Since Novak Djokovic broke the four-year reign of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal by winning the 2008 Australian Open and winning ten titles including three Grand Slams in 2011, the contention for who is supreme between Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal has persisted. But, Tim Henman believes Federer is the most popular and regarded than the other two.
Tim Henman acknowledges that though the achievements of Djokovic and Nadal have pushed Federer back to third place in the all-time Grand Slam winners’ list, yet many believe the Swiss maestro deserves to be hailed as the greatest for different reasons.
Tim Henman hails Federer’s popularity
The influence Roger Federer had dragging tennis into the modern era and setting the standards for Nadal and Djokovic to aspire to is one factor in the Federer argument. Federer also took tennis to a huge audience around the world with his majestic style of play and his flawless demeanour on and off the court.
Tim Henman during a recent interview, when asked about the GOAT in the Big Three, said, “There are two different conversations to be had about the greatest player, the best player, that comes down to a numbers game and Djokovic will win that.”
“If you are talking about impact and popularity, it is a one-horse race and there is no doubt that Federer is the most popular player that has ever played our sport. Overall, Djokovic is the best of all-time on the numbers, but many will still pick Federer because of what he contributed to the game on so many levels,” Tim Henman added.
Novak Djokovic looks set to end the most glorious era in the history of the men’s game as the most successful player of them all, with his 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open confirming him as the most profile trophy collector of them all.
Roger Federer’s Grand Slam deficit to Djokovic, Nadal
Within the tennis community, Novak Djokovic is revered as the ‘King of Australia’, Rafael Nadal is hailed as the ‘King of Clay’, and Roger Federer is praised as the ‘King of grass’. The trio were dubbed The Big Three. Djokovic only won his first Slam in 2008, ending a three-year dominance of Nadal and Federer across all competitions.
The Big Three dominated men’s singles tennis for nearly two decades, collectively winning 66 major singles tournaments. Djokovic leads with a record of 24 titles, followed by Nadal with 22 and Federer with 20.
The Big Three have each completed a Career Grand Slam by winning all four majors at least once, with Nadal completing it twice for a double Career Grand Slam and Djokovic completing it three times for a triple Career Grand Slam. Djokovic has also completed a non-calendar-year Grand Slam, making him the only man in history to hold all four major titles at once across three different surfaces.