Australian Open: I'm here to play Nadal says Tomas Berdych
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Tomas Berdych has shared the reason he believes no one has been able to dethrone the Big Three of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The former world No 4 was one of the main challengers of their dominance in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
The Big Three have dominated men’s tennis for more than a decade, sharing the world No 1 ranking since 2004, with the exception of Andy Murray claiming it in 2016.
They have also won all but nine of the Grand Slams since 2006 – the first year all four were won by Federer and Nadal.
Only Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Juan Martin del Potro, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev have been able to win Grand Slam titles in that time, with the latter two only coming at the last two US Open tournaments.
While the likes of Medvedev and Thiem have been able to start taking some of the big titles away, one man who got close but was unable to end his career with a Major title has explained why nobody has been able to challenge the Big Three consistently.
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Tomas Berdych made it to the Wimbledon final back in 2010, beating Federer and Djokovic back-to-back before losing to Nadal in the final.
Now-retired, the Czech tennis star stayed in the year-end top ten for eight years, and is one of just three players to have beaten all of the Big Four, including Murray, at all the four Grand Slam tournaments.
Commenting on the new generation of top players trying to push the likes of Djokovic off the top, the former world No 4 said it was difficult to compare their era with his, but said that it was an example of the Big Three’s dominance.
“There is [a] lot of factors because again, already our generation is getting really way older so it’s hard to really compare our times and now the young ones coming up,” he said, speaking exclusively to Express Sport.
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“I think the best proof of it is, look how many new generations there were coming or trying to come in, and how many of them basically locked the places and the positions and stayed there.
“I mean it’s not really many of [the] guys.”
Previous generations have pushed to dethrone the Big Three but have been unable to stay in the top ten for a number of years, including the likes of Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori, who have still enjoyed great success but have been unable to consistently put together multiple standout seasons.
Berdych continued: “There have been a lot of new faces coming up but none of them really made it to being consistent and staying in that era so now finally it’s happening because yes, they are way younger, they are very talented I think.”
However, the 13-time title winner thought tennis would still be different in the post-Big Three era, despite thinking the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas were stronger than the players from previous era.
“But I think tennis will be different than it used to be,” Berdych added.
“Yeah, whether it’s good or bad, I think every spectator can judge it and either he likes it or not, it’s up to them, but I’m sure it’s going to be a bit different than it used to be.”
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