Federer, Nadal or Djokovic: Who will have the most Grand Slams in men's tennis?
With 20 Grand Slams to his name as of today, Roger Federer is still the man with the most singles Majors in men's tennis.
However, Federer’s chances of ending his career with the most number of Grand Slams took a mighty blow, and that was in the longest men’s singles final in Wimbledon history, incidentally in 2019.
Had Federer defeated Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final this year, he would’ve taken his Grand Slam tally to 21 and built a considerable lead over his competitors.
But the loss meant that Djokovic now has 16 Majors and is the closest he has ever been to Federer’s tally.
The Serb has often expressed his desire to finish with the most Grand Slam titles and he has long been regarded as someone who has the capability to overhaul Federer’s record.
As it turns out, though, the most pressing challenge for Federer, as of now, comes from the ever relentless Rafael Nadal or the 'King of Clay'.
The Spaniard has an extremely physical style of play and has suffered numerous injuries through the course of his career.
This compelled many to think that despite him being a true great of the sport and someone who has matched-up to Federer every step of the way, he wouldn’t be able to sustain and eventually overtake his great rival in terms of Grand Slams won.
But Nadal’s career has seen a tremendous upward swing over the past three seasons, in which he has bagged five Grand Slams.
Now, with his latest triumph at the US Open this year, the Spaniard has reached 19 Majors and is within touching distance of Federer’s tally. Just like Djokovic, this is the closest he has ever come to the top of the pile.
Federer, at 38, doesn’t have age on his side as compared to Nadal and Djokovic, who are 33 and 32 respectively.
The Swiss could have another period of resurgence, like he did in 2017 after returning from a six-month injury layoff, and add a Slam or two to his tally. But will that be enough to give him the record? I seriously doubt that.
Djokovic has several years of competitive tennis left in him and with his lofty fitness standards, it will take a brave person to bet against him winning more Majors.
Nadal, too, is far from finished and will most-likely add to his total. Especially at the French Open, where he is still very much the undisputed king.
Sports is a funny business, though. Federer had won his 16th Grand Slam at the 2010 Australian Open and it seemed at that time that he wouldn’t take long to go past 20.
But the Swiss could manage to win just one of the next 27 Majors. This isn’t to say that Nadal or Djokovic will face a similar low but again, anything is possible in the world of sports.
The 'Big Three' have won 33 of the 40 Grand Slam titles over the past decade and have shared the last 12 majors between them to underline their dominance.
Nadal will be confident of defending his French Open title once again next year and winning a 13th Roland Garros crown, while Djokovic will begin the season as the Australian Open defending champion.
One among the terrific trio will win the Grand Slam Race and, at the end of his career, will become the most successful tennis player ever.
The margin is really thin; many variables will have to fit together so that one of the three prevails over the other.
Anyway, considering titles, age and perspectives, Rafael Nadal, in my humble opinion, could be the one who can close his career ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, and then win the coveted Grand Slam race.