NEW YORK, August 26, 2019 (by Michael Dickens)
In the days leading up to this year’s United States Open, there’s been plenty of talk about the dominance the Big Three – Roger Federer (20 Grand Slam titles), Rafael Nadal (18) and Novak Djokovic (16) – have had on the Grand Slams and why it’s difficult to see anyone breaking their stranglehold in majors.
As the 2019 US Open begins, here are some staggering statistics to consider about the Big Three:
• The Big Three have won the last 11 Grand Slams since the 2016 US Open was won by Stan Wawrinka.
• The Big Three have won 50 of the last 58 Grand Slams.
• At least one of the Big Three has reached the finals in 56 of the last 58 Grand Slams.
• This is the third straight year that the Big Three are trying to sweep all four Grand Slams. The only other time they swept three straight years was from 2006-08.
• At this year’s US Open, the Big Three are seeded 1-2-3 (Djokovic, Nadal, Federer). The first time that the Big Three were seeded 1-2-3 was 12 years ago. No. 1 Federer won the championship, No. 2 Nadal reached the fourth round and No. 3 Djokovic lost to Federer in the final, 7–6 (4), 7–6 (2), 6–4.
• This year is the fifth time that the Big Three have been the top three seeds, and it’s the 23rd time overall in a Grand Slam.
• At least one of the Big Three has been in the US Open final in 14 of the last 15 years and won 11 times. The last time a US Open didn’t have one of the Big Three was in 2014 when it was 14th seed Marin Cilic versus 10th seed Kei Nishikori, won by Cilic.
• There are only three seeded players in the Top 10 from 2009 who are back seeded in the Top 10 this year: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
• No men under the age of 30 holds a Grand Slam title. Federer is 38, Nadal is 33, and Djokovic is 32.
• Dominic Thiem, at age 25, is the youngest in this year’s 128-player men’s singles field to reach a Grand Slam final.
• Amazingly, throughout this streak of dominance, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have never faced each other at the US Open. If it’s going to happen in 2019, it would have to be in the final as they are in opposite halves of the draw.