Big Four (tennis)
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|Prize money||$ 394,435,332|
|Career record||3539–798 (81.5%) (overall); 3323–578 (85.1%) (without Big Four)|
|Highest ranking||No. 1 (2 February 2004F, 18 August 2008N, 4 July 2011D, 7 November 2016M)|
|Current ranking||No. 1 (25 June 2018N)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||W (2004F, 2006F, 2007F, 2008D, 2009N, 2010F, 2011D, 2012D, 2013D, 2015D, 2016D, 2017F, 2018F)|
|French Open||W (2005N, 2006N, 2007N, 2008N, 2009F, 2010N, 2011N, 2012N, 2013N, 2014N, 2016D, 2017N, 2018N)|
|Wimbledon||W (2003F, 2004F, 2005F, 2006F, 2007F, 2008N, 2009F, 2010N, 2011D, 2012F, 2013M, 2014D, 2015D, 2016M, 2017F, 2018D)|
|US Open||W (2004F, 2005F, 2006F, 2007F, 2008F, 2010N, 2011D, 2012M, 2013N, 2015D, 2017N)|
|Tour Finals||W (2003F, 2004F, 2006F, 2007F, 2008D, 2010F, 2011F, 2012D, 2013D, 2014D, 2015D, 2016M)|
|Olympic Games||W (2008N, 2012M, 2016M)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||3R (2003F, 2004N, 2005N)|
|French Open||2R (2006M)|
|US Open||SF (2004N)|
|Other doubles tournaments|
|Olympic Games||W (2008F, 2016N)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|Australian Open||2R (2006D)|
|Other mixed doubles tournaments|
|Olympic Games||F (2012M)|
|Davis Cup||W (2004N, 2008N, 2009N, 2010D, 2011N, 2014F, 2015M)|
|Hopman Cup||W (2001F, 2018F)|
|Last updated on: 13 August 2018.|
In tennis, the term Big Four is a term used in (sports) journalism to refer to the quartet of men's singles players comprising Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray. These players are considered dominant in terms of ranking and tournament victories, including Grand Slam tournaments and ATP Masters 1000 events, as well as the ATP Finals, the ATP World Tour 500 series and Olympic Games, having dominated the sport among them from 2004 onwards.
Federer was the first to come to prominence after winning Wimbledon in 2003 and established himself as the world No. 1 by the beginning of 2004. Nadal followed in 2005 after a French Open triumph including a win over Federer, and they occupied the top two places in the ATP rankings for 211 consecutive weeks from July 2005 to August 2009. Djokovic, from 2007, and later Murray, from 2008, increasingly challenged Federer and Nadal's dominance with seasonal consistency. Djokovic captured three of the four major tournaments in 2011, and in 2012 the quartet won one Major tournament apiece. In 2011, Nadal declared that his and Federer's period of joint dominance had ended, owing to the ascent of other players, notably Djokovic and later Murray.
They regularly held the top four places in the year-end rankings between 2008 and 2013, and they have held the top two spots continuously since 25 July 2005, as well as the top ranking since 2 February 2004, meaning that no player outside the Big Four has ranked world No. 1 in the last 14 years or even No. 2 in more than 12 and a half years. All four have reached a career high No. 1. Federer has been world No. 1 for a record 310 weeks, Djokovic for 223 weeks (fifth since the inception of the ATP Rankings in 1973), Nadal, the current No. 1, for 185 weeks (6th since 1973), and Murray for 41 weeks. Federer leads among them with 5 year-end No. 1, followed by Nadal and Djokovic with 4 and Murray with 1. They were ranked year-end world top 4 consecutively from 2008 to 2012 which is the longest span of dominance for any quartet of players in tennis history.
Since this time the term "Big Four", while used previously, became popular with the media and in tennis literature. The Big Four have been a critical part of what has, since 2006, often been labelled a new "Golden Era" in tennis; that term is also applied to the mid-1970s to 1980s, and the 1920s to the 1930s.
Amongst them, they have won 49 of the last 54 men's major singles titles, from the 2005 French Open through to 2018 Wimbledon, with at least one of them appearing in every major final during this period, the only exception being the 2014 US Open. They have also won 12 of the last 15 ATP Finals (previously Tennis Masters Cup and World Tour Finals), with Federer winning six and Djokovic winning five, with a record 4 consecutive from 2012 to 2015, and Murray winning one. Of the four, Federer leads with a record 20 major titles followed by Nadal (17), Djokovic (13) and Murray (3). Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic have completed a Career Grand Slam by winning each of the four Majors at least once, with Nadal also winning a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics for a Career Golden Slam. Murray has won neither the French nor Australian Open, despite reaching the final five times in Melbourne and once in Paris, but has also won two Olympic gold medals (one each at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics), becoming the first tennis player in history to win two singles gold medals, and the most successful male Olympic tennis player in the modern era with two gold medals and a silver medal. In the three Olympic Games between 2008 and 2016, the four won 5 gold medals (Murray 2, Nadal 2, Federer 1), 2 silver medals (Murray and Federer) and a bronze medal (Djokovic).
Furthermore, at ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, they are all in the top-10 list (since 1970). Nadal leads with a record 33 titles, followed by Djokovic (30), Federer (27) and Murray (14). All four players have also played key roles in leading their countries to success in the Davis Cup. Djokovic and Federer helped Serbia (2010) and Switzerland (2014), respectively, win the competition for the first time, while Nadal has won four Davis Cup titles, and Murray helped end a drought of 79 years for Great Britain in Davis Cup competition (2015).
In addition to all of these achievements, the Big Four hold many records for having won individual tournament titles the greatest number of times, including 3 of the 4 majors (Australian Open: Djokovic and Federer, 6 titles, shared with Roy Emerson; French Open: Nadal, 11 titles; Wimbledon: Federer, 8 titles), the ATP Finals (Federer, 6 titles), and 8 of the 9 ATP Masters 1000 events (Indian Wells: Djokovic and Federer, 5 titles each; Miami: Djokovic, 6 titles, shared with Andre Agassi; Monte Carlo: Nadal, 11 titles; Madrid: Nadal, 5 titles; Rome: Nadal, 8 titles; Cincinnati: Federer, 7 titles; Shanghai: Djokovic and Murray, 3 titles each; Paris: Djokovic, 4 titles). Furthermore, Federer and Nadal are the players that have won the most ATP 500 World Tour Tournaments with 20 titles.
Many have objected to including Murray in the Big Four while excluding Stan Wawrinka, who has also won three majors in the same time period. Wawrinka himself has countered this objection, citing his own lack of consistency compared to the Big Four. Whilst the two players are equal for the key statistic of Grand Slam singles titles, this is by far Wawrinka's most impressive achievement and a slightly disappointing one for Murray. A comparison between the career performances of the two shows Murray clearly ahead.
- 1 History
- 2 Overall dominance
- 2.1 Grand Slam tournaments and the Olympics
- 2.2 List of multiple Grand Slam champions – Open Era (since 1968)
- 2.3 Big Four Head-to-Head Grand Slam finals: 30
- 2.4 Big Four Olympic final
- 2.5 ATP Finals
- 2.6 ATP Masters tournaments
- 2.7 Other Big Four finals: 15
- 2.8 Top-level tournament records
- 2.9 Top Tier singles tournament standings since 1990
- 2.10 Big Four vs the rest of the field
- 2.11 Grand Slam tournament performance comparison
- 2.12 Grand Slam tournament performance comparison by age
- 2.13 Rankings
- 2.14 Career Grand Slam tournament 1st seedings
- 2.15 Main international tennis and sports awards
- 3 Combined achievements
- 4 Legacy and recognition
- 5 Rivalries
- 6 Career evolution
- 7 Notable matches
- 7.1 2007 Wimbledon Championships final
- 7.2 2008 Wimbledon Championships final
- 7.3 2009 Australian Open final
- 7.4 2011 French Open semifinal
- 7.5 2012 Australian Open final
- 7.6 2012 French Open final
- 7.7 2012 Wimbledon Championships final
- 7.8 2012 US Open final
- 7.9 2013 French Open semifinal
- 7.10 2013 Wimbledon Championships final
- 7.11 2014 Wimbledon Championships final
- 7.12 2016 French Open final
- 7.13 2016 ATP World Tour Finals championship match
- 7.14 2017 Australian Open final
- 7.15 2018 Wimbledon semifinal
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
2004–2007: Federer dominance
Big Two: Federer and Nadal
The early 2000s were seen as a time of transition in tennis, with older players retiring and a few players breaking through at the very top of the game. Roger Federer had first played on the ATP Tour aged 17 in 1998, finishing his first full ATP season the following year before finishing 2002 ranked sixth in the world, his first year-end ranking in the top 8. His breakthrough came in 2003 when he won his first major tournament, and finished the year as world number 2 behind Andy Roddick. The following two years, he almost completely dominated, winning five of eight majors and losing just ten matches in 2004 and 2005. Between Wimbledon in 2005 and the US Open in 2007, Federer captured 8 of 10 majors with a record of 67–2 in those tournaments.
Nadal had won his first ATP Tour match aged 15 in April 2002, and he defeated Federer in their first meeting in 2004 at Miami. 2005 was Nadal's breakthrough year, in which he won 24 consecutive matches on clay, including his first French Open title, beating Federer in the semifinals, and he finished the year as world number 2, while Federer remained number 1 for a second straight year.
The period between 2005 and 2007 was subsequently dominated by the Federer–Nadal rivalry. They won 11 consecutive majors between them, meeting in every French Open and Wimbledon final from 2006–2008. Federer won 2 Grand Slam singles events in 2005 and 3 each in 2006 and 2007, reaching 10 consecutive finals from the 2005 Wimbledon Championships to the 2007 US Open final. During this period, Nadal won 3 consecutive Roland Garros championships.
From 2005 to 2010, they ended every year as the world's top two players.
Djokovic and Murray
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were born a week apart, played each other as juniors and made their Grand Slam tournament debuts in 2005. Djokovic made his ATP tour debut in 2004, while Murray's was in 2005, a time when many bright youngsters joined the ATP tour. They both reached the world top 100 in 2005, and the world top 20 in 2006. Djokovic, however, began to excel ahead of Murray, reaching one major final and two semifinals in 2007 and began to challenge Federer and Nadal regularly. He also won two Masters tournament titles and 5 titles in total, finishing the year ranked number 3 in world. Murray, who was forced out of the French Open and Wimbledon by injury, ended 2007 ranked 11th, winning two ATP tournaments.
2008–2010: Emergence of the Big Four
Between 2008 and 2010, Novak Djokovic and later Andy Murray attempted to end the duopoly of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the summit of tennis. They did not break it but emerged ahead of the rest of the tour. At the 2008 Australian Open, Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in the semifinals, reaching his first Australian Open final and ending Federer's streak of ten consecutive Major finals, continuing his fine form at the end of the 2007 season which saw him reach his first major final. Djokovic went on to defeat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (who had eliminated Nadal in the semifinal) to win his first Major. Following his Australian Open win, Djokovic emerged as a clear world number three during the year, holding the ranking throughout 2008. Meanwhile, Andy Murray continued to rise in the rankings, reaching his first Major quarterfinal at Wimbledon, losing to Nadal. He also won his first two Masters titles.
Federer and Nadal remained the lead rivalry, and the pair met in the final of both the French Open and Wimbledon. Nadal won both, with the latter described as one of the greatest tennis matches of all time. In August 2008, after winning the 2008 Summer Olympics gold medal, Nadal passed Federer to become world No. 1, after Federer had been at the top for a record 237 consecutive weeks.
The year's final Major, the US Open, saw all four players reach the semifinals of the same Major for the first time. Federer defeated Djokovic in the semifinals, while Murray won through to his first Grand Slam tournament final after upsetting the top-ranked Nadal in four sets. Federer then defeated Murray in the final to win his fifth consecutive US Open title, and win his 13th Major title overall. Following the US Open, Murray entered the top four in the ATP rankings for the first time and all four players qualified for the 2008 Tennis Masters Cup, which Djokovic won. Despite having to withdraw from this event through injury, Nadal ended the year ranked world No. 1, ahead of Federer and Djokovic respectively, with Murray finishing fourth due to his run at the US Open.
In 2009, the Big Four held the top four places in the rankings for a whole calendar year for the first time. This also prompted the first uses of the term 'Big Four' to refer to the players, although results saw Nadal and Federer generally remain clear leaders ahead of Djokovic and Murray who themselves were still regarded ahead of the rest of the tour. At the Australian Open, Nadal won his first Australian Open title in another 5-set epic, obtaining a third consecutive Major final victory over Federer who cried during the ceremony, while Murray and Djokovic were eliminated earlier on. Nadal continued to dominate early in the season, but suffered from injury in June, allowing Federer to take the upper hand for the rest of the season. Federer subsequently passed the record for most Grand Slam tournament wins, taking his 14th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open, thus completing the Career Grand Slam after Nadal had prevented him from achieving this feat at the previous 4 French Open tournaments, and 15th title at Wimbledon respectively. Federer finished the season having reached all four Major finals for the third time in his career following 2006 and 2007.
Following Nadal's injuries, Murray and Djokovic made up further grounds in the rankings, although neither of them were able to make a Major final in 2009. In particular, their consistency at Masters level tournaments kept them in the top four of the rankings, with Murray reaching world No. 2 in August, and ending the 211-week reign of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the top two players of the world in the process. His reign as the world No. 2 would not last long, as he was upset in the fourth round of the US Open by Croat Marin Čilić. There, Djokovic reached his first Grand Slam tournament semifinal of 2009, losing in straight sets to Federer while Nadal was defeated by eventual winner Juan Martín del Potro in the semifinal. Between 2005 Australian Open and 2014 Australian Open, this was the only Grand Slam event not won by a member of the Big Four. (Since then, Wawrinka has won the 2014 Australian Open, 2015 French Open and 2016 US Open while Čilić won the 2014 US Open).
At the end of 2009 Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray finished as the ATP's top four players for the second consecutive year with only Nadal and Federer changing positions from the 2008 final rankings list.
During the 2010 season, the Big Four began to dominate the Tour as a group for the first time. The Big Four provided six of the eight Grand Slam tournament finalists, and won 16 tournaments combined in the season (compared to 6 for the other four competitors at the 2010 ATP World Tour Finals). At the start of the year, Federer continued his dominance as world number one by winning the Australian Open, defeating Murray in the final, but his run of 23 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals came to end at the French Open that year when he lost to Robin Söderling in 4 sets. He also then lost to Tomáš Berdych at Wimbledon ending his run of 7 consecutive Wimbledon finals. Nadal dominated the clay-court season again, winning all three clay-court Masters events and the French Open. Nadal also won at Wimbledon, although in both of these tournaments he only had to face one other member of the Big Four (Murray in the Wimbledon semi-finals).
At the US Open, Djokovic beat Federer to reach his third Major final, although Nadal won once again to complete his Career Grand Slam. With this win, Nadal became the first and so far only male player in history to win 3 Majors on 3 different surface in a single calendar year. In November, Robin Söderling (who has reached the French Open final) briefly passed Murray to reach fourth place in the ATP rankings, threatening to break the Big Four's run of filling the end-of-year rankings. However, all of the Big Four reached the 2010 ATP World Tour Finals semifinals with Federer defeating Nadal in 3 sets in the final, leading to them achieving their third successive season in the top 4 positions. Again Djokovic and Murray were third and fourth respectively, both reaching one Grand Slam tournament final apiece.
The 2011 season was dominated by Novak Djokovic. Djokovic won 10 titles in total, including three Grand Slam tournament titles (only the fifth man in the open era to do so) and five ATP Masters 1000 titles (a record), enjoyed a 41 match winning streak (ended by Federer in the semifinals of the 2011 French Open), amassed a record in prize money, and ascended to world No. 1 in for the first time in July. The season was described by many experts and former players as one of the best tennis seasons for a single player seen in history, with Tennis Magazine describing it as the third best tennis season ever, behind Roger Federer's 2006 season, and Rod Laver's in 1969. Pete Sampras described it as "one of the best achievements in all of sport."
Djokovic's dominance contributed to an overall control by the Big Four. They all reached the semifinals at two of the year's Grand Slam events, and amongst them won every Masters tournament. Nadal was clear in second place behind Djokovic, winning Roland Garros and losing in both the Wimbledon and the U.S. Open final. Nadal ended the season with a 0–6 losing record against Djokovic: every match they played was a championship final.
By his standards, Roger Federer had a weak season. He failed to win a Grand Slam title for the first time since 2002, losing to Nadal for the fourth time in a French Open final, and sixth time overall in major finals. He dropped to world No. 4 in November, the first time he had been ranked outside the top 3 since 2002. Federer's drop was caused by Murray's remarkable run of form in Asia in October, winning three successive titles. However, Federer rallied, winning his three final tournaments (a sign of things to come in subsequent season), including the World Tour Finals, which was enough to secure an end-of-season ranking of No. 3. Murray, meanwhile, was making significant improvements to his game and made the semifinals of all four Grand Slam tournaments, with his best result a defeat in the Australian Open final against Djokovic. Murray ended the year with two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles for the fourth consecutive year, and five titles in total.
The dominance of the Big Four continued in 2012. Each player won one Grand Slam tournament: Djokovic won in Australia, Nadal in France, Federer at Wimbledon and Murray (who hired former world number 1 Ivan Lendl as his head coach earlier in the year) with his first Grand Slam tournament title at the US Open. This win, combined with winning the gold medal in the Olympic Games men's singles on Wimbledon's Centre Court with consecutive semi-final and final victories against Djokovic and Federer – "cemented" Murray's position as a member of the Big Four: his end of season ranking of third was his best yet. Djokovic entered the season as world number 1, and remained there until July 2012, when he was overtaken by Federer, who reclaimed the top spot for the first time since June 2010. Federer subsequently overtook Sampras' record of 286 weeks at the top, and ultimately extended the record to 302 weeks. Federer relinquished his world No. 1 ranking on 5 November, Djokovic reclaiming the top spot and ending the year there for the second consecutive year. Djokovic was the only player to make at least the semifinals in all four Grand Slam events, and was the losing finalist at Roland Garros and at the US Open. Both he and Federer won three Masters tournaments, seeing them dominate the season as a whole. Federer was also the silver medalist at the Olympics, where Djokovic finished fourth. Nadal, meanwhile, had his season cut short by an injury. Having won two clay court Masters tournaments and Roland Garros, he was eliminated in the second round at Wimbledon – his first defeat at such an early stage in a Grand Slam tournament since 2005. He later revealed that he had been injured going into the tournament, and he did not compete for the rest of the season, but still ended the year as world No. 4.
The 2013 season continued in similar fashion, with Djokovic, Federer and Murray occupying three of the four semifinal slots at the Australian Open, with Nadal still suffering from injury. Murray beat Federer in a five-set match in the semifinal meaning all four members of the Big Four had beaten each other at least once in a Grand Slam event, subsequently losing to Djokovic in the final in four sets. As a result, Djokovic became the third man to win four Australian Open titles and the first to win three consecutively in the Modern Era; and Murray himself became the first man to reach the final of the next Grand Slam event after winning his maiden title. Nadal returned for the clay-court season, winning events in Sao Paulo, Mexico, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome before becoming the only male player to win a Grand Slam tournament eight times by winning Roland Garros, defeating Djokovic in the semifinals. However, Djokovic did end Nadal's eight-year winning streak at the Monte-Carlo Masters. Murray's clay-court season ended prematurely because of a back injury and he did not compete at the French Open, whereas Federer lost in the quarterfinals after making the final in Rome. Nadal and Federer lost early at Wimbledon in the first and second round respectively, thus ending Federer's 36 consecutive Grand Slam tournament quarter final appearance record. Murray defeated Djokovic in the final to become the first British man to win the tournament in 77 years, extending his winning streak on grass to 18 matches. Leading up to the U.S. Open, Nadal won ATP Masters 1000 events in Montreal and Cincinnati, his third hardcourt ATP Masters 1000 event of the year after winning at Indian Wells earlier in the year, extending his winning streak to 15–0 in hardcourts for the year. He went onto win the U.S. Open, defeating Djokovic in the final in four sets. While Murray and Federer lost in the quarterfinals and fourth round respectively.
Overall, the season was about Nadal and Djokovic. Nadal won two Majors and five ATP Masters 1000 events. He was also runner-up at the ATP World Tour Finals. Djokovic won one Major, and reached two finals and a semifinal, and finished the year strongly on a 22-match winning streak, winning the ATP World Tour Finals in London. The 2013 head-to-head record of Nadal and Djokovic was tied at 3–3. A back injury ended Murray's season prematurely and he finished fourth in the rankings, but was the only player besides Nadal and Djokovic to win a Grand Slam tournament or ATP Masters 1000 title, at Wimbledon and Miami respectively. Federer suffered his worst season in more than a decade. He reached just one Major semifinal, failed to win a single ATP Masters 1000 crown and finished the year sixth in the rankings with one title to his name, even if he too suffered from a recurring back injury throughout the season.
2014: Slam dominance halted
As 2013 came to a close, Roger Federer's fall in the rankings prompted many sources to debate whether or not the status of the Big Four had ended.[a] This debate intensified in the wake of the Australian Open, which saw Stan Wawrinka defeat Djokovic in the quarter-final and Nadal in the final to win his first Slam title, marking just the second time since 2005 and the first since 2009 that a player outside the Big Four had won a Grand Slam tournament. Murray and Federer fell to sixth and eighth in the rankings respectively, and after the tournament, several players expressed the opinion that they were now capable of challenging the Big Four. However, the Big Four occupied all four final spots of the first two Masters 1000 titles of the year in Indian Wells and Miami, with Djokovic winning his fourth and fifth consecutive Masters titles with tight victories over Federer and Nadal respectively. Nadal struggled early in the clay season at his traditional favorite tournaments of Monte-Carlo and Barcelona. A third loss, to Djokovic in the final of the Rome Masters, was the first time Nadal had lost more than two matches on clay in a season for a decade. He did, however, win the Madrid Masters after Nishikori got injured while dominating Nadal 6–2, 4–2 in that final. Nadal went on to defend his French Open title, defeating Murray in the semi-final and Djokovic in the final.
Following his back surgery at the end of 2013, Murray had struggled to return to form in the first half of the year, reaching only two semi-finals and losing to Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets in the quarter-finals while attempting to defend his Wimbledon title, a defeat which saw him fall to No. 10 in the world rankings. This, and Nadal's loss to Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round, his third consecutive early-round loss at Wimbledon, led former players and experts, including Jimmy Connors, to express the opinion that the "aura" around the Big Four had faded. Milos Raonic, who reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon, suggested there was now a "human side" visible in the Big Four, which was giving players belief when facing them. However, Djokovic defeated Dimitrov and Federer beat Raonic to make it an all-Big Four final, the 24th they have contested. Djokovic defeated Federer in five sets to claim his second Wimbledon title, a result that left Djokovic, Nadal and Federer occupying the top three places in the rankings.
Federer continued his return to form reaching the finals of Toronto and winning his first Masters title since 2012 in Cincinnati. Later, he also won the Shanghai Masters, and returned to No. 2 in the rankings, overtaking Nadal, whose season had been curtailed by a wrist injury.The US Open 2014 saw the Big Four's collective grip on the major titles slip still further, however, as Kei Nishikori and Marin Čilić beat Djokovic and Federer in the semi-finals respectively to contest the first Slam final featuring none of the Big Four since the 2005 Australian Open, and the first time since 2003 that multiple first-time Grand Slam tournament winners have been crowned in a single season. Following the tournament, Murray dropped to 11th in the rankings, his first time outside the top 10 since 2008. The tournament as a whole further signalled the decline of the Big Four's dominance. Towards the end of the year, Andy Murray managed to return to form, winning three titles in Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia, allowing him to return to the top ten in the rankings and qualify for the Tour Finals, but he bowed out at the group stages following a defeat by Federer, in which he won just a single game. Indeed, throughout the year Murray failed to register a single victory against another member of the Big Four in nine meetings.
At the tour finals Federer and Djokovic both reached the final, but Federer withdrew citing injury following a brutal semifinal against Wawrinka. Federer recovered to win the Davis Cup as part of the Switzerland team for his, and the country's, first triumph in the competition, leading many people to say that his tennis career was now complete. Collectively, the Big Four won 19 titles in 2014, but two Slam titles and two Masters titles went to other players. In the end-of-year rankings, Djokovic, Federer and Nadal held the top three spots, with Murray in sixth.
2015–2016: Djokovic and Murray become Top 2
Following Murray's strong end to 2014 and reaching the final of the 2015 Australian Open, he moved into the top four in the ATP rankings for the first time in over year, meaning that the Big Four held the top four places in the rankings for the first time since early 2013, slowing the idea of the regression of the quartet. Djokovic won the title, as well as the first three Masters titles of the year in Indian Wells, Miami and Monte-Carlo. In Madrid, Murray defeated Nadal in straight sets. This was also the first time he had beaten another member of the Big Four in a Tour match since Wimbledon 2013, going into the match 0–12 against the other members. The defeat saw Nadal slip to seventh in the rankings, his first time outside the Top 5 for more than a decade. Djokovic defeated Federer in the Rome final. Nadal suffered his worst European clay-court season in a decade, failing to win a single title and appearing in just one final, whereas Djokovic and Murray entered the second Grand Slam event of the year unbeaten on clay. Djokovic defeated Nadal for the first time at the French Open in a straight sets quarterfinal. This was only Nadal's second defeat at the French Open, seeing him drop to No. 10 in the rankings. Djokovic emerged victorious over Murray in a five set match that was spread over two days but succumbed to Wawrinka in the final in four sets.
Federer emerged victorious over Murray in straight sets in the semifinals of Wimbledon. Djokovic claimed the other spot in the final, to set up a rematch of the previous year's final, and defeated Federer in four sets to win his second major of the year, denying Federer a record eighth Wimbledon title for the second year in a row. Murray and Federer shared the two North American Hard Court Masters titles, at Montreal and Cincinnati respectively, with Djokovic being the losing finalist on both occasions. The US Open final was contested by Djokovic and Federer. Djokovic won in four sets, giving him a third slam title of the season.
Djokovic then continued to dominate throughout the remainder of the year, winning in Beijing, Shanghai, Paris and at the ATP World Tour Finals. Overall, Djokovic's 2015 season was one of the greatest in the history of the game, with him winning 11 titles (the most since Federer won 12 in 2006) including, for the second time, three majors. He also became the only man besides Federer and Rod Laver to reach all four major finals in the same year. He was dominant even against his fellow Big Four rivals, going 15–4 against the other players throughout the year. Federer was the only player on the tour to be consistently competitive against Djokovic, winning three of their seven matches, which made up half of Djokovic's total defeats throughout the whole year. Nadal and Murray both struggled against the Serb, with Nadal losing all four of his encounters in straight sets, and Murray winning only one of his seven encounters, in Montreal. However, Murray did lead Great Britain to Davis Cup victory in 2015, winning all eight of a possible eight singles rubbers and becoming the latest member of the quartet to win the Davis Cup
In 2016 Djokovic collected his sixth Australian Open title in a straight sets victory over Murray. He followed up this solid run of form with a record setting fifth Indian Wells and record equaling sixth Miami masters titles. Nadal won Monte Carlo for a record ninth time. Murray and Djokovic played in the finals of Madrid and Rome, and split the titles. At the 2016 French Open, Murray reached his first Paris final to complete his set of Grand Slam singles finals, but Djokovic again beat him in the final to become the third Big Four member after Federer and Nadal to complete a Career Grand Slam.
In the Wimbledon final Murray beat Raonic in straight sets to win his second Wimbledon title, and third major title overall. Murray's victory marked the first time since the 2010 French Open that a member of the Big Four had won a Grand Slam title without having to defeat one of the other three members. Federer withdrew from the remainder of the 2016 season due to a knee injury, missing the Olympics and US Open. In the Olympics, Djokovic was knocked out of the men's singles in the opening round by Juan Martín del Potro, in a repeat of the bronze medal match from four years earlier. Del Potro went on to defeat Nadal in an epic semifinal to set up a final meeting with Murray. Murray ultimately won the final in four sets, becoming the first man to win the singles gold medal twice. Nadal lost the bronze medal match to Kei Nishikori, but won gold in the men's doubles event. Djokovic won Toronto with Murray losing in the finals of Cincinnati to Cilic. At the US Open, Djokovic reached the final but was defeated once again by Stan Wawrinka in a Grand Slam final.
Murray dominated the rest of the year. He won titles in Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna and Paris. As a result, upon reaching the Paris final, Murray gained the number-one ranking, ending Djokovic's 122 consecutive weeks at the top of the rankings. This meant that all of the Big Four had reached world number one at some point. Following an early loss at Shanghai, Nadal announced that he would skip the remainder of the 2016 season to recover fully from the wrist injury that troubled him earlier in the year. Thus, for the first time since 2001, neither Nadal nor Federer would be present at the year end championships. At the ATP World Tour Finals, Murray beat Djokovic 6–3 6–4, claiming the title and the No. 1 spot at the end of the year, and ending 2016 on a 24-match winning streak, the longest of his career. He became the second player after Andre Agassi to win a Grand Slam singles tournament, ATP Finals, Olympic and Masters titles, and the first to do so in the same calendar year. 2016 marked the first year since 2003 that neither Federer, Nadal or Djokovic finished the year as world number 1. Despite his struggles with form throughout the second half of the year, Djokovic still ended 2016 as world number 2. Having suffered from injury plagued seasons, Nadal and Federer ended the year at number 9 and number 16 respectively. For Nadal it was his lowest end of year ranking since 2004, while Federer's fall in the rankings meant that November 2016 marked his first time outside the top 10 since October 2002.
2017–present: Return of the Big Two
At the Australian Open, Djokovic and Murray both suffered defeats prior the quarterfinals. Nadal and Federer, meanwhile, both reached another Australian Open final; for Nadal it was the first time he had reached this stage since winning the 2014 French Open. Both came through tough five-set semi-final matches to make the final. In the Australian Open final, a second consecutive five-set match for both players, Federer triumphed over arch-rival Nadal, winning an 18th men's singles Grand Slam title. Federer went on to win a record-equalling fifth Indian Wells title, gaining another victory over Rafael Nadal in the 4th round and defeating his countryman Stan Wawrinka in the final. Federer and Nadal once again met, contesting another Masters 1000 final for the 2017 Miami Open title. Federer defeated Nadal in straight sets again, completing a 2017 sweep of Australian Open, Indian Wells, and Miami Open titles.
As the 2017 clay court swing commenced, Federer stepped back to rest and skip the entire clay season to focus on the grass and hard court seasons, as well as to prolong his career. Nadal claimed the 2017 Monte-Carlo Masters title, which saw him historically become the first male player to win a single tournament 10 times and simultaneously establish a new record for most clay court titles at 50, surpassing Guillermo Vilas' 49. Nadal also won in Madrid with Djokovic falling to Sascha Zverev in the Rome final. Nadal breezed through to the French Open final without dropping a set for the third time, defeating Wawrinka in the final. This win also ended a three-year drought of slam titles for the Spaniard, his last title coming at the French Open in 2014. Following the win, Nadal returned to world No. 2, his highest ranking since October 2014. Djokovic, who lost in the quarter-finals, fell to world No. 4, his lowest ranking since October 2009 and his first time outside the top two of the rankings since March 2011.
At Wimbledon, the Big Four were the top four seeds at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 2014. Nadal, Murray and Djokovic all lost before the semifinals. Federer, however, advanced to the Wimbledon final without dropping a set and won the title in straight sets against Marin Čilić. Federer's victory was a historic and record-breaking eleventh Wimbledon final and eighth title win. This led to the Big Four being the ATP top four again. Djokovic announced in late July that he would be skipping the rest of the 2017 season to recover from the elbow injury, and Murray would not play another tournament in 2017 as well due to a hip injury. Federer reached the final of the Montreal Masters but sustained a serious back injury in the final, which essentially took him out of contention for the US Open and the No. 1 ranking. Although Nadal did not reach the semis of either North American masters events he managed to reach No. 1 over Murray who was bleeding points from inactivity. Nadal then defeated Kevin Anderson in the US Open final. This was the fourth time that Nadal and Federer had won all four of slams in the same year, following their sweeps in 2006, 2007, and 2010. Additionally, on 11 September 2017, Nadal and Federer were ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, which was the first time since 20 March 2011 that they held the top two spots in the ATP rankings.
Federer returned at Shanghai, and won his second title there, defeating Nadal in straight sets in the final. This was his fourth win out of four meetings with Nadal in 2017, as well as his fifth consecutive. In 2017, Nadal had his best year since 2013, winning two majors and four other titles. Federer finished the year at world No. 2, behind Nadal mainly as a result of not playing a full schedule to preserve his body, and overall had his best year since 2007, having his highest number of titles won since that year, winning two majors for the first time since 2009, and ending the year with a winning percentage of 91%, his highest since 2006. Djokovic and Murray both finished with their lowest year-end rankings since 2006, at No. 12 and 16 respectively.
At the start of 2018, Murray underwent hip surgery for the injury that had kept him off the tour since the previous summer. Djokovic and Nadal lost early at the Australian Open. Federer, however, went on to win the tournament in a five set final against Cilic, by doing so equaling Djokovic and Roy Emerson's record of six Australian Open titles, and becoming the first man to win 20 major titles. Soon after, by reaching the semi-finals in Rotterdam, Federer overtook Nadal to return to world No. 1. By doing this he became the oldest No. 1 ranked player in tennis history.
Federer then reached the final of Indian Wells, losing to Juan Martin del Potro, before losing in the second round of Miami. Federer's loss in Miami resulted in the loss of the No. 1 ranking with Nadal overtaking him by 100 points. Federer announced that he would again skip the entire clay court season. Nadal won his eleventh title in Monte Carlo, repeating the feat a week later for an 11th Barcelona title, winning both without dropping a set. Nadal’s loss to Dominic Thiem in the Madrid quarterfinal handed the No.1 ranking back to Federer for 1 week, until he won the title in Rome.
Following Djokovic's early exit from the Australian Open, the Serb underwent surgery for the wrist injury that had been causing him issues through the previous year. He returned to the tour at Indian Wells, and initially struggled greatly with form, failing to reach the quarter-finals of any of first five tournaments since his return to the tour. He showed promising signs by reaching the semi-finals of Rome where he was highly competitive in a match against Nadal, losing in two tight sets. He then reached the quarter-finals of the French Open but lost to unseeded Marco Cecchinato. Nadal went on to win the tournament, defeating Dominic Thiem in the final to claim a record-extending 11th French Open title and his 17th major overall.
After nearly a year's absence, Murray returned to the tour for the grass court season. He showed positive signs on return, playing highly competitively in his first round match at Queen's despite losing to Nick Kyrgios, and then defeating Stan Wawrinka in straight sets in the first round of Eastbourne. However, he determined that he was not yet ready to compete effectively when playing best-of-five sets, and as a result, withdrew from Wimbledon.
At Wimbledon, Federer lost to Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals. Djokovic and Nadal, meanwhile, made the semi-finals, where Djokovic defeated Nadal in a five-set epic to reach his first major final in nearly two years. He then defeated Anderson in the final to win his fourth Wimbledon title; his first major title in over two years.
In August, Nadal won the title in Toronto.
Grand Slam tournaments and the Olympics
Since the 2005 Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the 2005 ATP Tour, the Big Four have won all 3 Olympic Games singles tournaments, all but five majors and all but 3 Tennis Masters Cups/ATP World Tour Finals/ATP Finals.
The dominance does not just consist of winning the events either, with all four members regularly making it to the latter stages of the tournament. Out of 54 majors since the 2005 French Open the only final not to include any member of the Big Four was the final of the 2014 US Open. They occupied 10 consecutive major finals (winner & runner-up) from the 2010 US Open to the 2013 Australian Open. Since 2008 they have occupied all four semifinal spots on four occasions, at the 2008 US Open, 2011 French Open, 2011 US Open and 2012 Australian Open, as well as taking three of the four spaces on nine other separate occasions. In 2011 they occupied 14 out of a possible 16 Grand Slam semifinal slots. In the same period, only twice have two or more not made the semifinal stage (2009 and 2010 French Open), while in 2012 they took 13 out 16 Grand Slam tournament semifinal slots. At the Olympics, members of the Big Four took five of the nine available singles medals in 2008, 2012 and 2016, and also including doubles have a total of five golds, two silvers and a bronze from these Games. Murray has three Olympic medals, whilst Nadal and Federer have won two Olympic medals each. Murray is the only one to have won two medals at the same tournament, taking both the singles gold medal and the mixed doubles silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He is also the only player of either gender to win two gold medals in the singles event. Djokovic is the only member not to have won a gold medal in any event so far, although he did win the singles bronze medal in 2008.
The Big Four, along with Rod Laver, Tony Roche and Ivan Lendl, are the only men in Open Era history to reach the semifinals at all four Majors in a single calendar year. Federer has achieved this a record five times in his career so far and Djokovic four times. However, this feat was accomplished many more times in the pre-Open Era. Similarly, the Big Four make up four of the seven players (along with Andre Agassi, Ken Rosewall and Ivan Lendl) to have made the semi-finals thrice or more at each of the four Majors. Additionally, the Big Four make up four of the ten players to have reached the final at each of the four Majors. Finally, prior to 2009, no man had made 20 Grand Slam singles finals, with Ivan Lendl leading the way with 19. However, since then, Federer (30), Nadal (24) and Djokovic (22) have each surpassed this mark.
Combined Grand Slam tournament singles performance timeline (best result)
|Big Two||Big Four|
|Grand Slam tournaments|
|Australian Open||Q1F||3RF||3RF||4RF||4RF||WF||SFF||WF||WF||WD||WN||WF||WD||WD||WD||FN||WD||WD||WF||WF||13 / 19|
|French Open||1RF||4RF||QFF||1RF||1RF||3RF||WN||WN||WN||WN||WF||WN||WN||WN||WN||WN||FD||WD||WN||WN||13 / 20|
|Wimbledon||1RF||1RF||QFF||1RF||WF||WF||WF||WF||WF||WN||WF||WN||WD||WF||WM||WD||WD||WM||WF||WD||16 / 20|
|US Open||Q2F||3RF||4RF||4RF||4RF||WF||WF||WF||WF||WF||FF||WN||WD||WM||WN||SFDF||WD||FD||WN||11 / 18|
Combined Olympic Games singles performance timeline (best result)
|Big Two||Big Four|
|Summer Olympics||NH||4thF||Not Held||2RF||Not Held||GN||Not Held||GM||Not Held||GM||NH||3 / 5|
List of multiple Grand Slam champions – Open Era (since 1968)
|6||/ Ivan Lendl||8||19|
Big Four Head-to-Head Grand Slam finals: 30
|1.||2006||French Open||Clay||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||1–6, 6–1, 6–4, 7–6(7–4)|
|2.||2006||Wimbledon||Grass||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||6–0, 7–6(7–5), 6–7(2–7), 6–3|
|3.||2007||French Open||Clay||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 6–4|
|4.||2007||Wimbledon||Grass||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||7–6(9–7), 4–6, 7–6(7–3), 2–6, 6–2|
|5.||2007||US Open||Hard||Roger Federer||Novak Djokovic||7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–2), 6–4|
|6.||2008||French Open||Clay||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||6–1, 6–3, 6–0|
|7.||2008||Wimbledon||Grass||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||6–4, 6–4, 6–7(5–7), 6–7(8–10), 9–7|
|8.||2008||US Open||Hard||Roger Federer||Andy Murray||6–2, 7–5, 6–2|
|9.||2009||Australian Open||Hard||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||7–5, 3–6, 7–6(7–3), 3–6, 6–2|
|10.||2010||Australian Open||Hard||Roger Federer||Andy Murray||6–3, 6–4, 7–6(13–11)|
|11.||2010||US Open||Hard||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–2|
|12.||2011||Australian Open||Hard||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||6–4, 6–2, 6–3|
|13.||2011||French Open||Clay||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||7–5, 7–6(7–3), 5–7, 6–1|
|14.||2011||Wimbledon||Grass||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||6–4, 6–1, 1–6, 6–3|
|15.||2011||US Open||Hard||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||6–2, 6–4, 6–7(3–7), 6–1|
|16.||2012||Australian Open||Hard||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7(5–7), 7–5|
|17.||2012||French Open||Clay||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||6–4, 6–3, 2–6, 7–5|
|18.||2012||Wimbledon||Grass||Roger Federer||Andy Murray||4–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–4|
|19.||2012||US Open||Hard||Andy Murray||Novak Djokovic||7–6(12–10), 7–5, 2–6, 3–6, 6–2|
|20.||2013||Australian Open||Hard||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||6–7(2–7), 7–6(7–3), 6–3, 6–2|
|21.||2013||Wimbledon||Grass||Andy Murray||Novak Djokovic||6–4, 7–5, 6–4|
|22.||2013||US Open||Hard||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||6–2, 3–6, 6–4, 6–1|
|23.||2014||French Open||Clay||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||3–6, 7–5, 6–2, 6–4|
|24.||2014||Wimbledon||Grass||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||6–7(7–9), 6–4, 7–6(7–4), 5–7, 6–4|
|25.||2015||Australian Open||Hard||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||7–6(7–5), 6–7(4–7), 6–3, 6–0|
|26.||2015||Wimbledon||Grass||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||7–6(7–1), 6–7(10–12), 6–4, 6–3|
|27.||2015||US Open||Hard||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–4|
|28.||2016||Australian Open||Hard||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||6–1, 7–5, 7–6(7–3)|
|29.||2016||French Open||Clay||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||3–6, 6–1, 6–2, 6–4|
|30.||2017||Australian Open||Hard||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||6–4, 3–6, 6–1, 3–6, 6–3|
Big Four Olympic final
|2012||London||Grass||Andy Murray||Roger Federer||6–2, 6–1, 6–4|
Combined performance timeline (best result)
|Big Two||Big Four|
|ATP Finals||Did Not Qualify||SFF||WF||WF||FF||WF||WF||WD||SFF||WF||WF||WD||WD||WD||WD||WM||SFF||12 / 16|
Big Four ATP Finals finals: 6
|2010||London||Hard (i)||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||6–3, 3–6, 6–1|
|2012||London||Hard (i)||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||7–6(8–6), 7–5|
|2013||London||Hard (i)||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||6–3, 6–4|
|2014||London||Hard (i)||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||Walkover|
|2015||London||Hard (i)||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||6–3, 6–4|
|2016||London||Hard (i)||Andy Murray||Novak Djokovic||6–3, 6–4|
ATP Masters tournaments
Similarly, ATP Masters/ATP Masters 1000 events have been dominated by the Big Four. Nadal leads with a record 33 titles followed by Djokovic (30), Federer (27) and Murray (14). They have won a combined 104 titles (making 112 finals), and since 2011 of the 62 events that have taken place, they have won 55. This includes all 9 in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Moreover, from the 2014 Cincinnati Masters to the 2016 Canada Masters, they won 18 consecutive ATP Masters 1000 events. From the beginning of 2013 through the first six events of 2017, they had a streak of 42 consecutive Masters 1000 events where at least one of the four reached the final, winning a combined 37 titles.
Combined Masters performance timeline (best result)
|Big Two||Big Four|
|ATP World Tour Masters 1000|
|Indian Wells Masters||A||Q1||1RF||3RF||2RF||WF||WF||WF||WN||WD||WN||SFN||WD||WF||WN||WD||WD||WD||WF||FF||13 / 18|
|Miami Open||1RF||2RF||QFF||FF||QFF||4RN||WF||WF||WD||FN||WM||SFN||WD||WD||WM||WD||WD||WD||WF||2RDF||11 / 20|
|Monte-Carlo Masters||1RF||1RF||QFF||2RF||3RN||A||WN||WN||WN||WN||WN||WN||WN||WN||WD||FF||WD||WN||WN||WN||13 / 19|
|Madrid Open1||A||1RF||1RF||WF||3RNF||WF||WF||2RMD||WF||WN||WF||WN||WD||WF||WN||WN||WM||WD||WN||QFN||14 / 18|
|Italian Open||A||1RF||3RF||1RF||FF||2RF||WN||WN||WN||WD||WN||WN||WD||WN||WN||WD||WD||WM||FD||WN||13 / 19|
|Canadian Open||A||1RF||A||1RF||SFF||WF||WN||WF||WD||WN||WM||WM||WD||WD||WN||FF||WM||WD||FF||WN||13 / 18|
|Cincinnati Masters||A||1RF||A||1RF||2RF||1RFN||WF||QFNM||WF||WM||WF||WF||WM||WF||WN||WF||WF||FM||QFN||10 / 15|
|Shanghai Masters2||A||2RF||2RF||QFF||SFF||2RN||WN||WF||FF||WM||FN||WM||WM||WD||WD||WF||WD||WM||WF||11 / 18|
|Paris Masters||A||1RF||2RF||QFF||QFF||A||3RD||3RM||FN||QFNFM||WD||SFF||WF||3RM||WD||WD||WD||WM||QFN||6 / 16|
Big Four Masters 1000 finals: 45
The four have met one another at least twice in Masters 1000 finals. Their head to head records are: Federer 5–7 Nadal; Federer 3–4 Djokovic; Federer 0–2 Murray; Nadal 5–7 Djokovic; Nadal 1–1 Murray; Djokovic 5–5 Murray.
|1.||2005||Hard||Miami||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||2–6, 6–7(4–7), 7–6(7–5), 6–3, 6–1|
|2.||2006||Clay||Monte Carlo||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||6–2, 6–7(2–7), 6–3, 7–6(7–5)|
|3.||2006||Clay||Rome||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||6–7(0–7), 7–6(7–5), 6–4, 2–6, 7–6(7–5)|
|4.||2007||Hard||Indian Wells||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||6–2, 7–5|
|5.||2007||Clay||Monte Carlo||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||6–4, 6–4|
|6.||2007||Clay||Hamburg||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||2–6, 6–2, 6–0|
|7.||2007||Hard||Canada||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||7–6(7–2), 2–6, 7–6(7–2)|
|8.||2008||Clay||Monte Carlo||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||7–5, 7–5|
|9.||2008||Clay||Hamburg||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||7–5, 6–7(3–7), 6–3|
|10.||2008||Hard||Cincinnati||Andy Murray||Novak Djokovic||7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–5)|
|11.||2009||Hard||Indian Wells||Rafael Nadal||Andy Murray||6–1, 6–2|
|12.||2009||Hard||Miami||Andy Murray||Novak Djokovic||6–2, 7–5|
|13.||2009||Clay||Monte Carlo||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||6–3, 2–6, 6–1|
|14.||2009||Clay||Rome||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||7–6(7–2), 6–2|
|15.||2009||Clay||Madrid||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||6–4, 6–4|
|16.||2009||Hard||Cincinnati||Roger Federer||Novak Djokovic||6–1, 7–5|
|17.||2010||Clay||Madrid||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||6–4, 7–6(7–5)|
|18.||2010||Hard||Canada||Andy Murray||Roger Federer||7–5, 7–5|
|19.||2010||Hard||Shanghai||Andy Murray||Roger Federer||6–3, 6–2|
|20.||2011||Hard||Indian Wells||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||4–6, 6–3, 6–2|
|21.||2011||Hard||Miami||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||4–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–4)|
|22.||2011||Clay||Madrid||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||7–5, 6–4|
|23.||2011||Clay||Rome||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||6–4, 6–4|
|24.||2011||Hard||Cincinnati||Andy Murray||Novak Djokovic||6–4, 3–0 ret.|
|25.||2012||Hard||Miami||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||6–1, 7–6(7–4)|
|26.||2012||Clay||Monte Carlo||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||6–3, 6–1|
|27.||2012||Clay||Rome||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||7–5, 6–3|
|28.||2012||Hard||Cincinnati||Roger Federer||Novak Djokovic||6–0, 7–6(9–7)|
|29.||2012||Hard||Shanghai||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||5–7, 7–6(13–11), 6–3|
|30.||2013||Clay||Monte Carlo||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||6–2, 7–6(7–1)|
|31.||2013||Clay||Rome||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||6–1, 6–3|
|32.||2014||Hard||Indian Wells||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||3–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–3)|
|33.||2014||Hard||Miami||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||6–3, 6–3|
|34.||2014||Clay||Rome||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||4–6, 6–3, 6–3|
|35.||2015||Hard||Indian Wells||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||6–3, 6–7(5–7), 6–2|
|36.||2015||Hard||Miami||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||7–6(7–3), 4–6, 6–0|
|37.||2015||Clay||Madrid||Andy Murray||Rafael Nadal||6–3, 6–2|
|38.||2015||Clay||Rome||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||6–4, 6–3|
|39.||2015||Hard||Canada||Andy Murray||Novak Djokovic||6–4, 4–6, 6–3|
|40.||2015||Hard||Cincinnati||Roger Federer||Novak Djokovic||7–6(7–1), 6–3|
|41.||2015||Hard (i)||Paris||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||6–2, 6–4|
|42.||2016||Clay||Madrid||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||6–2, 3–6, 6–3|
|43.||2016||Clay||Rome||Andy Murray||Novak Djokovic||6–3, 6–3|
|44.||2017||Hard||Miami||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||6–3, 6–4|
|45.||2017||Hard||Shanghai||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||6–4, 6–3|
Other Big Four finals: 15
|1.||2005||Hard (i)||Bangkok||Roger Federer||Andy Murray||6–3, 7–5|
|2.||2006||Hard||Dubai||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||2–6, 6–4, 6–4|
|3.||2008||Grass||Queen's Club||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||7–6(8–6), 7–5|
|4.||2009||Hard (i)||Rotterdam||Andy Murray||Rafael Nadal||6–3, 4–6, 6–0|
|5.||2009||Hard (i)||Basel||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||6–4, 4–6, 6–2|
|6.||2010||Hard (i)||Basel||Roger Federer||Novak Djokovic||6–4, 3–6, 6–1|
|7.||2011||Hard||Dubai||Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer||6–3, 6–3|
|8.||2011||Hard||Tokyo||Andy Murray||Rafael Nadal||3–6, 6–2, 6–0|
|9.||2012||Hard||Dubai||Roger Federer||Andy Murray||7–5, 6–4|
|10.||2013||Hard||Beijing||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||6–3, 6–4|
|11.||2015||Hard||Dubai||Roger Federer||Novak Djokovic||6–3, 7–5|
|12.||2015||Hard||Beijing||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||6–2, 6–2|
|13.||2015||Hard (i)||Basel||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||6–3, 5–7, 6–3|
|14.||2016||Hard||Doha||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||6–1, 6–2|
|15.||2017||Hard||Doha||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray||6–3, 5–7, 6–4|
Top-level tournament records
The four Grand Slam tournaments, the ATP Finals, nine ATP Masters 1000s and the Summer Olympics, make up the 15 most coveted top-level tournaments in men's tennis. Although no player has won each of these 15 events in men's singles, this feat has been achieved in men's doubles by Canada's Daniel Nestor and the United States' Bryan Brothers, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan. Djokovic matches the result in men's singles of Andre Agassi, who ended his career having won 13 of these 15 events, achieving a Career Grand Slam (winning all four majors in a career), a Career Golden Slam (winning all four majors and the Olympic singles gold medal in a career), and what Sports Illustrated called a Career Super Slam (winning all four majors, the Olympic singles gold medal, and the ATP Finals).
Federer and Nadal are one behind Djokovic, and within three of matching this feat of winning all 15. Nadal has also achieved a Career Grand Slam and a Career Golden Slam, but has thus far fallen short of winning the tour finals, the Miami Open and Paris Masters. Federer has also achieved a Career Grand Slam, but is missing the Olympic Gold in singles, the Monte-Carlo Masters and Italian Open. Djokovic, as the only man to have won eight of the nine Masters events, is a Cincinnati title away from achieving what has been labelled the Career Golden Masters, as well as needing the Olympic Gold to complete his overall tally. Murray is two-thirds of the way to the goal having won 11 of the 15 events.
Federer and Nadal have reached the final of each of the 15 elite tournaments. Djokovic has reached the final of all of them except the Olympics. Murray has yet to play in the final at Monte Carlo.
This table is current as of 13 August 2018
|Player||Grand Slams||ATP Finals||ATP World Tour Masters 1000||Olympics||SR||W–L (%)||Total|
|Novak Djokovic||W (6)*||W (1)||W (4)||W (2)||W (5)||W (5)*||W (6)*||W (2)||W (2)||W (4)||W (4)||F (5)||W (3)*||W (4)*||B (1)||13 / 15||608–128 (82.6%)||48 / 170 = 28.2%|
|Rafael Nadal||W (1)||W (11)*||W (2)||W (3)||F (2)||W (3)||F (5)||W (11)*||W (5)||W (8)*||W (4)||W (1)||W (1)||F (1)||G (1)||12 / 15||630–127 (83.2%)||51 / 175 = 29.1%|
|Roger Federer||W (6)*||W (1)||W (8)*||W (5)*||W (6)*||W (5)*||W (3)||F (4)||W (6)*||F (4)||W (2)||W (7)*||W (3)||W (1)||S (1)||12 / 15||759–172 (81.5%)||53 / 221 = 24%|
|Andy Murray||F (5)||F (1)||W (2)||W (1)||W (1)||F (1)||W (2)||SF (3)||W (1)||W (1)||W (3)||W (2)||W (4)*||W (1)||G (2)*||11 / 15||428–135 (76%)||20 / 153 = 13.1%|
1Held as Hamburg Masters until 2008, Madrid Masters (clay) 2009–present.
2Held as Stuttgart Masters until 2001, Madrid Masters (hardcourt) from 2002–08, and Shanghai Masters 2009–present. Murray and Djokovic both share the Open-era record of 3 wins, while Murray also won the tournament in 2008 when it was held as the Madrid Masters.
*Denotes open-era tournament record.
Grand Slam performances
|Titles||Finals||Match wins||Titles||Finals||Match wins||Titles||Finals||Match wins||Titles||Finals||Match wins|
Top Tier singles tournament standings since 1990
|Rank||Player||Grand Slams||WTF/YEC||Masters 1000||Olympic Gold||Career Slam||Total||Point Value|
|1||Roger Federer||20||6||27||0||Yes (2009)||53||75,800|
|2||Rafael Nadal||17||0||33||1||Yes (2010)||51||69,000|
|3||Novak Djokovic||13||5||30||0||Yes (2016)||48||63,100|
|5||Andre Agassi||8||1||17||1||Yes (1999)||27||36,300|
The biggest tournaments since the reorganization of the ATP World Tour in 1990 are the four Majors, ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, WTF/YEC and the Olympics. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are the only players to have won 40+ tier 1 tournaments. Boldface indicates an Open era record.
Big Four vs the rest of the field
To date the Big Four have collectively won 53 Major titles (with Federer a record 20, Nadal 17, Djokovic 13, and Murray 3). The only other active players who have a Major title to their name are Juan Martín del Potro (2009 US Open), Stan Wawrinka (2014 Australian Open, 2015 French Open, 2016 US Open) and Marin Čilić (2014 US Open). Starting with the 2005 Wimbledon Championships, their combined record at Grand Slam tournaments against everyone else is 707–62. Moreover, only six times has a player outside the group beaten two of them in the same Grand Slam tournament (Safin at the 2005 Australian Open, Tsonga at the 2008 Australian Open, del Potro at the 2009 US Open, Berdych at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships and Wawrinka at the 2014 Australian Open and the 2015 French Open). Stan Wawrinka, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomáš Berdych are the only players to have beaten each member of the Big Four at a Grand Slam event.
Wins over each member of the Big Four at a Grand Slam event
- Stan Wawrinka, 8 wins (defeated Murray at the 2010 and 2013 US Open and 2017 French Open; Nadal at the 2014 Australian Open; Federer at the 2015 French Open; and Djokovic at the 2014 Australian Open, 2015 French Open and 2016 US Open).
- Tomas Berdych, 6 wins (def. Murray at the 2010 French Open; Federer at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships and 2012 US Open; Djokovic at the 2010 and 2017 Wimbledon Championships; and Nadal at the 2015 Australian Open)
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 5 wins (defeated Murray and Nadal at the 2008 Australian Open; Djokovic at the 2010 Australian Open; and Federer at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships and at the 2013 French Open)
Wins over three members of the Big Four at a Grand Slam event
- Andy Roddick, 3 wins (defeated Nadal at the 2004 US Open; Djokovic at the 2009 Australian Open; and Murray at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships)
- Fernando Verdasco, 3 wins (def. Djokovic at the 2005 US Open; Murray at the 2009 Australian Open; and Nadal at the 2016 Australian Open)
- Marin Čilić, 3 wins (defeated Murray at the 2009 US Open; Federer at the 2014 US Open; and Nadal at the 2018 Australian Open)
Only four players have defeated 3 of the Big Four at the same tournament. Two of these players are members of the Big Four: Nadal who defeated Murray in the round of 16, Djokovic in the semi-finals, and Federer in the final to win the 2008 Hamburg Masters; and Federer who defeated Murray in the round robin round, Djokovic in the semi-finals, and Nadal in the finals to win the 2010 ATP World Tour Finals. The only two other players to have achieved this trifecta are:
- David Nalbandian (defeated Nadal in the quarter-finals, Djokovic in the semi-finals, and Federer in the finals to win the 2007 Madrid Masters)
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (defeated Djokovic in the round of 16, Murray in the quarterfinals, and Federer in the finals to win the 2014 Canada Masters)
Only two players have beaten a member of the Big Four in a major final. The first to do so was Juan Martin del Potro when he defeated Federer in the 2009 US Open final. Wawrinka defeated Nadal in the 2014 Australian Open final, and Djokovic in the 2015 Roland Garros final and the 2016 US Open final. In all 4 cases they defeated the world No. 1 in the process.
The Big Four have played in 100 tournaments where all four have competed. Collectively they have won 88 of these 100 tournaments (88%). Of the 12 tournaments they failed to win, they were runner-up in 6 of them, and 5 of these 12 tournaments occurred prior to them first being seeded as the Top 4 players (post-US Open 2008). Since this time in 2008, the Big Four have won 59 of 66 tournaments (89%). And starting with the 2010 Rome Masters, they had won 31 consecutive tournaments where all four were present, until the 2014 Australian Open.
Only seven players have managed to win a tournament where all four of the Big Four have competed:
- Andy Roddick (2006 Cincinnati Masters, 2008 Dubai Tennis Championships, 2010 Miami Masters)
- David Nalbandian (2007 Madrid Masters, 2007 Paris Masters)
- Nikolay Davydenko (2008 Miami Masters, 2009 ATP World Tour Finals)
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2008 Paris Masters)
- Juan Martín del Potro (2009 US Open)
- Ivan Ljubičić (2010 Indian Wells Masters)
- Stan Wawrinka (2014 Australian Open, 2015 French Open)
The Big Four's dominance ratio is also high when only three of the Big Four have competed in the same tournament. Of the 48 events where this has occurred, they have won 42 of them (88%). Since 2008, they have won 31 of 36 tournaments (86%).
Only 14 players have recorded at least one victory over each member of the Big Four.[hth] Of these players, eight have recorded ten or more victories in total, one has a positive record against two members (both are 2–1 win-loss records), and none have a positive record against all four combined.
Top-Level tournament records 2005–present
|Player||Grand Slam Tournaments||ATP World Tour Masters 1000||ATP Finals||Olympic
|Big Four||49 / 55||99 / 122||10 / 13||3 / 3||161 / 193 =83.42%|
|Rest of the field||6 / 55||23 / 122||3 / 13||0 / 3||32 / 193 =16.58%|
Grand Slam tournament performance comparison
Before 2005, Murray and Djokovic had not competed in a Grand Slam tournament. Nadal had made four appearances during 2003 and 2004, reaching the third round at 2003 Wimbledon and 2004 Australian Open. Federer had been competing in Grand Slam tournaments since 1999, and had won Wimbledon in 2003 and 2004, as well as the 2004 Australian Open and 2004 US Open.
|Tournament||Federer||Big Two||Big Four|
D indicates the player met Novak Djokovic at that tournament.
F indicates the player met Roger Federer at that tournament.
M indicates the player met Andy Murray at that tournament.
N indicates the player met Rafael Nadal at that tournament.
Grand Slam tournament performance comparison by age
|1998, 2003, 2004||1999, 2004, 2005||2000, 2005, 2006||2001, 2006, 2007||2002, 2007, 2008||2003, 2008, 2009|
|2004, 2009, 2010||2005, 2010, 2011||2006, 2011, 2012||2007, 2012, 2013||2008, 2013, 2014||2009, 2014, 2015|
|2010, 2015, 2016||2011, 2016, 2017||2012, 2017, 2018||2013, 2018, 2019||2014, 2019, 2020||2015, 2020, 2021|
|2016, 2021, 2022||2017, 2022, 2023||2018, 2023, 2024|
D indicates the player met Novak Djokovic at that tournament.
F indicates the player met Roger Federer at that tournament.
M indicates the player met Andy Murray at that tournament.
N indicates the player met Rafael Nadal at that tournament.
Between 8 September 2008 and 28 January 2013, the top four positions in the ATP Rankings were occupied by all members of the Big Four for all but 16 weeks. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic were consistently in the top four for this period of time, with Andy Murray dropping to #5 during all 16 of those weeks. The only two other players who entered the top four in this period were Juan Martín del Potro (3 weeks) and Robin Söderling (13 weeks). This run was ended when David Ferrer replaced Nadal in the top 4 following a period of injury for Nadal, and retained his place in the top 4 for much of 2013 as Roger Federer dropped down the rankings due to his own back injury problems.[b]
All four have been world number one. Federer first reached number one in 2004 after winning his first Australian Open, whereas Nadal did in 2008 following his Olympics victory after three straight years of ending the year ranked world No. 2, behind Federer. Similarly, Djokovic achieved world No. 1 status following his Wimbledon victory in 2011, after four consecutive years at No. 3, in a season which is regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the sport. Murray reached the number one position after the Paris Masters on 7 November 2016, towards the end of a season in which he had made three Grand Slam tournament finals (winning one, Wimbledon), as well as winning the Olympic Games and three Masters tournaments.
They have held:
- The first two places in the ATP Rankings continuously since 25 July 2005 (exclusively by Federer and Nadal from July 2005 to August 2009), as of 5 March 2018.
- The first three places in the ATP Rankings continuously from 13 August 2007 – 7 July 2013.
- The top four places in the ATP Rankings for all but 16 weeks from 8 September 2008 – 28 January 2013.
ATP Year-end ranking timeline by year
|Big Two||Big Four|
|Year End Ranking||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018|
ATP Year-end ranking timeline by age at end of season
|Year End Ranking||17||18||19||20||21||22||23||24||25||26||27||28||29||30||31||32||33||34||35||36|
Big Four ATP world No. 1 era
Updated Monday 13 August 2018.
|Player||Start date||End date||Weeks||Total|
|Roger Federer||February 2, 2004||August 17, 2008||237||237|
|Rafael Nadal||August 18, 2008||July 5, 2009||46||46|
|Roger Federer (2)||July 6, 2009||June 6, 2010||48||285|
|Rafael Nadal (2)||June 7, 2010||July 3, 2011||56||102|
|Novak Djokovic||July 4, 2011||July 8, 2012||53||53|
|Roger Federer (3)||July 9, 2012||November 4, 2012||17||302|
|Novak Djokovic (2)||November 5, 2012||October 6, 2013||48||101|
|Rafael Nadal (3)||October 7, 2013||July 6, 2014||39||141|
|Novak Djokovic (3)||July 7, 2014||November 6, 2016||122||223|
|Andy Murray||November 7, 2016||August 20, 2017||41||41|
|Rafael Nadal (4)||August 21, 2017||February 18, 2018||26||167|
|Roger Federer (4)||February 19, 2018||April 1, 2018||6||308|
|Rafael Nadal (5)||April 2, 2018||May 13, 2018||6||173|
|Roger Federer (5)||May 14, 2018||May 20, 2018||1||309|
|Rafael Nadal (6)||May 21, 2018||June 17, 2018||4||177|
|Roger Federer (6)||June 18, 2018||June 24, 2018||1||310|
|Rafael Nadal (7)||June 25, 2018||Present||7||184|
Represents ATP rankings record.
Top 4 time spans
Updated 13 August 2018
Time spans Big 4 held the top 1 ATP Ranking position.
|Start date||End date||Weeks|
|February 2, 2004||Present||759|
Time spans Big 4 held the top 2 ATP Ranking positions.
|Start date||End date||Weeks|
|July 25, 2005||Present||682|
Time spans Big 4 held the top 3 ATP Ranking positions.
|Start date||End date||Weeks|
|July 9, 2007||July 30, 2007||4|
|August 13, 2007||June 24, 2013||308|
|August 12, 2013||October 7, 2013||9|
|July 7, 2014||August 15, 2016||111|
|July 17, 2017||October 30, 2017||16|
Time spans Big 4 held the top 4 ATP Ranking positions.
|Start date||End date||Weeks|
|September 8, 2008||January 4, 2010||70|
|January 18, 2010||April 12, 2010||13|
|May 3, 2010||November 8, 2010||28|
|November 29, 2010||January 3, 2011||6|
|April 4, 2011||January 14, 2013||95|
|March 18, 2013||March 18, 2013||2|
|May 20, 2013||May 27, 2013||3|
|February 2, 2015||February 23, 2015||4|
|March 9, 2015||March 23, 2015||4|
|April 20, 2015||May 4, 2015||3|
|June 6, 2016||July 25, 2016||8|
|July 17, 2017||July 24, 2017||2|
Weeks in Top 1–4
Updated 13 August 2018
No other contemporary player comes even close to these stats. The closest is Stan Wawrinka, here are his stats :
Career Grand Slam tournament 1st seedings
Federer has been seeded 1st in 24 Grand Slam tournaments, followed by Djokovic (18), Nadal (13) and Murray (3).
|Year||Australian Open||French Open||Wimbledon||US Open|
|2004||(Roddick)||Federer (1)||Federer (2)||Federer (3)|
|2005||Federer (4)||Federer (5)||Federer (6)||Federer (7)|
|2006||Federer (8)||Federer (9)||Federer (10)||Federer (11)|
|2007||Federer (12)||Federer (13)||Federer (14)||Federer (15)|
|2008||Federer (16)||Federer (17)||Federer (18)||Nadal (1)|
|2009||Nadal (2)||Nadal (3)||Nadal (4)1||Federer (19)|
|2010||Federer (20)||Federer (21)||Federer (22)2||Nadal (5)|
|2011||Nadal (6)||Nadal (7)||Nadal (8)||Djokovic (1)|
|2012||Djokovic (2)||Djokovic (3)||Djokovic (4)||Federer (23)|
|2013||Djokovic (5)||Djokovic (6)||Djokovic (7)||Djokovic (8)|
|2014||Nadal (9)||Nadal (10)||Djokovic (9)2||Djokovic (10)|
|2015||Djokovic (11)||Djokovic (12)||Djokovic (13)||Djokovic (14)|
|2016||Djokovic (15)||Djokovic (16)||Djokovic (17)||Djokovic (18)|
|2017||Murray (1)||Murray (2)||Murray (3)||Nadal (11)|
|2018||Nadal (12)||Nadal (13)||Federer (24)2|
1 Nadal was seeded #1 but withdrew from the tournament after the draw was released.
2 Seeded first ahead of Nadal despite their world rankings being reversed, this was due to Wimbledon's grass seedings formula.
Bolded name indicates that the tournament was won by the top seed.
Main international tennis and sports awards
|ATP World Tour Awards|
|Player of the Year||F||F||F||F||N||F||N||D||D||N||D||D||M||N|
|Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year||F||N||D||F||M|
|ITF World Champions|
|ESPY Award 1|
|Best International Athlete||F|
|Best Male Tennis Player||F||F||F||F||F||F||N||D||D||N||D||D||D||F||F|
|BBC Sports Personality of the Year|
|Sports Personality of the Year||M||M||M|
|Overseas Sports Personality of the Year||F||F||F||N||D||F|
|L'Équipe Champion of Champions|
|International||F||F||F||N||N||F / N|
|La Gazzetta dello Sport|
|World Sportsman of the Year||F||F||F||F|
|Laureus World Sports Awards1|
|Sportsman of the Year||F||F||F||F||N||D||D||D||F|
|Breakthrough of the Year||N||M|
|Comeback of the Year||N||F|
|Flag bearer at the Summer Olympics|
|Opening ceremony||F||Not held||F||Not held||D||Not held||M, N||NH|
1Award shown in year that was honored, not year the award was presented.
- Won 49 of 54 last Grand Slam events (as of 2018 Wimbledon), this is 91% of majors won since the French Open in 2005.
- Represented in the final of 53 of the 54 last Grand Slam events (as of 2018 Wimbledon).
- Won every Wimbledon since 2003 (16 consecutive titles), furthermore 8 out of the last 13 Wimbledon finals have been contested by two of the Big 4, as of 2018. During this period Federer has won an open era record 8 titles, Djokovic 4, Nadal and Murray 2 apiece.
- Won 10 out of the last 13 US Opens (represented in 11 finals of which 6 were contested by 2 of the Big Four).
- 8 of the 9 Australian Open finals from 2009 to 2017 have been contested by two of the Big Four.
- 30 Grand Slam tournament finals featured two from the Big Four, the most of any four players.
- Occupied at least 7 out of 8 Grand Slam finalist slots in 6 seasons (2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015), including 20 out of 20 from the 2010 US Open until the 2013 French Open.
- Occupied all four semi-final slots on 4 Grand Slam tournament occasions (2008 US Open, 2011 French Open, 2011 US Open and 2012 Australian Open).
- Consecutively held the world No. 1 ranking since February 2004.
- Occupied the world No. 1 and 2 rankings since July 2005.
- Won 55 of the last 62 Masters 1000 tournaments as of Shanghai 2017. (Represented in 60 finals)
- Won 97 of the last 116 Masters 1000 tournaments as of Shanghai 2017. (Represented in 106 finals)
- Won 18 consecutive Masters 1000 tournaments from 2014 Cincinnati Open – 2016 Canadian Open.
- All 9 Masters 1000 tournaments won in 2011, 2013, and 2015.
- Won every Grand Slam tournament, Masters 1000 tournaments and the ATP World Tour Finals in 2011 and 2013.
- Won at least 6 of the 9 Masters 1000 tournaments for eleven consecutive years. (2005–2016)
- Occupied top four places in the rankings for 5 years, all consecutive. (2008–2012)
- Won BBC Sports Personality (or Overseas Personality) of the year and ATP Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year.
- Reached 11+ consecutive Grand Slam tournament quarterfinals.
- Reached the semifinals of every ATP Finals since 2002.
- The only four players to have reached the semi-finals or better at all nine ATP Masters series events at least once.
- Were ranked in the year-end top 6 every year at age 21 through 29.
- Top four prize money leaders of all time.
Three of the four
Djokovic, Federer and Nadal
- Won 46 of the last 54 Majors as of 2018 Wimbledon, which is 85% of majors won since the French Open in 2005.
- Won 29 out of 30 Grand Slam events from the 2005 French Open up to and including Wimbledon 2012 which is 97% of majors won.
- Represented in 52 of 54 Major finals from the 2005 French Open up to and including the 2018 Wimbledon.
- Won 12 of the last 13 Australian Open titles (represented in all 13 finals), as of 2018.
- Only three players in history to play 20 or more Major finals. Federer has reached 30 finals, Nadal has 24 finals and Djokovic 22.
- Only three players in the Open Era to reach the final of every Grand Slam tournament at least four times.
- Only three players in the Open Era to play 5 or more consecutive Grand Slam tournament finals.
- Consecutively held the world No. 1 ranking from February 2004 to November 2016 (13 years).
- Occupied the top 3 places in the year-end rankings for 6 years, 5 consecutively (2007–2011, 2014).
- The only era in men's tennis where three players have won double digit majors and the career grand slam while playing in the same time period (2003–present).
- Set or tied the Open Era record for most titles won in all four four Grand Slam events – Djokovic with 6 Australian Open titles(tied), Federer with 6 Australian Open titles(tied) 8 Wimbledon titles and 5 US Open titles (tied) and Nadal with 10 French Open titles.
- Only three players in the tennis history to simultaneously hold Major titles on grass, hard court, and clay. Nadal achieved this feat twice from 2008–2009 and in 2010, Federer in 2008/2009, and Djokovic from 2015–2016.
- All won ATP Player of the Year, ITF Men's Singles Champion, Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year and ESPY Award for Best Male Tennis player.
- Hold the all-time top 3 for match wins at the French Open/French Championships.
- Hold the Open Era top 3 for number of semifinals and quarterfinals reached at the French Open.
- Won 8 out of 9 Masters 1000 tournaments in 2012.
- Won 7 out of 9 Masters 1000 tournaments in 2007 and 2014 and were represented in every final both years.
- Hold the top three for match wins against top 10 ranked opponents.
- Hold the top 11 spots for winning top 10 ranked opponents wins in single season.
- Top three earliest to clinch year-end No. 1 leaders since the ATP Rankings started in 1973.
- Held the Year-End Number 1 ranking for 12 consecutive years (2004–2015). No other three players have held the year end number 1 ranking for 12 consecutive years.
Djokovic, Murray and Nadal
- Won every Grand Slam tournament, Masters 1000 tournament and the ATP World Tour Finals in 2013.
- Won a combined 12 consecutive Rome Masters titles from 2005 to 2016. During this period Nadal has won 7, Djokovic 4 and Murray 1.
Djokovic, Federer and Murray
- Won every Masters 1000 tournament and ATP World Tour Finals in 2015.
- Won the ATP World Tour Finals at least once from 2010 – 2016, a record 7 consecutive titles. During this period Djokovic won 4, Federer won 2 and Murray won 1.
Legacy and recognition
Current and former professionals
Fellow top players, including David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Stan Wawrinka and Andy Roddick have all spoken about the dominance of the Big Four and the challenge they face in matching them. While the question of breaking through the dominance of the Big Four is a constant question the rest of the tour are constantly asked, many former top professionals have also spoken about the topic, including Björn Borg, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Goran Ivanisevic.
David Ferrer declared in 2013:
I think the top four, they are better. It's my opinion. But I am trying to win every match. The results, are there, no? I'm not making something up. It's very difficult for me to win a Grand Slam because there are the top four. At this time they are better than the other players.
Since 2010, when the Big Four increasingly began to dominate the tour as a group, most articles and reports concentrate solely on the members of the Big Four and their chances in upcoming tournaments or how the previous one has affected them, with smaller sections on the rest of the players.
The presence of the Big Four is generally seen to have had a positive impact on tennis, making the sport more exciting and in turn attracting more attention. However, with all four members being from European countries, this may have had a potentially negative effect on interest in North America. It has also been argued that the dominance of the Big Four has made the game predictable or even boring.
Murray's position and "Big Five" proposals
Some tennis commentators, including Murray himself, have spoken of a "Big Three" or "Trivalry", with Murray behind the other three players. Statistician Nate Silver, in 2014, even labelled the group the 'Big Three and a Half'. Andy Murray's overall record against the other three members of the Big Four is (as of August 2016) 28–55. Murray also briefly fell outside the top ten in the rankings in 2014, at the time the only member of the Big Four to have done so since 2006, following a drop in form after back surgery at the end of 2013. However, Murray features in the top ten on a number of Open Era records, including in quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals reached at the Majors, and is to date the only person in history to have won two Gold Medals in singles at the Olympic Games. In the ATP rankings he was the last of the Big Four to reach world No. 1, though he had by that time spent 76 weeks as No. 2. Murray's three Majors and two Olympic Games victories since 2012 have seen him listed more comfortably alongside the other three members during the mid-2010s. His rise to reach the world No. 1 ranking in November 2016 and keep it to finish the year at the top position has further helped cement his position in the Big Four.
Separately, it has been claimed that the current era in tennis should be seen as having a "Big Five", with Juan Martín del Potro, Marin Čilić, and Stan Wawrinka suggested as expansions to the Big Four. Wawrinka in particular is the only active player outside the Big Four to have won more than one Slam title, having won three (the same number as Murray), defeating Djokovic and Nadal on the way to the 2014 Australian Open title, Federer and Djokovic to win the 2015 French Open, and Djokovic again to win the 2016 US Open. However, Wawrinka has reached seven fewer Grand Slam singles finals, has won 13 fewer Masters titles than Murray, and has peaked at only number 3 in the world rankings. Wawrinka has downplayed the suggestion that he be included in an expanded "Big Five", describing Murray as "well ahead" of him.
Some, including Steffi Graf and John McEnroe, believe the presence of the Big Four has coincided with that of a new "Golden Era" in men's tennis since 2008, wherein depth, athleticism and quality have never been better. The era has been compared to that of Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Roy Emerson and John Newcombe throughout the 1960s and that of Björn Borg and Jimmy Connors, and John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
While Novak Djokovic himself recognises it as a golden era, Roger Federer remains skeptical:
I'd say no, but I don't know. Just because you look back maybe 15 years, then you have Sampras, Edberg, Becker, and Agassi, I don't know who else. Those guys weren't good or what? You look back, a further back, 20 years, and you have the Connors and the Lendls. Those weren't good either? I mean, I don't know. So for me I think that's respectful.
It's just different times and definitely more athletic, there's no doubt about that. But then again we don't play doubles. We don't play mixed. Maybe we play less matches today because it's more taxing, but we do play less best of five set tennis than they used to play.
You can't compare really, but we have somewhat of a golden era right now. I feel that truly. It's nice to see Andy making his move at the Olympics, nice to see Novak having an absolutely ridiculous year last year, and then Rafa and myself still being around. It's definitely good times. Past that you still have great champions as well. It's very interesting at the top right now, and the depth I think has never been greater than right now. But then best ever? The four of us? That's a really difficult call.
The respective rivalries between the Big Four are considered to be some of the greatest of all time. Amongst the four of them they have played 217 matches against each other, 65 of which were at Grand Slam events. This includes 30 Grand Slam tournament finals, as well as 26 Grand Slam semifinal meetings, more than any other group of four players. Currently, Djokovic leads the head-to-head record against all members of the Big Four. Djokovic has also won 20+ matches against all three of his peers, while Nadal has won 20+ matches against two of his peers. The Djokovic-Nadal rivalry is the only one in the Open Era to reach 50 matches.
Of the 65 Grand Slam tournament matches that the Big Four have played thus far, 47 of them have been en route to winning the title for one of the Big Four.
Nadal has had to defeat one of the other three members 19 times in order to win his 16 titles. This includes 8 wins over Djokovic (4 finals, 3 semifinals, 1 quarterfinal), 7 wins over Federer (6 finals, 1 semifinal), and 4 wins over Murray (3 semifinals, 1 quarterfinal). Furthermore, in order to win 6 of his 16 titles, he has had to defeat two of the Big Four in the same tournament. On 3 occasions he has had to defeat Federer and Djokovic, on 2 occasions he has had to defeat Federer and Murray, and on 1 occasion he has had to defeat Djokovic and Murray.
Djokovic has had to defeat one of the other three members 16 times in order to win his 12 titles. This includes 7 wins over Federer (3 finals, 4 semifinals), 6 wins over Murray (5 finals, 1 semifinal), and 3 wins over Nadal (3 finals). Furthermore, in order to win 4 of his 12 titles, he has had to defeat two of the Big Four in the same tournament. On 2 occasions he has had to defeat Federer and Murray, on 1 occasion he has had to defeat Nadal and Federer, and on 1 occasion he has had to defeat Nadal and Murray.
Federer has had to defeat one of the other three members 10 times in order to win his 20 titles. This includes 4 wins over Djokovic (1 final, 2 semifinals, 1 round of 16), 3 wins over Murray (3 finals), and 3 wins over Nadal (3 finals). Furthermore, in order to win 2 of his 20 titles, he has had to defeat two of the Big Four in the same tournament. On both of these occasions he had to defeat Djokovic and Murray.
Murray has had to defeat one of the other three members 2 times in order to win his 3 titles. On both of these occasions he defeated Djokovic in the final.
Federer vs. Nadal
Federer and Nadal have been playing each other since 2004 and their rivalry is a significant part of both men's careers. It is also considered one of the greatest in history. They have played 38 times (third-highest in Open Era history), most recently in the final of the 2017 Shanghai Open, and Nadal leads their fourteen-year-old rivalry 23–15.
They held the top two rankings on the ATP Tour from July 2005 until 14 September 2009, when Nadal fell to world No. 3 (Andy Murray became the new No. 2), and again since 11 September 2017. They are the only pair of men to have ever finished four consecutive calendar years at the top, eventually with 6 years from 2005 to 2010. Federer was ranked world No. 1 for a record 237 consecutive weeks beginning in February 2004. Nadal, who is five years younger, ascended to No. 2 in July 2005 and held this spot for a record 160 consecutive weeks before surpassing Federer in August 2008.
Fifteen of their 38 matches have been on clay which is statistically Nadal's best surface and Federer's worst, with 13 being in finals. Nadal has a winning record on outdoor hard courts (8–6) and clay (13–2), while Federer leads on grass (2–1) and indoor hard courts (5–1). Because tournament seedings are based on rankings, 24 of their matches have been in tournament finals which have included an all-time record 9 Grand Slam tournament finals. From 2006 to 2008 they played in every French Open and Wimbledon final. Nadal won six of the nine, losing the first two Wimbledon finals. Four of these finals were five set-matches (2007 and 2008 Wimbledon, 2009 and 2017 Australian Open), with the 2008 Wimbledon final being lauded as the greatest match ever by many long-time tennis analysts. Thirteen of their 38 meetings have reached a deciding set. They have also played in 12 Masters Series finals, including their lone five-hour match at the 2006 Rome Masters which Nadal won in a fifth-set tie-break having saved two match points and at the 2005 Miami Masters where Federer came back from 2 sets down to win in nearly 4 hours. They also contested the final of the ATP World Tour Finals in 2010 with Federer winning in 3 sets. Nadal has defeated Federer on grass in Wimbledon (which is Federer's better surface) but Federer has not been able to beat Nadal on clay in Roland Garros losing to him several times.
Djokovic vs. Nadal
Djokovic and Nadal have the most head-to-head meetings in Open Era history with 52 meetings, which Djokovic leads 27–25. Prior to the Big Four, no Open Era men's rivalry had reached 40 matches, with Lendl vs. McEnroe meeting 37 times. Nadal leads on clay 16–7, while Djokovic leads on hard courts 18–7, and they are tied on grass 2–2. They have met 14 times in Grand Slam tournaments with Nadal leading 9–5, and 4–3 in finals. The rivalry is listed as the third greatest rivalry in the 2000s decade by ATPworldtour.com and is widely considered to be the greatest rivalry in the history of the sport. Djokovic is the first player to have at least ten match wins against Nadal and the only person to defeat Nadal seven times consecutively, which he did twice. He is also only the second player to have defeated Nadal in more than one Grand Slam tournament final (the other being Federer) and the first to beat Nadal in a final on a surface other than grass. Their 2012 Australian Open encounter is considered by many to be the greatest match ever played and their 2013 French Open semifinal is considered the best clay court match ever played.
Between 2011–12, they met in four consecutive Grand Slam tournament finals, just the second time in tennis history this has happened. In doing so, they also became the second pair in history, after Venus and Serena Williams, to meet in the finals of each of the four different Grand Slam events. Djokovic defeated Nadal in the first three (from Wimbledon to the Australian Open), making Nadal the first player in history to lose three consecutive Grand Slam event finals. However, Nadal defeated Djokovic in the French Open final, denying him a Career Grand Slam and the opportunity to become the first man since Rod Laver to hold all four Majors at once. The two also share the record for the longest Australian Open and Grand Slam tournament final match ever played (5 hours and 53 minutes), at the 2012 Australian Open final. This and the 2013 French Open semifinal they contested, are considered two of the greatest matches of all time. At ATP Masters 1000 level, they have met 26 times, 12 of which were in the final (a record), including the 2013 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, where Djokovic ended Nadal's 46-match win streak and eight-year title streak at the event.
Djokovic vs. Federer
Djokovic and Federer have played each other 45 times with Djokovic leading 23–22. Djokovic leads on grass 2–1, while they are tied 17–17 on hard courts and 4–4 on clay. In terms of number of matches played, it ranks as the second largest rivalry in the Open Era. Djokovic vs. Federer is only the second Open Era rivalry to meet 40+ and 45+ times, trailing only the Nadal vs. Djokovic rivalry, which reached both milestones the previous year. The rivalry is the largest in Grand Slam tournament history with 15 matches played, having won against each other matches at each of the four Majors. Djokovic leads this category 9–6 (they are tied 3–3 at the US Open, 1–1 at Roland Garros, and Djokovic leads 3–1 in Australia and 2–1 in Wimbledon). They have played in four Grand Slam tournament finals, the 2007 US Open, which Federer won in straight sets and at Wimbledon in 2014 and 2015 and the 2015 US Open, won by Djokovic. They've also met in a record ten semifinals. The rivalry between Federer and Djokovic is considered one of the best in the Open Era.
Djokovic is the only player besides Nadal to defeat Federer in consecutive Grand Slam tournaments (2010 US Open and 2011 Australian Open), and the only player besides Nadal and Murray who has double-figure career wins over Federer. Djokovic is one of four players currently on tour to have defeated Federer in straight sets at a Major and the only player to do it three times. Between 2007–2011 they played a record five times at the US Open (tied with Lendl–McEnroe and Connors–Lendl), with Federer winning the first three and Djokovic the last two. This includes the 2010 and 2011 semifinals they contested, in both of which Djokovic saved two match points before going on to win the match. In contrast Federer is the only player beside Nadal to have achieved 20 career wins against Djokovic and ended Djokovic's 43-match winning streak and 41–0 start to the 2011 season, by defeating him in the French Open semifinals. These three matches have been classified among the greatest matches in tennis history by the ATP.
At ATP Masters 1000 level, they have met 18 times, and they are both tied 9–9, while Djokovic leads 4–3 in finals. The pair have also contested one final at the 2012 ATP World Tour Finals, which Djokovic won in straight sets. They were scheduled to meet again in the 2014 final but Federer withdrew. The pair met four times in 2014, in the semifinal of the Dubai Tennis Championships, with Federer recording his first victory over Djokovic since 2012 and first deciding set victory over another member of the Big Four since 2010, in the final of Indian Wells the following week, with this time Djokovic coming out on top, Monte-Carlo semifinal with Federer winning in straight sets, and at Wimbledon, with Djokovic winning in five sets. They have met six times so far in 2015, at the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships with Federer winning in straight sets, the final of the Indian Wells Masters with Djokovic winning in three sets, the final of the Rome Masters, which Djokovic won in straight sets, the final of Wimbledon, which Djokovic won in four sets, the final of the Cincinnati Masters, which Federer won in straight sets and 2015 US Open, which Djokovic won in four sets.
Djokovic vs. Murray
Djokovic and Murray have met 36 times with Djokovic leading 25–11. Djokovic leads 5–1 on clay, 20–8 on hard courts, and Murray leads 2–0 on grass. The two are almost the same age, with Murray being a week older than Djokovic. The pair have met in seven Grand Slam tournament finals: the 2011 Australian Open, 2012 US Open, 2013 Australian Open, 2013 Wimbledon Championships, 2015 Australian Open, 2016 Australian Open and 2016 French Open. Djokovic won in Australia four times and once in France, and Murray emerged as the victor at the US Open and Wimbledon. Between 2012–13, the pair met nine times, including three Major finals, and were ranked as the two highest ranked players in the world between May and August 2013. During this time, the rivalry rose in prominence as the emerging rivalry in tennis. Since then, Djokovic has dominated the rivalry, winning eight matches in a row, before Murray stopped his winning streak in the final of the 2015 Rogers Cup.
The US Open final they contested equalled the record as the longest US Open final in history, as well as the second longest major final in Open Era history, behind the 2012 Australian Open final. It also featured the longest ever tie-break in a US Open final, with a 12–10 final score in the first set. Other notable matches include the 2012 Australian Open semifinal which lasted 4 hours and 50 minutes with Djokovic outlasting Murray 7—5 in the fifth set and the semifinal meeting at the 2012 Olympic Games, with Murray winning in straight sets. At ATP Masters 1000 level, they've met 20 times, with Djokovic leading 14–6. Ten of these meetings came in finals, and they are tied at 5–5. Their most notable match in this category was in the final of the 2012 Shanghai Masters, where Djokovic saved 5 championship points to win the title, ending Murray's perfect 12–0 record at the event. This, and the three set match they played in Rome in 2011, were voted the ATP World Tour Match of the Year, for each respective season.
Federer vs. Murray
Federer and Murray have met 25 times, with Federer leading 14–11. Federer leads 12–10 on hard courts and 2–1 on grass, and they have never met on clay. Overall, Federer leads Murray 5–1 in Grand Slam events, three of which were finals, once each at the US Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon Championships, all of which Federer won. However, Murray leads their head-to-head 9–8 in three-set tennis, leading 6–3 at ATP Masters 1000 level (2–0 in finals) with Federer ahead 3–1 in the matches they've contested at the ATP Finals, with Murray winning in Shanghai in 2008 and Federer coming out victorious in London in 2009, 2010 and in 2012. In 2012, exactly four weeks after the two met in the Wimbledon final, they met again on Centre Court for the final of the Olympic Games. Murray exacted revenge on Federer by winning in straight sets for the loss of just 7 games, claiming the gold medal and at the same time denying Federer a Career Golden Slam.
Murray is one of only three players to have recorded 10 or more victories against Federer, the other two being Nadal and Djokovic. The pair have only met three times since 2012, with Murray recording his first victory over Federer at Grand Slam event level with a five set victory in the semifinals of the 2013 Australian Open, and Federer reversing the result in the quarterfinal the following year. Federer won their meeting at the 2014 Cincinnati Masters quarter-final in straight sets.
Murray vs. Nadal
Murray and Nadal have met on 24 occasions, on all surfaces and at every Grand Slam tournament, with Nadal leading 17–7. Nadal leads 7–2 on clay, 3–0 on grass and 7–5 on hard courts. The pair regularly meet at Grand Slam tournaments, with nine of their meetings coming at this level, with Nadal leading 7–2 (3–0 at Wimbledon, 2–0 at the French Open and 1–1 at both the Australian & US Open). The pair are the only match-up within that of the Big Four that have not contested a Grand Slam tournament final, despite one of them occupying a finalist spot in every final between the 2009 US Open and 2014 Wimbledon Championships. However, they've met in 6 semi-finals and 2 quarter-finals, making the rivalry an important part of both men's careers. In 2011 the pair met in three consecutive Grand Slam tournament semi-finals from the French Open to the US Open, with Nadal defeating Murray every time. Murray leads 3–1 in ATP finals, with Nadal winning Indian Wells in 2009 and Murray winning the two ATP 500 finals they've contested in Rotterdam the same year and Tokyo in 2011, as well as Madrid in 2015.
The pair did not meet in 2012 or 2013, partly because both players suffered from injury. However, they renewed their rivalry in 2014 with a quarter-final meeting at the Rome Masters, with Nadal winning in three tight sets. The pair met again in the semi-finals of French Open two weeks later, with Nadal winning comfortably in straight sets on his way to winning his ninth French Open title.
This table lists end-of-season statistics for each member of the Big Four, allowing for comparison at the same age.
- () = active record (updated Monday 16 July 2018).
|Current or former record of the Open Era|
|Age (end of season)||18||19||20||21||22||23||24||25||26||27||28||29||30||31||32||33||34||35||36||37|
|Djokovic/ Murray's season||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021||2022||2023||2024|
|Grand Slam titles||Federer||0||0||0||0||1||4||6||9||12||13||15||16||16||17||17||17||17||17||19||(20)|
|Grand Slam match wins||Federer||0||7||20||26||39||61||85||112||138||162||188||208||228||247||260||279||297||307||325||(336)|
|Masters 1000 titles||Federer||0||0||0||1||1||4||8||12||14||14||16||17||18||21||21||23||24||24||27||(27)|
|Top 10 wins||Federer||1||4||9||19||28||46||61||80||97||104||119||135||145||161||165||182||197||198||212||(214)|
|Weeks at number 1||Federer||0||0||0||0||0||48||100||152||204||237||262||285||285||302||302||302||302||302||302||(310)|
|Prize money ($M)||Federer||0.3||0.9||1.7||3.7||7.7||14.1||20.2||28.6||38.7||44.6||53.4||61.0||67.4||76.0||79.2||88.6||97.3||98.8||111.9||(117.0)|
|Age (end of season)||18||19||20||21||22||23||24||25||26||27||28||29||30||31||32||33||34||35||36||37|
|Djokovic/ Murray's season||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021||2022||2023||2024|
Titles by tournaments played comparison
- () = active record (updated Monday 14 August 2018).
Another way to view their respective careers and evolution is to look at the progression of titles won by the number of tournaments played to win each of their titles at each level of competition including the four Majors, Olympic Games, ATP Finals (formerly Tennis Masters Cup, ATP World Tour Finals), ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (formerly ATP Masters Series).
|Singles title #||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20||21||22||23||24||25||26||27||28||29||30||31||32||33||34|
|Federer||won at Grand Slam #||17||19||21||22||25||26||27||29||30||31||33||34||38||40||41||43||53||69||70||72||(74)|
|Federer||won at Olympic Games #||(5)|
|Federer||won at ATP Tour Finals #||2||3||5||6||9||10||(16)|
|Federer||won at ATP Masters 1000 #||22||35||38||39||41||42||44||45||46||47||50||52||57||59||75||77||84||94||95||97||99||112||113||119||124||125||127||(130)|
With a combined total of 210 matches played, the Big Four have played many notable matches. The 2008 Wimbledon final and the 2012 Australian Open finals are considered by some to be the greatest matches of all time. Novak Djokovic saved match points against Roger Federer at the 2010 and 2011 US Open semifinals, whereas Federer ended Djokovic's 43-match winning streak in the 2011 French Open semifinals. The 4 hour 50 minute 2012 Australian Open semifinal between Murray and Djokovic is said to have given Murray the belief he needed to match the other members of the Big Four. Moreover, every Grand Slam tournament final of 2012, all played between the Big Four, holds some historical significance. The 2012 Australian Open final was the longest Grand Slam tournament final in terms of time played, the 2012 French Open saw Rafael Nadal break the record for the most number of titles at the French Open, whereas Djokovic was attempting to become the first man to hold all four Majors since Rod Laver in 1969. The 2012 Wimbledon final saw Federer equal the record for most Wimbledon titles when he came out victorious against Murray, who became the first British man since 1938 to appear in the final. The 2012 US Open final was the equal longest final in US Open history, and Murray became the first British man since 1938 to win a Major title, and the only British man to do so in the Open Era. He also became the only man to win Olympic Singles Gold and the US Open back-to-back.
2007 Wimbledon Championships final
The 2007 Wimbledon Gentlemen's singles final was the championship tennis match of the Men's Singles tournament at the 2007 Wimbledon Championships. It pitted world No. 1 Roger Federer against world No. 2 Rafael Nadal in a Major final for the fourth time. This was a rematch of the Wimbledon final from the year before and would become the defining match of the Federer–Nadal rivalry up to that point. This was a historic match as Federer was trying to equal Björn Borg's record of five consecutive Wimbledon titles, while Nadal was attempting to be the first man since Borg in 1980 to win the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back (this achievement is colloquially known as the "Channel Slam").
Federer defeated Nadal in five compelling sets in three hours and forty-five minutes, for a fifth consecutive Wimbledon championship (equalling the feat achieved by Björn Borg). Borg himself returned to Wimbledon for the first time since losing the final in 1981, saying "I just feel that this is the right time for me to come back, to hopefully watch Roger winning his fifth title in a row to match my record." This match marked only the third time in the new century that a Major final had gone to five sets, and was the first time the technology Hawk-Eye was ever used in a Wimbledon final.
2008 Wimbledon Championships final
The 2008 Wimbledon Gentlemen's singles final was the championship tennis match of the Men's Singles tournament at the 2008 Wimbledon Championships. A part of the storied rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, it pitted the two players, then ranked world No. 1 and No. 2 respectively, against each other in a Major final for the sixth time (out of eight). After 4 hours and 48 minutes, Nadal defeated Federer in five sets in failing light. A number of tennis critics promptly lauded it as the greatest match in tennis history.
This was the longest Wimbledon men's singles final in history, clocking in at four hours and forty-eight minutes. The match also featured numerous rain delays which meant the match finished in near darkness, at 21:15 BST, almost seven hours since the match started at 14:35 BST. It was to be the last Wimbledon final to be significantly affected by rain, as a retractable roof was being installed at Centre Court and would be in place by the 2009 Wimbledon Championships.
2009 Australian Open final
The 2009 Australian Open Men's singles final was the championship tennis match of the Men's Singles tournament at the 2009 Australian Open. It was contested between the world's top two players for much of the previous four years, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer then world number's 1 and 2 respectively. It was their seventh (out of nine) Grand Slam tournament final meeting and it was the same final match up as had been previously at both the 2008 Wimbledon Men's Singles final and 2008 French Men's Singles final, both of which Nadal won. However this was Rafael Nadal's first Major hardcourt final while it was Roger Federer's ninth and was yet to lose in a Major hardcourt final.
Nadal defeated Federer in 5 sets in 4 hours and 19 minutes, with the match finishing after midnight, to become the first Spaniard to win the Australian Open. The match was lauded as one of the greatest ever at the Australian Open and it was yet another high quality match between two of the greatest players of all time, only 6 months since their epic 2008 Wimbledon final. It was a match of huge significance as had Federer won the match he would have equalled the all-time Grand Slam tournament record of 14 by Pete Sampras and the open-era record for most Australian Open titles of 4 with Andre Agassi (he would go on to achieve these in the near future). However, as a result of Nadal winning he set his own records, holding 3 of the 4 slams at the same time for the first time in his career. Not only that but he became the first man in the open-era to hold three Grand Slam tournament titles on three different surfaces at the same time. This victory over Federer many believed brought about a change in the tennis standings as Nadal was now clearly the No. 1 player after Federer had that title for over 4 and a half years consecutively with Nadal deemed the second best for nearly 3 years of that. The defeat brought Federer to tears as he came to terms with his loss.
The match statistics followed a similar pattern to those at the 2008 Wimbledon Final, with Federer having a lower first serve percentage against Nadal (51% vs 64%) and he again couldn't be as clinical on break point opportunities with only 31% break points converted for Federer whereas Nadal converted 43% of his break points. However the total points by each player proved even closer than that at that Wimbledon final, as Federer won 1 more point than Nadal (174 vs 173) yet still lost this final.
2011 French Open semifinal
The 2011 French Open Men's singles semifinal between world No. 2 Novak Djokovic and world No. 3 Roger Federer was a historic encounter that brought about the end of the longest winning streak in almost 30 years. Djokovic entered the match undefeated for the first five months of the year having gone 41–0 with a total winning streak of 43 matches (his last loss had come against Federer at the World Tour Finals). It was the first Grand Slam tournament in which Djokovic had ever been seeded higher than Federer. Djokovic had defeated Federer in their three previous meetings in 2011, however, Federer took out the first two sets. Djokovic won the third set and as the fourth set went on the light began to fade and it was clear that if the match went to a fifth set it would have to be continued the next day. Djokovic served for the fourth set at 5–4 but was broken and Federer closed out the match in a tiebreaker.
2012 Australian Open final
The 2012 Australian Open Men's singles final was the championship tennis match of the Men's Singles tournament at the 2012 Australian Open. It pitted the world's top two players, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, against each other in a Grand Slam tournament final for the fourth time (out of seven) and third consecutive time. Djokovic defeated Nadal in five sets to win the match. At five hours and fifty-three minutes, it was the Major final match with the longest duration in history. During the trophy ceremony, both Nadal and Djokovic required chairs, as they were both so tired that they couldn't stand.
It was lauded as one of the greatest matches ever by former players, legends, and analysts of the sport. John McEnroe claimed it surpassed the 2008 Wimbledon final as the best tennis match of all time, while legends Pete Sampras, Mats Wilander, and Björn Borg said it was the best match they saw in their lifetime. After the 2012 Australian Open, Rod Laver came out with his greatest in the amateur and Open Era lists, Djokovic was ranked 6th and Nadal 5th on the Open Era list. Laver said the 2012 Australian Open final was a main reason for including both players. Nadal called it the toughest loss of his career but the best match he ever played. Djokovic said it was the finest win in his career and also commented on the high level of tennis played. Not only was this the longest Grand Slam tournament final, but according to Tennis Channel and the Australian Open TV networks, this was one of the most-watched finals, despite ending late into the night locally. Soon after the conclusion of the 2012 Australian Open, there were sources claiming that Djokovic sealed his spot as a tennis great and in the Tennis Hall of Fame.
2012 French Open final
The 2012 French Open Men's singles final was the championship tennis match of the Men's Singles tournament at the 2012 French Open. It pitted the world's top two players, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, against each other in a Grand Slam tournament final for the fifth time overall and fourth consecutive time. This match had historical proportions as Djokovic would have become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four Majors simultaneously, whereas Nadal was looking to break Björn Borg's record of six French Open titles and equal Chris Evert's record of seven French Open titles held by a man or woman.
Nadal defeated Djokovic in a two-day final in four sets, to ultimately achieve his seventh French Open title and deny Djokovic a Career Grand Slam. With Nadal leading by two sets to one, and Djokovic leading 2–1 on serve in the fourth set, the match was suspended due to rain; it was initially thought that Djokovic had gained the momentum, having won eight consecutive games prior to the suspension of the match, however, Nadal was able to regroup and take the fourth set, and ultimately the match, after Djokovic double-faulted on championship point down.
2012 Wimbledon Championships final
The 2012 Wimbledon Gentlemen's singles final was the championship tennis match of the Gentlemen's Singles tournament at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships. It pitted world No. 3 Roger Federer against world No. 4 Andy Murray in a Major final for a third time. This final snapped a streak of four consecutive Major finals reached by Djokovic and Nadal. Nadal was ousted in the second round while Federer defeated Djokovic in the semi-finals. In what was the most historic Major final of the year, Federer sought to win a record shattering seventeenth Major title and a record-tying seventh Wimbledon to match his idol Pete Sampras. Both of these records are amongst the most prestigious in all of tennis. Murray on the other hand had become the first British man since Bunny Austin in 1938 to reach the Wimbledon final, and was attempting to become the first Briton to win any Major title since Fred Perry in 1936.
Federer defeated Murray in four sets in three hours and 24 minutes, to capture a record equalling seventh Wimbledon championship, and a record breaking seventeenth Major title. The victory was also historic as it caused Federer to depose Djokovic as world No. 1 and break Sampras' record of 286 weeks at the summit of men's tennis (Federer had been just one week short when he lost the number one ranking in June 2010). At the beginning of the third set play was halted by rain and the roof which had been installed in 2009 was closed for the first time during the Wimbledon final.
2012 US Open final
The 2012 US Open Men's singles final was the championship tennis match of the Men's Singles tournament at the 2012 US Open. It pitted then-world No. 3 Andy Murray against world No. 2 and defending champion Novak Djokovic in a Grand Slam tournament final for the second time. Murray defeated Djokovic in five sets to win the match. It was the equal-longest US Open men's final in history, lasting four hours and fifty-four minutes (equalling the 1988 US Open final played by Ivan Lendl and Mats Wilander), and the equal second-longest men's final in the Open era, only behind the aforementioned 2012 Australian Open final. By winning the 2012 US Open, Murray became the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win a Grand Slam singles title, and the first British man in the Open Era to do so. This was the most famous match in the rivalry between the two players. It also marked a milestone for Murray, as it was his 100th match win at a Major.
This match featured the longest ever first set (and the longest ever tiebreak) in a men's championship match; the 87-minute first set, won by Murray, included four breaks of serve in the first four games of the match, a 54-shot rally in the sixth game, and the 24-minute tiebreak which lasted up until 12–10; additionally, the tiebreak included two 30-shot rallies. Murray required six set points to win the first set, and required five sets to win the match. Murray said that a toilet break at the end of the fourth set helped him to restore his concentration after Djokovic took the third and fourth sets.
2013 French Open semifinal
The 2013 French Open Men's singles semifinal was a rematch of the prior year's final between Nadal and Djokovic. Just weeks after that victory, Nadal went on a lengthy injury hiatus of over 7 months before his highly successful return, reaching the final of all 8 tournaments he entered and winning 6 titles. But one of those losses was to Djokovic in Monte Carlo, ending Nadal's record streak of 8 consecutive titles there. Djokovic was very motivated to win this match, having said winning his first French Open title was his highest priority of 2013, plus his desire to dedicate the title in honor of his recently deceased childhood tennis coach.
The match was a see-saw five setter with Nadal prevailing 9–7 in the fifth after 4 hours and 37 minutes. Analyst Steve Tignor summed it up: "This epic was a mirror image of their last one, in the 2012 Australian Open final. That day it had been Nadal who had survived a near-death experience in the fourth set, won it in a tiebreaker, and taken a 4–2 lead in the fifth before watching Djokovic storm back for the title. Today it was Nole who broke Rafa at 3–4 in the fourth and again at 5–6, grabbed that set in a tiebreaker, and led 4–2 in the fifth before watching Nadal take it all away. In each of those matches, the loser was haunted by a stunning, crucial lapse. In Australia, with a chance to go up 5–2 in the fifth, Nadal had missed the easiest of backhand passing shots. In Paris, serving at 4–3 in the final set, Djokovic gave away a point when he ran into the net after hitting what would have been a winning overhead."
Numerous tennis pundits and legends including Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi, Björn Borg, Boris Becker, and John McEnroe claimed this was the greatest clay court match to ever take place in tennis history. ESPN commentator Chris Fowler and Patrick McEnroe even echoed this very remark during the broadcast of this match.
2013 Wimbledon Championships final
The 2013 Wimbledon Gentlemen's singles final was the championship tennis match of the Men's Singles tournament at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships. It pitted the top two players in the world, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray against each other for the fourth time in a Grand Slam tournament final. After three hours and nine minutes, second seeded Murray defeated world No. 1 Djokovic in three sets to win the match. By winning the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, Murray became the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win the Wimbledon title, the first Scottish man since Harold Mahony in 1896 to win the title, and the first British man in the Open Era to do so.
2014 Wimbledon Championships final
The 2014 Wimbledon Gentlemen's singles final was the championship match of the Men's Singles tournament at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships. A significant part of the Djokovic–Federer rivalry, it pitted Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer against each other in a Grand Slam tournament final for the second time. After three hours and 56 minutes, top-seeded Djokovic defeated fourth-seeded Federer in five sets to win the match.
By winning the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, Djokovic not only won for the second time, but also reclaimed the world number one ranking from Rafael Nadal at the conclusion of the tournament. He also stopped a losing run in Grand Slam tournament finals having lost his last 3 and 5 of his last 6, Meanwhile, with his run to the final and showing in the final that he is still a major contender even at the age of 32, Federer returned to the top 3 ranking positions after a lengthy period in the ranks 5–8 range. Federer had been going for his 80th career tour title, 18th Major victory and his 8th Wimbledon title.
2016 French Open final
It was the first time in nearly two decades that number 1 played number 2 and neither had won the French Open previously. Andy Murray had a career resurgence on clay, making deep runs in the Masters tournaments prior to the French Open, finishing runner up to Djokovic in Madrid before besting him in Rome. Rain had affected the tournament schedule and in Djokovic's case, he had to play 4 matches in 5 days. Murray was playing to become the first Brit since 1937 to win, while Djokovic had multiple historical records on the line, most notably joining the elite group of men who won a career Grand Slam and joining Rod Laver and Don Budge as the only men to hold all 4 major titles at the same time. After Murray took the first set, Djokovic rallied to win the match prevailing in four sets.
2016 ATP World Tour Finals championship match
Djokovic and Murray met for the first time since the aforementioned French Open final in the championship match of the season-concluding ATP World Tour Finals in London in November. Of the five meetings (all in championship matches) that took place between the pair in 2016, this one had added significance, as for the first time in tournament history, the winner of the match would become the year-end number 1. The stakes were high in Djokovic's case, as a win would have seen him win his fifth consecutive year-end title, and sixth overall (matching the record held by Roger Federer); Murray, on the other hand, was shooting for his first year-end title, having qualified for the championship match for the first time. Ultimately, Murray won in straight sets, ensuring he ended the year ranked world number one, and also becoming the first man other than Djokovic, Federer or Rafael Nadal to finish the year at the top of the rankings since Andy Roddick in 2003.
2017 Australian Open final
Federer and Nadal met in a major final for the first time since the French Open in 2011. The match between the perennial but aging archrivals was anticipated due to speculation of this possibly being their last contest in a major final, the potential tennis history made from either victory and subsequent implications on their respective legacies, and the match's relevance towards discussing either man as being 'the greatest tennis player of all time'. Federer triumphed in five sets despite being a break down early in the deciding 5th set. This was the first time Federer won a major since Wimbledon in 2012, the first time he defeated Nadal at a major since the Wimbledon final of 2007, and the first time that Federer defeated Nadal in a Grand Slam tournament match outside the grass courts of Wimbledon. With this win, Federer increased his all-time record to 18 major titles, became the oldest man to win a Grand Slam tournament, at age 35, since Ken Rosewall at the Australian Open in 1972, and became the first ever man to win at least 5 singles majors in 3 different Grand Slam tournaments each.
2018 Wimbledon semifinal
Nadal and Djokovic met in the semifinals of 2018 Wimbledon, their first meeting at a Grand Slam singles tournament in three years. This match up was significant as Djokovic had the opportunity to reach his first major final since 2016, after having struggled with form and an elbow injury for the past two years, while Nadal was looking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011, having not even passed the Fourth Round at Wimbledon since that year. Due to the six-and-half-hour long first semi-final between John Isner and Kevin Anderson, the match did not start until after 8:00pm local time, and was played over two days as a result of an 11:00pm curfew in force at Wimbledon. After 5 hours and 15 minutes, the second longest Wimbledon semi-final in history after the aforementioned Isner-Anderson match, Djokovic prevailed 10–8 in the fifth set.
- Individual career achievements
- Individual career statistics
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