The BIG 3: Roger Federer - Rafael Nadal - Novak Djokovic. Statistics 2010-2020



Year X, Artícle[1], No. 116

March 26, 2020

by Rubén A. Báez[2]

Full statistical report in pdf click here


The purpose of this report is to show the last decade statistics of the three greatest tennis players of all time, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, known as the “Big 3”.

It is necessary to clarify the period covered by this analysis, which encompass from May 2010 to February 2020. The original idea was to launch this report after Roland Garros, but for reasons of public knowledge we have decided to deliver it before that date. In any case, the period is practically a complete decade. The comments in this report do not try to give an opinion about which tennis player is the best of all time. In order to issue a report that tries to determine the best tennis player of all time, it would be necessary to incorporate into the statistics of this report, the period from the 2001 season to April 2010, where Roger Federer won 16 of his 20 Grand Slams and 62 of his 103 titles and represents Roger Federer´s golden age. On the other hand, Rafael Nadal, between 2004 and Roland Garros in 2010, won 9 of his 19 Grand Slams and obtained 40 of his 85 titles. From the general analysis of the last decade, from May 2010 to February 2020, it would mark the Djokovic era, in the sense of his predominance over Federer and Nadal, since in this period he won 16 of his 17 Grand Slams and 63 of his 79 titles. Djokovic won to Nadal 21/33 matches and 21/35 to Federer in the last decade. Djokovic has a ratio of 64% of won matches/total matches over Nadal and 60% over Federer.

When the Big 3 has retired from professional tennis, it will be time to gather all the statistics and make a complete comparative analysis to determine "statistically" who of the three players has had the best statistics. But also, other aspects such as charisma, public acceptance, the number of champion and finalist titles, historical records, etc. should be considered. Table 1 shows some interesting data about the Big 3 such as their age, weight, prize money, etc. The reader will be able to intuit that famous tennis players like the Big 3 obtain additional incomes from the sponsors for the use of clothing, rackets, sneakers, watches, etc. That incomes, surely, exceeds the money they have received in prizes in tournaments. Presumably, the prizes money that figure out in Table 1 would have to be multiplied by "x" to estimate the amount of money they must have bagged. What is the value of "x”? I do not know, but I estimate that it could be a number between 3 and 4. It is a confidential data.

Of the hundreds of tennis matches I have seen, especially the Big 3, I could venture my observations on some aspects of their game. For example, Roger Federer has been characterized by his refined, elegant and perfect technique of movements. In recent years, he has been reducing the played points and increasing his path to the net. An aspect to highlight regard Federer is his "anticipation" that he has regarding the rival´s movements. His brain is like a computer that registers all the rivals and their game patterns and their variants. He is a very intelligent player with an outstanding regularity.

The other prodigy is Rafael Nadal, this player has an exceptional physique and is a perfect machine when it comes to playing matches on clay. He is the greatest player of all time on clay, no one like him. His technique is not as refined as that of Federer, but he has one of the most powerful weapons on the circuit, without mention that he is the best when it comes to "mentality". Rafael Nadal, in my opinion, has the best "mentality" of the game of this era. When Nadal faces a problem in a match has the ability to solve it and getting out successfully.

Finally, we have current World No. 1 Novak "Nole" Djokovic, the third tennis wonder of all time. This exceptional player is also a prodigy. He is a very complete and intelligent player; he has a fast and precise game. Like Nadal, he also has an enviable mentality with characteristics similar to Rafa, he solves problems effectively on the go of a match when it is adverse. He has an exceptional physique with a flexibility worthy of the elastic man. Watching how Djokovic plays is wonderful for his intelligence and tenacity.

As you can see, the Big 3‘s players have an exceptional mentality or intelligence for the game of tennis. I consider it a decisive aspect; the mind dominates the muscle. There are countless players who serve better than the Big 3, who are taller and stronger, who hit the ball harder, etc. But the differential of why these three players have remained at the top of the Top 10 or Top 5, is precisely because of their "mentality", it is living proof that the mind dominates the physical part and not the other way round, nor is it 50/50. Perhaps, more than a question of IQ, in the case of Big 3, it is a question of the "way of thinking", a better understanding than the rest of the players of the "chain of events" during a game, match or tournament. They must have something different because they have been on top for more than a decade. The Big 3 is won-derful.

I do not want to give the impression of being a flatterer of these three guys, in reality they do not pay me a penny to write these lines, but I must admit that they are fantastic and unrepeatable. I am very happy to have lived the Federer-Nadal-Djokovic era, they are already a living legend and as our cartoonist friend Ropam de Nemours comments, they are already immortal in the "Galactic Tennis Confederation".

Full statistical report in pdf click here

[1] Report elaboration based on data from official Websites:

[2] National Tennis Coach (Argentine Tennis Association), Bachelor of Business Administration, Certified Public Accountant, Post grades of Finance Management and Capital Markets, Master of Business Administration (IAE Business School, Austral University, Buenos Aires, Argentina).




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