With the advent of the 21st century, a group of tennis giants had reached their prime and began preparing to leave in order to hand over the banner to a new generation of yellow ball stars whose popularity increased significantly during the second half of the 20th century. individual worldwide.

In the first three years of the new century, hegemony over the major titles, "Grand Slam", remained in the hands of those stars, led by the Americans Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, in addition to their compatriot Andy Roddick, the Australian Lleyton Hewitt, the Croatian Goran Ivanisevic and the Russian Marat Safin.

But the year 2003 witnessed the emergence of a new star, the Swiss Roger Federer, who, at the age of 22, managed to win his first major title when he was crowned Wimbledon English champion in 2003, then combined the following year between them and the US Open title "Flushing Meadows", and then continued to win Wimbledon To win 5 consecutive titles.

The emergence of Federer ushered in a new era for the game, and the question began about who would be the competitor for this new star, and the answer was not long in coming, as Spaniard Rafael Nadal appeared in 2005 to snatch the French Open title, "Roland Garros", when he was 19 years old, and then continues to dazzle, retaining the title. Championship 4 consecutive times until 2008, which also saw him win the Wimbledon title.

Nadal (right) with Federer during the Swiss's last appearance in the Laver Cup in September 2022 (Reuters)

third pole

In those years when it seemed that the world of tennis had two new poles, Federer and Nadal, there was another player who drew attention, the Serbian Novak Djokovic, and some expected him to become a third pole, but the matter did not materialize because of what he suffered at the beginning of his career from the inconsistency of the level of performance. As well as the intensity of the mood that took him out of focus in many matches.

And in 2008, Djokovic managed to win his first major title at the Australian Open, so that the world began to look at him seriously as a real competitor to the two great poles, Federer and Nadal.

The titles of the Serbian star continued, and Australia was his favorite stadium, so he won the championship 10 times, while Wimbledon was the favorite of Federer, who won her title 8 times, while the greatest fascination was on the part of Nadal, who monopolized the French Roland Garros title 13 times, knowing that it is held on clay courts. favored by the Spanish.

The first decade of the 21st century was the Swiss Federer’s decade with distinction, during which he won 16 titles in the four major tournaments, compared to 9 for Nadal and a single title for Djokovic, then the situation changed in the second decade of the century when Djokovic advanced and won 11 titles, which is the same as Nadal’s credit, while Federer was affected With injuries with age, he was satisfied with 4 titles.

Federer the artist

Then Federer actually left the polar race with the beginning of the third decade of the century, when his last participation in the major tournaments was in Wimbledon 2021, after which he underwent surgery that forced him to retire the following year, leaving the arena of competition at the top for his companions Nadal and Djokovic.

Federer retired with 20 major titles, which is the same balance as his competitors, but Nadal took advantage of the opportunity to win the titles of Australia and France to win the record of 22 titles, while Djokovic contented himself with the Wimbledon title to raise his score to 21, while the remaining title went to a new knight, the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who won US Open Championship.

And the current year 2023 came to be the first in this century that begins without the presence of tennis artist Federer on the courts, and Nadal is injured in the first of the four major tournaments in Australia. Djokovic did not miss the opportunity and won the tournament and achieved an amazing start and equaled Nadal's record of 22 major titles.

It is interesting that the achievement of the Serbian star came in the same tournament that he was denied participation in last year, after the Australian authorities deported him because of his refusal to receive the Corona virus vaccine, noting that he was denied participation in the US Open last year for the same reason.

Djokovic achieved more than one achievement by winning the Australian Tennis Championship (Reuters)

The biggest victory

Perhaps this is the reason why Djokovic cried so hard after the victory, which he described as the biggest victory in his life, explaining that he was excited to win as many Grand Slam titles as possible, stressing that he still had a lot of motivation and ambition and did not intend to stop.

Djokovic's gains were not limited to achieving the Australian title and equaling Nadal's record, but he jumped from fifth to first place at the top of the world rankings for tennis players, which is more than the highest.

15 years after his first Grand Slam triumph, it still means so much to @DjokerNole 🏆#AusOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/1To4eWIJIJ

— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2023

Perhaps one of the biggest rewards for the Serbian star is the praise he received from the former pole, Federer, who praised Djokovic's "amazing effort", noting that Federer was the first tennis player in the world to reach number 20 in Grand Slam titles when he crowned the Australian Championship. Also 2018.

In light of Federer’s retirement, and Nadal’s problems related to his physical fitness, which was one of his most prominent weapons in the past, as well as injuries that made him fall to sixth place in the world rankings, it seems that Djokovic will not stop, and he will be a strong candidate for the record, which will make him Standing alone at the top of the tennis stars in the world today, waiting for new competitors to write a new era of competition in this exciting game.