The last year has seen more and more the decline of the Big 3, or the three tennis players who more than any other have made tennis history. We are obviously talking about Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. It must be said that this meaning does not apply to the number one in the world Novak Djokovic, author of one of his best seasons ever and winner of 3 Grand Slam titles (one step away from the fourth).
As for Federer and Nadal, however, the situation is different with these two players now constantly struggling with physical problems; both have not played for months and for Federer, now over 40, we have reached the final stages of his career.
Nadal played a season between highs and lows but a heavy foot injury suffered during Roland Garros led him to say goodbye in advance to the 2021 season. Both Federer and Nadal will not take part in the ATP Finals at the end of the year, which this one year will be played in Turin, and we expect to know when they will be able to return to the field.
Federer recently underwent yet another knee operation and, above all, the shadow of retirement hangs over the Swiss. During an advertising campaign for a Russian company, the number two in the world and recent winner of the US Open 2021 Daniil Medvedev spoke of the now increasingly evident decline of the Big 3, focusing precisely on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Here are his words: "I think that the three of them are the best three tennis players in history, about 17 or 18 of the last 20 Grand Slams have been won by them. Like everything in life, however, there will come a time when their domination will pass but above all for quests.
year it should be remembered that both Nadal and Federer have been injured for a long time. I am lucky and honored to have faced them and let's say that I feel lucky to have faced them in the final stages of their career because they are getting older and let's say that it is less difficult to beat them."
Woodbridge: "It is likely that Djokovic has not yet been vaccinated"
It is now practically certain that unvaccinated players will not be able to take part in the Australian Open 2022. The Premier of the State of Victoria and the Minister of Immigration have been categorical in this regard, reiterating that no exemptions or special agreements will be granted to tennis players who do not have received the double dose.
The collective attention immediately shifted to Novak Djokovic, nine-time champion of the 'Down Under' Slam, who had repeatedly expressed his opposition to the mandatory vaccine. The number 1 in the world also defended freedom of choice in a very recent interview with the Serbian website Blic, fueling doubts about his presence in Melbourne next January.
Furthermore, the 34-year-old from Belgrade did not want to reveal whether or not he was vaccinated against COVID-19. The 20-time Grand Slam champion played his last match at the US Open, where he lost in the final to Daniil Medvedev.
His return to the tour is expected in Paris-Bercy at the beginning of November. During an interview with Wide World of Sports' Todd Woodbridge analyzed Nole's situation in detail. Woodbridge said: "The fact that Novak Djokovic has questioned his participation in the Australian Open 2022, leads me to think that he has not yet had the vaccine.
Time is running out and he has to make a decision, otherwise he really risks missing the first Grand Slam of 2022. If his intention is not to get vaccinated, it would be better to declare it publicly. Feeding the mystery won't make things easier for him.
We have understood by now that it will be impossible for those who are not vaccinated to enter Australia. Novak is waiting until the last moment before communicating his choice. I understand that he would like to play this tournament to chase the Grand Slam record.
On the other hand, we are talking about the Grand Slam in which he has obtained the most successes," added Woodbridge. Other players such as Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev have already said they will be vaccinated by the end of the year. Among tennis players (men and women), a percentage of vaccinated people is currently estimated at around 50%.