“Will Continue Playing for a Long Time”: Alexander Zverev Reflects on Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic’s Place in Tennis

Published 07/07/2021, 10:19 AM EDT
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerlan wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have together defined an extraordinaire era of tennis. Thus, to imagine the sport without them is arguably the most daunting task to ask of a tennis fan. For this, even German World No.6 Alexander Zverev agreed upon while he was contesting at Wimbledon Championships 2021.

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Unfortunately, the fourth seed saw an unexpected end to his Championships campaign against Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime. In a nail-biting five-setter pre-quarterfinal match, the German lost 6-4, 7-6(6), 3-6, 3-6, 6-3.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 5, 2021 Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime shakes hands with Germany’s Alexander Zverev after winning their fourth round match REUTERS/Toby Melville

However, the Swiss maestro and the Serbian ace are through to the quarterfinals in Wimbledon. As for the Spaniard, he decided to sit out of this tournament, citing incomplete recovery from clay season.

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Watch this story: Wimbledon Championships 2021 Funny Interviews: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios, Andy Murray, Venus Williams

Alexander Zverev on Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic

In the R3 post-match conference in London, an interviewer inquired Zverev about the magnitude of approaching 20 odd Grand Slam titles that the Big 3 have achieved.

The interviewer further asked the German where he places the three in all of tennis. Unsurprisingly, the German answered with what the world has been calling them for a while.

“The three greatest of all time, it’s as simple as that,” Zverev said. “And we’re hoping that they will continue playing for a very long time.” Funnily enough, he added that he and others who are trying to win Grand Slams hoped they kind of went away.

In the bigger picture, Zverev does not shy away from praising Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic. He also accepts what their retirement would cost to the sports fraternity. 

Zverev said, “We also do understand how much they mean for tennis and how much they mean for the world of sports in general. I think they will be the biggest part of tennis that there ever was, and I think everybody will miss them once they are gone.”

Read More: “Make Him Tired”: Roberto Bautista Agut Reveals the Strategy to Defeat Novak Djokovic

Djokovic and Federer on crash-course at Wimbledon Championships 2021

Remarkably, both Fed and Nole are determined to win their ninth and sixth Wimbledon title, respectively. Given the 2019 Championships final between the two, fans could be in an even bigger treat this year.

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Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland at the net following victory in his Men’s Singles final during Day thirteen of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

In the quarterfinals, the Serbian World No.1 will take on unseeded Marton Fucsovics. On the other side, the 20-time Grand Slam champion will go up against Miami 2021 winner Hubert Hurkacz.

Will the Wimbledon Championships 2021 winner would be outside Federer and Djokovic? Or would we see another example of the Big 3 excellence?

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Also Read: “Please Be Advised That the Interview is Starting”: Roger Federer Jokes in the Middle of an Interview

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Purav Joshi

942 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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