The evil Djokovic is shot

The Big Three ties for Grand Slam titles: 20 per racket. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. It makes you want to freeze time so that no one takes advantage ...


There. The Big Three ties for Grand Slam titles: 20 per racket. It makes you want to freeze time so that no one can take advantage, to frame that dazzling ranking as a reminder of the greatest three-way rivalry in the history of tennis, perhaps also in the history of the sport: Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Put them in the order you prefer, the three are very big, the biggest. But time cannot be frozen, life goes on, and on September 12 another champion will be crowned at the US Open. There the tie can be broken. Or not. The three are still active, the three can meet again in New York, but the antecedents show that the fight is no longer even. Djokovic is on fire, he has chained Australia, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, while Federer transmits the image of being closer to retirement than lifting a trophy, and Nadal lost the opportunity in his sacred land of Paris. We have seen Rafa get up more than once, we must not rule it out. But time, which does not freeze, smiles at Nole.

Djokovic does not hold back against his two eternal rivals, with whom he has face to face in favor, nor against the new generations, who still lack what the Serbian has to spare: experience, physique, game and ambition. Stefanos Tsitsipas had him on the ropes at Roland Garros, Matteo Berrettini won the first set at Wimbledon, the two finals started from behind, but he was unfazed, not even with the crowd against him. Resist the volleys, study your rival and fight back mercilessly. Novak has had to be the bad guy in the Big Three, simply because neither of the other two fit the role. And he has it assumed. In fact, he is the only one of the three who has openly acknowledged that that record matters to him, that he wants to be the best ever, and that he is not going to stop until he achieves it. If being evil is being insatiable, Djokovic is.

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