It is rare in Tennis that the top 5 ranked players are all above 30 years of age. You have Roger Federer, who at 35 looks more than capable of adding another couple of grand slams to his kitty. You have Stan Wawrinka, who at 32 can still set the court on fire with his powerful forehands. Then, you have Rafael Nadal, who has successfully crawled (after struggling for a couple of years) to find his top game and is now the clear favourite to win this year’s French Open. At the top of the summit, you have Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic – two people who have been facing each other since they were younglings unknown to the world. Both of them have had a horror 2017, but since they have been performing so well for so long, their ranking has not changed.
For years now, these five players have won all the major grand slams and most of the Masters 1000 tournaments. Yes, you have a Marin Cilic winning US Open, but it’s an extremely rare instance.
The clean sweep began in 2006, when Roger Federer reached the finals of all Grand Slams. And won three of them, only losing the French Open to Rafael Nadal.
In 2007, the same routine was repeated. It seemed that this duopoly won’t be broken for a long time, since the two of them were so much better than the others. Novak Djokovic announced himself as a contender by winning two ATP Masters 1000 titles (Miami and Montreal).
In 2008, Djokovic won his first grand slam in Australia. Roger Federer managed to win the US Open, but lost two finals (Wimbledon and French Open) against Rafael Nadal. It was also the year that Andy Murray won his first Masters title in Cincinnati and second Masters title in Madrid.
In 2009, Juan Martin Del Potro scored a big upset victory against Federer in the US Open. But, the world of Tennis was dominated by the Big 4 (Wawrinka bloomed late). Federer completed his career grand slam by winning the elusive French Open and followed it up with another Wimbledon title. Rafael Nadal trumped Roger Federer in an epic Australian Open final that lasted five sets. Andy Murray won 2 ATP Masters titles and Novak Djokovic won one.
In 2010, Rafael Nadal enjoyed the time of his life by winning three grand slams. Roger Federer edged out the up and coming Andy Murray in a well fought Australian Open final.
In 2011, Djokovic announced himself as the leader of the pack by winning three grand slams. Rafael Nadal maintained his king of clay status by winning the French Open.
In 2012, the Big 4 shared the grand slams. Djokovic won the Australian Open, Nadal won the French Open, Federer won the Wimbledon and Murray registered his first grand slam victory by winning the US Open.
Since then, Marin Cilic has managed one Grand Slam title. The rest of the spoils have been shared by the Big 5.
There has been talk about upcoming players like Nick Kyrgios and Grigor Dimitrov, mainly because of their prodigious skills. But both players struggled with inconsistency and weren’t able to disturb the top seeds.
Right now, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem are two players to watch out for. Since they both have convincingly defeated the likes of Nadal and Djokovic. But neither of them look ready to win the Grand Slams. Probably, Thiem will do it this time in the French Open. But it’s a long shot. For the betterment of the game, it’ll be great to have new faces winning Grand Slams. Someone in the same league as Djokovic, Federer and Nadal. Someone who can dominate the game and make the No. 1 position their own.