I saw a thread on Twitter recently that projected and simultaneously asked for responses on the final tally of career Majors for the Big 3.
The tweet along with the several responses were all in the same ball park with various iterations: Novak finishing with 24, Nadal 22 and Federer 20; or Nadal 23, Djokovic 23 and Roger 21; and so on (which is what Twitter amounts to). Really pretty random and insignificant when you think about it; by no means am I bringing this up to start a debate as fruitless as the GOAT turd.
What this does remind us of, however, is what I can not remove from my brain: the utter futility of practically every non-Big 3 athlete who plays tennis on this tour.
What this tweet even suggests is that we have another 3-5 years of this shit.
Can you imagine the Big 3 going that big? Most of you are probably over the moon about the prospects of rooting for your 30-something hero well into the future, edging closer to 40, yet carrying-on and playing what amounts to tennis rubbish while claiming just about every important title on this forsaken tour.
Yeah, I said rubbish. Federer is playing the part, pretty much. Nadal’s tennis is rubbish, just a bullying form that requires massive fitness and confidence (which then relinquishes any class). Nadal’s tennis will get uglier and uglier, which is not the point any longer. No one really cares.
This tour is all about winning titles at this point, has been for quite a while now (HRFRT).
Long gone is a prevalence of gentlemanly class and grace. This tour is about the Big 3, slowing down the courts and letting equipment continue to weaponize the game and destroy any remnants of style, tradition and even skill.
Can you imagine Nadal winning five more majors? Novak winning eight more?
Yet the collective intelligence of the TSQ only nods in agreement, complicit in the corruption of this sport. I’m answering my own question here, pointing-out the involvement of the TSQ, of the lovely fan-girl culture out there, which gets its cue from the mainstream media; any of those network honks — ESPN, Tennis Channel, Sky Sports, etc. — would certainly agree with the sentiments of this aforementioned Twitter “poll.”
How can you imagine a tour without the Big 3 at this point. Many think Federer will win Wimbledon when he’s 40. Nadal will win RG when he’s 50. Who knows what Novak will do. He’s the man of mystery in my book. He controls the sport at this point, if you ask me, not just in terms of being the world #1.
He could retire Fedal if he stays healthy and focused. But it looks like we may have another injury on the Serb.
How will this U.S. Open play out?
I suppose there is quite a bit of wide-openness to this field, suddenly, with Novak looking injured and Federer looking like he has a dump in his drawers (though this might be those outfits he’s wearing, too).
Novak doesn’t seem to have too much trouble in his draw until he gets Medvedev in that QF. Federer looks to be struggling with everyone, though one suspects, like the other Big 2, that the Bo5 probably buoys his chances some, plus his draw looks pretty favorable.
At the same time, wouldn’t surprise me if he goes out in the next round to an Evans/Pouille.
This top half is suddenly quite the rumor mill, of what Novak and Roger have left for the second week if they can stay in the tournament; both look troubled for different reasons.
In the Federer quarter there’s a Dimitrov citing along with a Goffin and Nishikori lurking, feigning a threat — a microcosm of this era, with Roger, probably on one leg or so, still getting through (though we know these first set gifts to his opponents could easily become more of an issue and he could be sent packing, still scratching his head regarding the WB disaster).
Getting to that Novak vs Roger SF would be a kind of triumph in itself given their apparent struggles. We’d get that spectacle again (think of the tension in this potential SF) and get a chance to see if my pre-tournament prediction holds: he beats Novak and then loses to Rafa in the final. 😀
Rafa actually, according to my meteorological equipment, has some potential difficulty in the next couple of matches that I’d love to see manifest: Kokkinakis is a bold fellow with some game, but Bo5 and beating a confident and healthy Rafa seems quite the stretch.
After that, Rafa gets potentially one of his nemeses in Verdasco. Doubt the 35 year-old has enough for Rafa, but he can be a hard court villain. Let’s see it, Fernando.
And then Rafa likely gets the winner of Isner and Cilic in that R16 match. So, really Nadal’s only trouble is in the next couple of matches.
His QF will be a bath toy and his SF likely the same . . . unless Kyrgios can keep his shit together. He is such a meltdown, but has the tennis to beat anyone. As we know.
Which brings us conclusively to the ATP in its handling of this Kyrgios behavior. We’ve already said that the tour should suspend him for his on-court behavior which is all kinds of trouble. He offends people on and off the court during his match, and is very likely to tank a match. There is enough in recent in-match behavior to have suspended him.
But the tour has done nothing, but fine him about a hundred grand (these guys are multi-millionaires, so do the math). No suspension.
Yet, now you’re threatening a suspension because he called the ATP “corrupt”? The ATP looks all kinds of corrupt trying to silence a guy for calling them “corrupt” during an interview. The sport needs that kind of candor, by the way. As I’ve said before, as troubling as Nick is with his volatility and unpredictable play, he’s not afraid, thankfully, to question the power structure. An underhand serve to Nadal is exactly what I’m talking about. Or posting video evidence of Nadal obliterating the time rule during a match and getting no violation at all.
The ATP looks bad here.
As in the management of the tour along with the tour’s overall competitiveness.
Oh shit the irony of Kyrgios coming away with this title. The juiciest irony of all.