Will Nadal or Djokovic pass Federer in Slams won?

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Saturday, December 7, 2019 9:11 AM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 9:11 AM UTC

For many years, Roger Federer reigned supreme over the tennis world, racking up unprecedented accolades in the process. Those include a whopping 20 Grand Slam titles. As his career nears its end, can the hungry Big Three members in Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic surpass that feat?

<div><h2><b>An Era of Dominance</b></h2><p>He was a young, feisty Swiss who came up the ranks early. Winning his first Challenger title (doubles) on the day of his 18th birthday, August 8th 1999, it wouldn´t take long for Roger Federer to make serious waves on the ATP Tour. In 2001, the then 19-year old truly put himself on the map in defeating the 4-time defending champion and All time leader in Slams won, Pete Sampras - in a five set showdown. The elegant Swiss won his maiden Major title in 2003 at Wimbledon, which would spark a record breaking run of five consecutive titles (open era) &amp; and eight in total at the All England Club. Filling up the trophy cabinet with three Major titles in the same year in 2004, another record breaking run of five consecutive US Open titles would be reached.<br /><br />Though massive competitors such Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic would later enter the scene, Roger held the world no. 1 for a record breaking 310 weeks, where 237 were consecutive. Federer has always built his game upon a strong delivery, and it´s that infallible shot that´s been a major contributor to the Swiss´ success. Combined with what will likely go down as the best volleys professional tennis has ever seen, on top of a gorgeous onehanded backhand, his clean and clutch ballstriking separates him from the masses.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;July 2, 2001, a fantastic day for the 19 years old &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/rogerfederer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@rogerfederer&lt;/a&gt; 🇨🇭💥🌱&lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/federer?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#federer&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/sampras?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#sampras&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/Wimbledon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;@Wimbledon&lt;/a&gt; &lt;br /&gt;(reuters/getty) &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/6lsQrfRVzd\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/6lsQrfRVzd&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Bel21eve (@bel21eve) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/bel21eve/status/1146119427362054145?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;July 2, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><h2><b>On Borrowed Time</b></h2><p>While that serve is still a major part of Federer´s game, a lot of time has passed, and there are signs of the 38-year old slowing down in entering his 22nd professional season in 2020. Since winning Australian Open in 2018, the current world no. 3 has struggled to beat elite opposition, and has failed to fill the trophy cabinet with additional Major titles. Despite coming oh so close in that already infamous Wimbledon final roughly five months ago. The backhand is prone to breaking down under duress, and hanging with the younger players on tour in extended rallies is no longer a reality. Mental lapses and struggling to find his best tennis are becoming more prominent. Physically coping with the challenges of Best-of-Five set tennis is also somthing that will become increasingly difficult. Though Federer is still well and truly elite, and could play on even beyond the 2021 season, his window to contend is well and truly closing. In order to adapt to his age, the Swiss has become increasingly aggressive and tries to make every rally as short as possible. This approach will do wonders on faster surfaces like those seen at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, where his best chances to pick up one or two more Slams will lie.</p><p><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=168&amp;a=4417b7df-a48f-47f3-9b45-f79858bc083a&amp;f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d582dcf927b95968483da5f/original-10-bet-new-customer-welcome-bonus" style="width:100%" /></a></p><h2><b>The Historymaker</b></h2><p>Two fierce competitors, the other "Big Three" members, are well and truly in the hunt. 33-year old Rafael Nadal, the Spanish gladiator, just earned his 19th Slam title in winning the US Open earlier this September. 32-year old Novak Djokovic isn´t all that far behind either, with 16 Slams to his name. Starting with Nadal, the "King of Clay" has since long proven his pedigree on other surfaces, though his historic dominance at the Roland Garros (record breaking 12 titles) will be a massive help in rackign up the trophies. However, Rafa´s incredibly physical playstyle demands much from his body, and many doubted he´d even play professionally past the age of 30. Whilst those doubters have been silenced, and the Spaniard has altered his playstyle to be less strenous, it still seems a stretch he´ll be able to stay a major factor for as long as Federer has. Perhaps two-three more years at the very peak can garner two or three more titles, but that may well not be enough or even materialise - especially considering the younger generation is closing the gap quickly.<br /><br />So how about Novak Djokovic? The Serb is the youngest member of the scintillating trio, and possesses a less physically demanding playstyle than his Spaniard competitor. While he isn´t as motivated outside of Slams anymore, he brings the fire for the big Four events of the tennis calendar. If he manages his body well, and stays motivated, the best returner on tour should have plenty of success for at least five or six years going forward. One big thing going in his favor is the fact that Novak is the most well rounded in the trio. Capable of competing for the titles on all surfaces and all Slams, he will have ample opportunity to strike. The world no. 2 may also find himself in a scenario a few years down the stretch, where the other two Big Three members have retired, leaving a sizeable void for Djokovic to exploit. Currently holding 16 titles, outlasting his main competitors to finally claim the coveted crown for himself, is one of Novak´s main ambitions. If he has enough years in him, that may well become reality.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;This moment. This match. 😳&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;One emoji to sum up Djokovic’s 5th Wimbledon title 👇 &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/Wb6IF2Qfev\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/Wb6IF2Qfev&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— ATP Tour (@atptour) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/atptour/status/1201590094756491264?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;December 2, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><p> </p></div>
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