Is the era of the ‘Big 4’ in men’s tennis going down like this?
In this year’s men’s professional tennis (ATP) tour clay court season, an unfamiliar landscape is unfolding. Rafael Nadal (37, world ranking 14th, Spain), Novak Djokovic (36, 1st, Serbia), Roger Federer (42, retired, Switzerland), Andy Murray (36, 42nd, England) disappeared from the podium. The clay court season is about two months카지노사이트 from April to the French Open at the end of May. The competitions held during this period were mainly held on clay courts, hence the name.
The ‘Four Kings’ of tennis have been competing for the position of tennis GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) for the past 20 years. They took turns lifting the championship trophy in 66 of the 76 major tournaments held since 2004. Nadal and Djokovic tied for the most major singles wins ever with 22, while Federer is second with 20. The head is the least with 3 times, but the runner-up is 8 times. It was from September of last year that the solid ‘four-member system’ began to crack. As the eldest brother, ‘Emperor’ Federer, retired, the era of the four great kings began to fade. Since July 2021, he has been unable to play in official matches for over a year due to a knee injury.
Around the same time, Nadal went down with an injury. His last season was prematurely ended due to chronic pain in the bottom of his left foot. Nadal has been suffering from Müller-Weiss disease since he was 19 years old. He has a rare disease that deforms his joints and presses on his nerves. He’s been on painkillers all this time. After his rehabilitation, Nadal entered the Australian Open in January this year as the defending champion, but was knocked out in the second round. Since then, he has been unable to compete due to a hip injury in his left leg. The British BBC predicted that “Nadal’s participation in the French Open is also uncertain.” At the French Open, which opens on the 28th, Nadal holds the record for most wins (14 wins). Thanks to that, he is also nicknamed ‘Soil God’.
At least Djokovic was on the steady side. He reached the top of Wimbledon in July of last year and was evaluated as “still in his prime”. Although he was unable to participate in the US Open last year because he did not receive the Corona 19 vaccine, he showed off his strength by winning the 1st tournament in Adelaide and the Australian Open in January this year.
But suddenly fell into a slump. After the Australian Open, she was eliminated early in all three events. In particular, in the round of 16 of the Monte Carlo Masters on the 13th of last month, he lost to 21-year-old rookie Lorenzo Musetti (21st, Italy), and in the quarterfinals of the Srpska Open on the 21st of the same month, he lost to Dusan Rayovic (70th, Serbia), who was considered one step below. ) was also defeated and shocked. Djokovic is known to have a problem with his right elbow, which he underwent surgery in the past.
As the era of the Big Four fades, the struggle of his head is noticeable. Murray, 36, won the Aix-en-Provence Challenger on the 7th. It is a low-level event on the ATP tour, but it has a special meaning to Murray. It has been 3 years and 7 months since the Altwerpen Open in October 2019 that he won the ATP competition. He was forced to retire in 2019 due to back and hip injuries. However, Murray struggled to recover without letting go of the racket even while undergoing surgery to implant an artificial joint made of metal into his hip joint.
In the second round of this year’s Australian Open, the ‘unbreakable mind’ of the head was well revealed. After giving away the first and second sets against Seo Nashi Kokinakis (104th, Australia), he clenched his teeth and overturned the game 3-2. The bloody fight lasted 5 hours and 45 minutes, 8 minutes short of the longest time in Australian Open history. It was a reversal drama of 2 days and 1 night that ended after 4 am local time. Now, he is called ‘all night hair’ because he stayed up all night to compete. It is an object of fear for players with weak stamina. Murray, who dreams of a second heyday, said, “I will take a step forward with the victory.”