It is actually pretty difficult to put into words the brilliance of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, a task that Feliciano Lopez tried to perform. The three men have achieved so much that they are almost synonymous with tennis now.
Wherever you have a conversation about the sport, it is pretty difficult for anyone to discuss anything more than the Big 3. They’ve won a whopping total of 56 grand slams combined. In addition to this, they’ve more or less had a permanent position in the top 3 of the tennis rankings.
Feliciano Lopez of Spain is an interesting tennis player. He was the first Spaniard to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals since 1972 when he achieved the feat in 2005. Obviously, he would’ve been seen as the future of Spanish tennis at the time.
However, a player called Rafael Nadal would achieve such accolades that the mantle went with him forever. Lopez is both a victim and a beneficiary of the Big 3 era – the former because of the sheer lack of opportunities and the latter because of the grand privilege. Recently, the Spanish veteran opened up on the grandeur of the Big 3.
Lopez revealed that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that the fans of the current generation have. You won’t ever get the Big 3 again –
“I don’t think tennis will ever live a time where 3 players this good will be playing. I don’t think there will ever, and I obviously won’t be alive to see it, I will die without seeing a player reach as many grand slams as any of them, no matter who ends up first, Novak, Rafa or Federer. But one of them will end up as the best of all time (or all of them) and I won’t see in my lifetime anyone who surpasses them. Not just me, not even my children or grandchildren, and I don’t even think there will be another player that will win as many as any of these three.”
Not just this, Lopez believes the historical accident of three such supreme players in the same generation will also not be replicated.
“And what I think it will be absolutely impossible is to have another 3 as good as them playing at the same time. It’s just… just two of them playing at the same time is a miracle, but then three? And so many years? I guess it’s the same as Cristiano, Messi and Maradona.”
Do you agree with Feliciano Lopez?