Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have won 56 Grand Slam titles among themselves, but for the first time they may not play a Major: this has not happened since 1999. The Big Three have become real tennis legends thanks to their records, and over the years they gave rise to numerous epic challenges that have excited the whole world of sport.
Their dominance in Slam tournaments reached unimaginable levels. Just think that since 2004, only six players outside Federer, Djokovic and Nadal have managed to reach the most coveted goal: to win a Slam. They are Gaston Gaudio (Roland Garros 2004), Marat Safin (Australian Open 2005), Juan Martin Del Potro (US Open 2009), Andy Murray (US Open 2012, Wimbledon 2013, 2016), Stan Wawrinka (Australian Open 2014, Roland Garros 2015, US Open 2016) and Marin Cilic (US Open 2014).
These numbers bring to light another unusual statistic: in the last 65 Majors only on 10 occasions has one of the Big Three not triumphed.
US Open 2020: first Slam since 1999 without one among Federer, Djokovic and Nadal?
This 2020, marked by the health emergency caused by the spread of the global pandemic, could in one fell swoop reset an even more impressive figure.
In fact, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the 140th edition of the US Open will be held from August 31 to September 13, as scheduled. Considering Federer’s injury and surgery, which will keep him at least until January 2021, and the statements of Djokovic and Nadal, who are seriously thinking of skipping what would become the second major of the year, the US Open 2020 could be remembered forever as the first Slam tournament without even one of the Big Three since 1999.
We must also add the official absence of Simona Halep and the likely absence of Serena Williams in the women’s singles. The last time that the draw of one of the four most important tennis tournaments has not seen the name of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal imprinted in the annals, it brings us back to the US Open.
In 1999 Federer made his Slam debut at Roland Garros thanks to a wild card. That year, still using the wild card granted him by the organizers, he also managed to play Wimbledon. But not at the US Open, a tournament in which he stopped in the second qualifying round against his countryman Ivo Heuberger.
Considering the absence of Roger Federer and waiting for official communications from Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, with the hope that both will decide eventually to be there, the US Open and the whole world of tennis begin to tremble.