Who has won the most Grand Slams? Nadal, Djokovic, Federer…
While Rafael Nadal and Margaret Court continue to hold the records for most Grand Slam titles in tennis, the Big Three hold the history of the sport.
It is the most enduring rivalry in the history of tennis, and perhaps in any sport, team or individual: the Big Three of tennis: Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Three of the greatest players ever to pick up a racket, three of the finest athletes ever to bestride any sport, the Swiss, the Spaniard and the Serb have collected a huge number of Grand Slam titles between them over the past two decades since Federer claimed his first major at Wimbledon in 2003.
On Friday, we saw the emotional farewell of the first member of the band, Federer. The Swiss ace took on the O2 Arena teaming up with Nadal in Friday’s final doubles match against Team World’s Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe in what was the last match of his long and illustrious career.
Nadal and Federer stood together on the same side of the net as they were defeated 4-6, 7-6 (2), 11-9, after having endured 40 stretched, pressure-filled battles against each other.
How many Grand Slams do the Big Three have?
The Big Three have lifted 63 Grand Slam trophies altogether, with the order being Nadal with 22, Djokovic with 21 and Federer with 20 Grand Slam titles. However, it is worthy to note that Margaret Court of the most Grand Slam titles in the sport of tennis, with 24, one ahead of legendary Serena Williams (23), who we also saw retire earlier this month.
The only male player within reach of the individual record of any one of The Big Three is Pete Sampras, who won 14 slams. Sampras’ final major win came at the 2002 US Open, where he defeated Andre Agassi, his great rival, 12 years after they had first met in a slam final. By the time the 2003 tournament at Flushing Meadows came around, the new dynasty was on its way to being installed.
Federer, Djokovic, Nadal’s journey to greatness
After Federer won his first at the All-England Club, the Swiss maestro went on to claim 11 of the next 17 Grand Slam tournaments, with a youthful Nadal sweeping the crushed brick of Roland Garros for three consecutive titles between 2005-07. Then came Djokovic, who opened his account at the 2008 Australian Open, a tournament he has now won a record nine times. Federer has eight Wimbledons, and Nadal 14 French Opens. Since the start of 2003, only Agassi, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Andy Roddick (all 2003), Gastón Gaudio (2004), Marat Safin (2005), Juan Martín del Potro (2009) Andy Murray (on three occasions), Stan Wawrinka (twice), Marin Cilic (2018), Dominic Thiem (2020) and Daniil Medvedev (2021) have won a major tournament in which at least one of the Big Three have featured.