Former World No. 1 and German tennis ace, Boris Becker has given his verdict on the Big 3. He coached Novak Djokovic for three years and has been an admirer of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for years. However, he believes that it is now time for the young guns to blossom at the major events.
Djokovic recently won the Wimbledon Championships and tied with Nadal and Federer for most Grand Slam titles. They have 20 Grand Slams each and are part of a decades-old rivalry, which will fade away soon.
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 7, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer reacts during his quarter final match against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz REUTERS/Toby Melville
Becker describes the healthy competition between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been playing professional tennis for 23 and 20 years, respectively. The rivalry has been a source of healthy competition for both players. However, at the beginning of the 2010s decade, Djokovic slowly started rising up the ranks and won a few majors. It is now about time he entered the GOAT debate, after winning 20 Grand Slam titles within a decade.
“Roger and Rafa have fed off each other so it will be interesting to see if it has had an effect on the Spaniard when he returns next month in Washington DC. They will be aware that the players around ten years younger are getting better – it is now Novak and then quite a big chasing pack,” said Boris in the Daily Mail.
Roger and Nadal have pushed each other for the past 15-20 years, whether on the grass court or clay court. They have proved to be the best players of the sport, asserting domination at the Wimbledon Championships and the Roland Garros.
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) July 13, 2021
Olympic dismay for Roger and Rafael
The two veterans of the sport have withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympic Games this month. As a result of an injury issue, both players have decided to skip the grand event, starting on Friday. However, Nadal will be back in August for the US Open in New York.
Federer has been going through a knee injury recovery for the past two years, whereas Nadal needed rest after a demanding clay-court season. Nadal last played the 2021 Roland Garros semifinal against Novak Djokovic, while Federer bowed out of the Wimbledon Championships quarterfinal against Hubert Hurkacz.
The rivalry in sports encourages players to remain active for years. Not only does it give motivation to players but also helps them keep their focus on the game for a long time. The time has come for a new rivalry in tennis, amongst the newcomers and the youngsters.
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