 33-year-old from Belgrade took away the added satisfaction of beating the record for weeks at the top of the ATP ranking (thanks also to the new system introduced to deal with the consequences of the pandemic).
Despite the countless successes achieved on the court, Nole has always attracted many detractors. In recent days, his father Srdjan Djokovic launched yet another jab at Federer. It is not the first time that Djokovic Sr. he spends unkind words towards his son's main opponents, a trend that ends up damaging the image of the 18-time Grand Slam champion.
Djokovic Sr said he hopes Federer continues for a long time
"I think it is really difficult to be friends with someone with whom you are constantly fighting for the number 1, for the titles and for the money," explained Srdjan of the rivalry between the Big 3.
"All in all they are correct with each other. From my point of view, I would be happy if Roger Federer plays for another 5-6 years, so that Novak Djokovic can make an even bigger difference in the head-to-head balance," he added.
Over the past few seasons, the direct confrontations between Nole and Roger have moved decisively in the direction of the number 1 ATP (especially in Grand Slam tournaments). Suffice it to say that Federer's last win over Djokovic in a major dates back to the 2012 Wimbledon semi-final, nine years ago.
The 39-year-old from Basel had a great chance at the Championships in 2019, but his hopes were dashed in the fifth set after wasting two match points. The eight-time Wimbledon champion will not be at the Miami Open this week, adding a further absence to the already battered draw of the first 1000 of the season.
The hegemony of the legendary world tennis trio is impressive and is exemplified in a resounding fact: at least one of them, the Serb, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, has been present in 64 of the last 70 Slam finals. We have to recall that this hegemony lasting since the Swiss reached Wimbledon final in 2003.
Almost 18 years of practically indisputable dominance have passed, and in this time only eight players have managed to snatch one of the twelve titles that the big three have missed. With Djokovic's victory against the Russian, they reach 58 Slams between them (20 Nadal and Federer and 18 Djokovic).
Roddick, Gaudio, Safín, Del Potro, Murray (3), Wawrinka (3), Cilic and Thiem (1), the latter last year at the US Open.