Novak Djokovic won his 14th Grand Slam title on Sunday by winning the US Open. The dominance of the Big 3 in tennis can be judged by the fact that the Federer-Djokovic-Nadal trio has won 8 Grand Slams between them since the last time someone else (Stan Wawrinka) won a Grand Slam.
Going further back to 2003 when Roger Federer won his first Grand Slam at Wimbledon, the Big 3 have won 51 Grand Slams compared to the 11 won by the rest of the men on the circuit.
The surprising fact is that Federer didn't win a Grand Slam from 2013 to 2016. Many thought the legend is finished. But winning the Australian Open even after being seeded no 19 gave a lot of confidence to him which he has carried on to the year 2018 where he again won the Australian Open.
Even Nadal had a small resurgence. Nadal had his worst season in 2015. In 2016, he dealt with fitness issues and missed being part of the French Open. But winning the French Open and the US open in 2017 has made people take note of his ability to catch Federer in the history books.
For Djokovic though, it was a matter of clearing his self-doubts more than anything else. Change in coaching staff did help in this matter. And what we witness now is probably the Biggest 3 of World Tennis whose records will take some beating from the future players.
Here we take a look at three instances when the Big 3 won Grand Slam title in the same year.
2008 Australian Open was a breakthrough for Serbian players, namely, Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic, and Jelena Jankovic. Novak defeated defending champion Roger Federer in the Semis and then went on to defeat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final in four sets. That win marked the entry of the Novak into the Big 3. Nadal won the French Open pretty easily defeating Federer in straight sets 6–1, 6–3, 6–0.
The Wimbledon final between Nadal and Federer will go down in history as one of the greatest matches where Nadal finally broke Federer's stronghold on the grass by winning 6–4, 6–4, 6–7(5–7), 6–7(8–10), 9–7.
Having not won any of the first 3 Grand Slams of the year, Federer then found solace by winning the US Open by defeating an upcoming British star Andy Murray 6–2, 7–5, 6–2.
Djokovic who was the defending champion at the Australian Open defeated Rafael Nadal in an epic five-setter, 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7(5–7), 7–5 to win his 5th Grand Slam. This was a time when Federer had slowly but surely lost his magic touch and Nadal-Djokovic were emerging as the Big 2.
The French Open was a routine affair for Nadal where he defeated Novak Djokovic 6–4, 6–3, 2–6, 7–5.
2012 Wimbledon final pitted Federer against the British hope in the form of Andy Murray. Federer won 4–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–4 and with that his 7th Wimbledon title equalling Sampras' record. Federer also regained his no 1 ranking putting a full stop to claims that he was a diminishing force.
Roger Federer was surprisingly the defending champion at the Australian Open and was completing 14 years from the day of his first trophy at the Rod Laver Arena. Federer defeated the Croat Marin Cilic 6–2, 6–7(5–7), 6–3, 3–6, 6–1 and with that extended his Grand Slam tally to 20.
Rafael Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem of Austria 6–4, 6–3, 6–2 and won his 11th French Open title. He also reached 17 career Grand Slam title, thus keeping a touching distance from Federer's record.
Novak who started his resurgence by winning the Wimbledon finished off the Grand Slam year by winning the 2018 US Open on last Sunday defeating the comeback man Juan Martin Del Potro.