7 best male players besides the Big 3 since 2000 ft. Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka

Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin Del Potro
Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin Del Potro

The Big 3 of tennis comprises of the legendary trio of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Together, they have amassed 63 singles Slams between the 2003 Wimbledon and 2022 Wimbledon Championships.

They have collectively held the No.1 spot in the rankings for over 800 weeks between 2004 and 2022, and all three have completed their Career Slams - with Nadal and Djokovic achieving the feat twice.

They have collectively amassed 17 titles each at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and Roland Garros, and have won 12 US Open titles. Djokovic has won a record nine Australian Open titles, Nadal has a record 14 Roland Garros titles and Federer has won five US Open titles and a record eight Wimbledon titles.

At the Masters level, Djokovic has won the Golden Masters (winning each Masters title at least once) twice. Moreover, Federer has won six and Djokovic has won five year-ending championships between 2003 and 2015.

Each member of the Big 3 has led their country to a Davis Cup win at least once. Nadal has been a part of the winning Davis Cup team in five instances. In addition, Federer has thrice won the Hopman Cup, representing Switzerland.

Collectively, the Big 3 have a winning rate of 82.8% in singles. A purse of $421 million has been won by them and all three players lead the rankings in total prize money earned.

On that note, here are seven players, besides the aforementioned trio, who have made their mark since since 2000:

#1. Andy Murray

Andy Murray - Wimbledon 2013
Andy Murray - Wimbledon 2013

Andy Murray is known to be the toughest competitor of the Big 3. The former World No.1 along with the Big 3 comprised the Big 4 of tennis.

The Brit has won two Wimbledon titles (2013, 2016) and a US Open title (2012), defeating Djokovic in two of these Major wins. He was the runner-up at the 2016 French Open and has been a five-time runner-up at the Australian Open.

He has twice won the Olympic gold medal in singles (2012, 2016). A winner of 46 singles career titles, Murray has won 14 Masters 1000 titles and in eight of these he has defeated a member of the Big 3 in the final.

He defeated a member of the Big 3 in 12 instances when the trio were ranked as the World No.1. Moreover, in 2016, Murray won the year-ending championship by defeating four-time defending champion Djokovic in the finals.

Murray trails Federer, Nadal and Djokovic by 11-14, 7-17 and 11-25 in the head-to-head record.

#2. Stanislas Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka - 2015 French Open
Stan Wawrinka - 2015 French Open

Stan Wawrinka won at least one Major between 2014 and 2016. He won the Australian Open in 2014 defeating Nadal in the finals and later winning the 2015 French Open and the 2016 US Open by defeating Djokovic in the finals.

Between the 2010 US Open and the 2020 Australian Open, Wawrinka made the quarterfinals or better at the Majors on 18 occasions. He thrice made the semis of the year-ending championships but couldn't progress further.

He made the finals of Masters 1000 event four times, winning once in Monte Carlo in 2014 after defeating Federer in the finals. Out of all the Big 3 players, only Federer has not won the Monte Carlo Masters. The 2014 Davis Cup champion has won 16 singles titles in his career.

#3. Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro - Indian Wells 2018
Juan Martin Del Potro - Indian Wells 2018

Between the 2005 French Open and the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, a member of the Big 3 has won every Slam except one. This one Major was the 2009 US Open and the breakthrough player was Juan Martin Del Potro.

The 'Tower of Tandil' defeated Nadal and Federer en route to his maiden Slam win. He went on to establish himself as a Top 3 player in 2018 when he defeated Federer to win his maiden Masters title at Indian Wells.

DID YOU KNOW?@delpotrojuan is one of only two men to have beaten each of the Big 3 multiple times while they were No. 1 (Andy Murray is the only other man to do it).Del Potro has 10 career wins over No. 1s: 4 against Federer, 3 against Nadal and 3 against Djokovic.

The Argentine had a podium finish at the 2012 Olympics, where he defeated Djokovic in the bronze medal match. At the 2016 Olympics, he defeated Nadal in the semis to secure a silver medal.

The 2016 Davis Cup champion made the quarterfinals or better in every Major and was a runner-up at the 2009 year-ending championships. In a career hampered by injuries, he called it a day in 2022 with 22 tour-level singles titles.

#4. David Ferrer

David Ferrer
David Ferrer

Former World No.3 David Ferrer was one of the most agile players during his career. The Spaniard was a dominant force on clay, finishing as a runner-up at the 2013 French Open against Nadal and reaching two Masters finals in Rome and Monte Carlo.

He made seven Masters 1000 finals, winning once at the Paris Masters in 2012. He has won 10 ATP 500 titles, putting him fifth on the all-time list. He has also won 16 ATP 250 titles.

In 2007, he finished as a runner-up to Federer in the year-ending championships. A winner of 27 singles tour-level titles, Ferrer recorded 54 wins against top 10 opponents in his career. Except Federer, against whom he lost all his 17 matches, Ferrer has defeated a member of the Big 4 at least five times.

#5. Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic 2014 US Open
Marin Cilic 2014 US Open

Marin Cilic is often regarded as the best tennis player from Croatia. He won the 2014 US Open title wherein he defeated five-time US Open champion Federer in the semis. The Croatian has also been a runner-up at the 2018 Australian Open and 2017 Wimbledon, losing to Federer in the finals.

In 2022, he made his career-best showing at the French Open by reaching the semis. Cilic has made at least the quarterfinals in all nine Masters events and won his lone Masters title at Cincinnati in 2016.

The 2018 Davis Cup champion has won 20 singles tour-level titles, 16 of them won at the ATP 250 level. The former World No.3 has defeated the Big 3 at least once in his career.

#6. Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev was one of the first players from the next generation of tennis stars to challenge the Big 3 dominance. He first gained prominence when he became the youngest player to make the Top 20 since Djokovic.

As a teenager, he defeated Federer on grass in the semis of the 2016 Halle Open and since then has a 4-3 record against the Swiss. The German's best result in the Majors came in 2020 when he finished as the runner-up at the US Open.

He has made the semis of the Australian Open and French Open but is yet to get past the fourth round at Wimbledon. Zverev won the year-ending championships, defeating Djokovic in 2018 and Medvedev in 2021 in the finals.

He is one title away from being the sixth active player with 20 tour level titles. He has won five Masters 1000 titles, two of which he won by defeating a member of the Big 3. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic gold medalist is currently placed second in the ATP world rankings.

#7. Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev

The reigning US Open champion is the first man outside the Big 4 since 2004 to reach the World No. 1 ranking. Currently seated at the numero uno spot in the rankings, Daniil Medvedev has twice made the finals of the Australian Open, has been a quarterfinalist at the French Open and is yet to make it through to the fourth round at Wimbledon.

The addendum to Medvedev’s story is fascinating, suggesting the tennis world was more eager to see the Next Gen start beating the Big 3 in theory than in practice. #ausopen

He defeated Nadal in the semis of the 2020 ATP Finals before winning the finals against Thiem. The 2021 Davis Cup champion has won 4 Masters 1000 titles out of his 14 singles tour-level titles. He trails Djokovic, Nadal and Federer by 4-6, 1-5 and 0-3 respectively in the head-to-head record.

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Edited by Anirudh
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