Someone not even remotely familiar with sports, much less tennis, would have heard of these three names: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Arguing that these three players have dominated the men’s singles tennis for the past 15 years would be a gross understatement. A grand slam title is the most coveted title a tennis player can hope to win.
Each year, four grand slams are played. The tennis season kicks off with the Australian Open in January, followed by the French Open and Wimbledon in summer and the US Open in Autumn. Wimbledon is played on a grass court, the French Open on a clay court while the latter two are played on hard courts.
Since 2005, a total of sixty six grand slams tournaments have been played, out of which these three players have won a ridiculous fifty six of them amongst themselves.
Between these three giants the world has witnessed arguably some of the greatest tennis matches of all time. Including but not limited to the Wimbledon final of 2008 between Nadal and Federer, the 2021 French Open Semi Final between Nadal and Djokovic, the Australia Open final of 2012 between Nadal and Djokovic which is interestingly the longest grand slam final ever.
Early in the decade, Roger Federer was ahead of the other two compatriots in the grand slam tally. But as Federer has aged over the years, now 40 and on the fringes of retirement, Nadal (35 years of age) and Djokovic (34 years of age) have caught up with the Swiss Maestro. Nadal defeated Djokovic in the 2020 French Open to win his 20th grand slam title, equalling Federer’s tally of 20 titles. Djokovic too won his 20th grand slam title at Wimbledon earlier this year.
The world of tennis holds its breath as the US Open is now approaching its business end. Novak Djokovic is to play the German giant Alexander Zverev in the semi final tomorrow at 4:30 pm IST. If Djokovic wins the semi final and eventually the final, he would officially surpass Federer and Nadal as the man with the most grand slam titles in history. The stakes are even higher if we consider that no Men’s singles player has won all four grand slams in a calendar year in the Open Era, which Djokovic would accomplish if he wins the title here in New York.
The semi final also provides Djokovic an opportunity to avenge his Semi Final loss to Zverev at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo last month. Zverev eventually won Gold in Tokyo.
The other semi final will be played between Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada and Daniil Medvedev of Russia at 12:30 pm IST.
Star Sports is the official broadcaster for the US Open in India. The matches can be watched live on TV or online on Hotstar.
About the Author: Aayush Maniktalia is a third year student of international relations at OP Jindal Global University. He uses the pronouns he/him and has an avid interest in the field of organised crime, peace and conflict studies and sports journalism. Besides being interested in global geopolitics he loves to do standup comedy and play badminton.