The 2021 Wimbledon championship has been a tournament that few will forget anytime soon. Indeed, tennis fans have been treated to it all over the last two weeks. From Andy Murray’s brave return to Emma Raducanu’s brilliance, this one will live long in the memory banks for all the right reasons.
There is of course another reason that the 134th edition of this famous championship will also never be forgotten and that’s down to the Big Three. The writing is on the wall as far as their dominance goes. Some might argue that can’t really be the case when Novak Djokovic is the favorite in the latest 2021 Wimbledon odds.
Whilst that may be true, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal are nowhere to be seen. In Nadal’s case, that is quite literally the truth as the Spaniard confirmed that he would miss the Wimbledon championships as well as the Olympics in Tokyo. The 35-year-old may well make a comeback at the 2021 US Open but it’s evident now that he has to manage his body if he intends to carry on playing. Indeed, Father Time’s knock on the door is getting louder.
An ovation for 22 years of memories 👏
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 7, 2021
The same can be said for Federer. Despite rolling back the years and beating younger opponents, the end of the road came against Hubert Hurkacz after the Polish player beat him in straight sets. Tellingly, Federer wasn’t able to win a game in the last set, which does suggest that the 39-year-old will need to sit down and think about his future.
With all of this in mind, it does just feel like the Big Three are finally beginning to crack, but that obviously doesn’t mean that the door will be open for younger players just yet. Djokovic’s sensational run at Grand Slams looks set to carry on with the Serb in the particularly uncompromising form now that he is on the verge of winning his twentieth Grand Slam.
Doing so would take him level with Nadal and Federer’s Grand Slam tally and, in reality, pave the way for him to become the greatest of all time. There’s very little chance that the Serb will take his foot off the accelerator now that he is on the home stretch and within sight of the chequered flag.
— TENNIS (@Tennis) July 7, 2021
But it will in all likelihood be a one-man show from here on in and not a trio of performers, which does feel significant. The day was always going to arrive, and it may just have snuck up on everyone at the 2021 Wimbledon championship. The end of the road for top professional athletes does historically come like a thief in the night. The hunger to compete can disappear out of the blue.
Time will naturally tell and you wouldn’t put anything past these icons of the game, if anyone can stage a sensational comeback they can. They do share an extraordinary 59 Grand Slam wins between them and have spent their entire careers defying what anyone thought was possible.
But there is one match that is impossible to win and that is defeating Father Time.