FedEx Performance Zone: Best Career Grand Slam Records
A look at where Nadal, Federer and Djokovic stand among tennis' greats in the Open Era
There is little doubt that Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have dominated their era — the trio has won 57 of 81 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles (70 per cent, since 2009) and held the top spot in the ATP Rankings for all but 41 weeks since 2 February 2004.
But they have also controlled the Grand Slams. Since 2003 Wimbledon, when Federer was the first of the three players to win a major title, the Swiss (19), Nadal (16) and Djokovic (12) have combined to win 47 of the 57 Slams contested (92 per cent). For the field, on average, that's one Grand Slam victory every two and a half years.
Domination may even be an understatement.
But get this — Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are the three leading Grand Slam winners over the last 15 years have also been three of of the four most dominant competitors at the majors, period, since the Open Era began in 1968. The only player who has won a higher rate of matches is Bjorn Borg, who triumphed in 89.8 per cent of his Grand Slam matches, capturing trophies at 11 of the 27 Slams he competed in.
BEST GRAND SLAM RECORDS IN OPEN ERA
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There is little to no chance that Nadal, Federer or Djokovic will be able to chase the Swede down in that category. Nadal — who is second on the list at 87.3 per cent (226-33) — would need to win the next seven Grand Slams he plays to overtake Borg. But what also stands out is not just the rate at which this era's leaders have won at the majors, but for how long they have done it.
Keep in mind, Borg played just 157 Grand Slam matches. Federer (357), Djokovic (276) and Nadal (259) have all played more. So what has been the secret to the tremendous trio's sustained excellence?
“I think we had the spirit of improvement all the time, passion for what we are doing, and we have been hard workers in general terms, because we were not playing with ups and downs. We have been there almost every week for a lot of years. That's difficult to make it happen. That's difficult to find some players in the same generation that achieve all the things that we achieved,” Nadal said after winning the 2017 US Open. “We are in an era that some players make incredible things in this sport.”
Don’t forget, Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have had to compete against one another as well. In fact, 40 of their combined 124 losses (32.3 per cent) at Grand Slams have been against another member of the elite trio. So while they already have an outstanding combined record of 788-124 (86.4 per cent) at the majors, they are 748-84 (89.9 per cent) against the rest of the ATP World Tour, which is a better winning percentage than Borg, even though it includes more than five times the match count that Borg had.
FEDERER, DJOKOVIC AND NADAL AGAINST THE FIELD AT GRAND SLAMS
And there are no signs of them slowing down. They have won eight of the last 10 Grand Slams, including all four in 2017 between Federer (Australian Open, Wimbledon) and Nadal (Roland Garros, US Open).
The all-time greats have an opportunity to continue their Grand Slam dominance at the Australian Open from 15-28 January.