A few days ago, Daniil Medvedev arrived at the summit of the ATP rankings after his exploits at the start of 2022, finally breaking the 18-year Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray hegemony at the top of the men’s game. It has been a defining era for the sport and one that will linger in public memory for quite some time.

But how did we get here? It has not been a straightforward journey for the four stalwarts of men’s tennis, with many a twist in the tale over the last two decades.

Canadian tennis fans may not have had many of their own countrymen to follow throughout this golden era of tennis, but at least they had four of the best players ever to play the game to enjoy instead.  

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Wimbledon 2003: Federer arrives on the scene to kickstart a golden era

Wimbledon is a cultural institution worldwide, and in 2003 the iconic grass courts saw the emergence of a young Roger Federer, a player who would go on to dumbfound audiences across Canada and the rest of the world.

Competing against the veteran Mark Philippoussis, the Swiss starlet displayed ballerina-like poise and mercurial shot-hitting qualities bordering on the ethereal.  

You can watch 2003 Wimbledon final highlights to remind yourself of that famous win on the Centre Court, although there are more exciting ways to recap the action. For example, video games franchises like Virtua Tennis or Top Spin let you place yourself in the shoes of Federer on the legendary green turf.

Or, if you’d like a chance to win money whilst revelling in the wonders of Wimbledon, you can play online slots like Centre Court available at the . It is crucial to play at the top platforms in today’s saturated market due to customer safety, bonuses, and game selection. Lucky for you, this page exhibits the cream of the crop.

With money on the line and huge prizes up for grabs, playing Centre Court would bring you even closer to the state of mind Federer was in when he made his breakthrough on the global tennis scene back in 2003. For now, though, let’s take a better look at the events of the last 18 years concerning the bona fide tennis legends, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Fiery Spanish hotshot Nadal starts a rivalry to behold

After successfully defending his Wimbledon title in 2004 and adding the Australian Open and US Open to his trophy haul, Federer quickly cemented himself at the top of the men’s game.

However, on the other side of Europe, a ferocious talent was rearing its head in the form of Rafael Nadal, a clay-court specialist donning trademark three-quarter lengths and a vest.

In 2005, Rafael Nadal won his first French Open, a title he would win a record 13 times. Subsequently, we were treated to perhaps the greatest tennis rivalry of all time, as these two mercurial talents went head-to-head repeatedly throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Djokovic and Murray enter the fray

Whilst Federer and Nadal were strutting their stuff at the top of the ATP tour, they were seemingly untouchable, but the young talent of Novak Djokovic had something to say about that.

In 2007, Djokovic became only the second player after Tomas Berdych to beat Federer or Nadal since they became the top two players in the world.

He won the Australian Open the year after, successfully breaking an era of undisputed success where Nadal and Federer shared the Grand Slams between them. With Novak Djokovic wrestling his way into a new ‘Big 3’, the men’s game was treated to a three-way rivalry never seen before.

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2010-2022: Dominance of the ‘Big 3’  

An honourable mention to Andy Murray here, whose time in the limelight was fleeting at best due to injuries first and foremost. However, he still managed to write his name in history during this incredible era for men’s tennis. Nevertheless, it was mainly the ‘Big 3’ that defined the 2010s.

In the early half of the decade, things were delicately poised, although Djokovic eventually proved himself to be the most relentless in his pursuit of titles.

The trio was on 20 Grand Slams apiece until the end of January 2022, when Nadal beat Medvedev in the Australian Open final at the Australian Open to win his 21st Grand Slam. Is this the end of the ‘Big 3’? Only time will tell.


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