stats
globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space


Search

space
  This site         Tips

  
space
  The Web Google
space
   space



space

  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology

space
Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

   Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...

space

Services
   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    

PRINT EDITION
The Big Three: Djokovic rejoins Federer, Nadal at the peak of men's tennis
space
space
By HOWARD FENDRICH
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
  
  

Email this article Print this article
Tuesday, July 17, 2018 – Page B12

LONDON -- What had gone from a Big Four to a Big Two is now back to a Big Three, with Novak Djokovic rejoining Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the top of men's tennis.

Each has been written off at some point. And each has won a major tournament in 2018: Djokovic's title at Wimbledon on Sunday, Nadal's at the French Open in June and Roger Federer's at the Australian Open in January.

"It's amazing that those three got back like this," Djokovic's coach Marian Vajda said.

Maybe the U.S. Open, which starts in 11/2 months, will break the tie for season supremacy.

That trio has combined to win 10 of the past 14 championships at Flushing Meadows: Five for Federer, three for Nadal, two for Djokovic. At least one, and sometimes two, appeared in 13 of the finals in that span.

Federer, who turns 37 on Aug. 8, won that event every year from 2004-08, but not since. Nadal, 32, is the reigning champion.

Djokovic, 31, sat out the U.S. Open while missing the last half of 2017 because of an injured right elbow that he eventually had surgery on.

He announced his return to prominence and ended a Grand Slam title drought that lasted more than two years by overwhelming Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (3) in the final at the All England Club. While Djokovic was having his problems, Federer and Nadal combined to win six majors in a row, a streak that ended at Wimbledon.

Anderson, last year's runnerup at the U.S. Open, was impressed by the quality he's seen from Djokovic - both on Sunday and when they have practised with each other of late.

"Guys at the top can expect to see him on the other side of the net quite frequently," Anderson predicted.

And why not?

Remember, the 31-year-old Djokovic is someone in possession of 13 Grand Slam titles, the fourth-most in history for a man.

He trails only contemporary rivals Federer (20) and Nadal (17), along with childhood idol Pete Sampras (14). Djokovic is also the only man since Rod Laver's second calendar-year Grand Slam of 1969 to win four consecutive majors, a run he completed at the 2016 French Open.

He hadn't won a Slam since, until Sunday.

Andy Murray, a three-time major champion and two-time Olympic singles gold medalist, is the fourth member of the Big Four, but he's been sidelined for most of the last year because of a bad hip that needed an operation. When Djokovic was out, too, the quartet was cut in half.

For the time being, it's a trio.

"I understand that people are questioning whether I can consistently play on this level. Trust me, I am, too. At the same time, I can't look too far on the road because I have to embrace and cherish this kind of accomplishment," Djokovic said.

"This is going to be a huge confidence boost and springboard for whatever is coming up," he added. "I really can't see the future. I don't know what's going to happen. But I like to play on hard courts. U.S. Open was always a successful tournament for me."

That's certainly true.

In his past 10 appearances, he never did worse than reaching the semi-finals. He made the final seven times in that stretch.

And now after a difficult period, hampered first by a painful elbow and then by self-doubt, Djokovic looks far more like his old self these days.

Vajda, the former coach who returned to Djokovic's side in April, saw something important over the past two weeks.

"Definitely, he is more relaxed.

But he's also enjoying. He started enjoying," Vajda said. "This is the most important moment. ... He lost this doubting and fear and whatever, so he's able to enjoy."

Before beating Anderson, Djokovic had to get past Nadal in the semis. It was as enthralling and high-quality a match as any during Wimbledon, a 5-hour 15minute tussle between two greats that ended 10-8 in the fifth set.

Djokovic called it "the biggest test that I could have ... just to see whether I can prevail" and said he derived plenty of confidence from that victory against a man he's now faced 52 times.

Nadal's take-away?

Djokovic, he said, is "playing at his top level again."

Associated Graphic

Serbia's Novak Djokovic plants a smooch on the Wimbledon trophy after his win in London on Sunday.

GLYN KIRK/GETTY IMAGES


Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Margaret_Wente Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail
 

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement
space

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.

Advertisement

7-Day Site Search
    

Breaking News



Today's Weather


Inside

Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes


Editorial
Where Manley is going with his first budget




space

Columnists



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.

 National


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
space
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
space
Margaret Wente arrow
Counterpoint
space
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game
space
 Business


Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
space
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
space
Mathew Ingram arrow
space
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
space
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
space
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
space
Andrew Willis arrow
Streetwise
space
 Sports


Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
space
Eric Duhatschek arrow
space
Allan Maki arrow
space
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
space
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
Golf
space
 The Arts


John Doyle arrow
Television
space
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
space
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
space
Johanna Schneller arrow
Moviegoer
space
 Comment


Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
space
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
space
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
space
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
space
Paul Knox arrow
Worldbeat
space
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
space
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
space
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
space
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
space
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
space
William Thorsell arrow
space





Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page