Remove one of the Big 3; who benefits the most?

Who benefits most from removing a Big 3 member?


  • Total voters
    71

Kralingen

Legend
Imagine a world where one of the 3 never emerges as a top player and decides to be a footballer, vegan restaurant owner, or pharmaceutical executive instead.

So, in this scenario, the other two Big 3 still exist (i.e. Federer and Djokovic still are born and have their normal careers, or Nadal and Federer still exist with no Djokovic). Everyone else still exists, no non-ATGs change.

which specific player benefits the most from one of the Big 3 not appearing in tennis?

Fed without Nadal
Fed without Djokovic
Nadal without Fed
Nadal without Djokovic
Djokovic without Fed
Djokovic without Nadal
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
I would say this is mainly a race between Fed without Rafa and Rafa without Djokovic. Not sure which one to pick though.

Edit: I'll go with Fed w/o Rafa since removing Novak likely doesn't give Rafa a calendar slam, let alone the 2 Fed might have won.
 
Last edited:
Assuming everything else remains the same, probably Federer without Rafa, followed by Federer without Djokovic/Rafa w/o Djokovic.
 
Last edited:

TripleATeam

G.O.A.T.
Fed showed up in 03, contested every slam (practically) until 2010. From 2003-2009, Nadal lost 2 times to Fed (in slams). After that, Federer only stopped Nadal in slams 2 times - 2017 AO and 2019 Wimbledon, and 2019 Wimbledon wasn't a guaranteed win even without Federer. So 3-4 lost slams.
Fed to Djokovic: 07 USO, 08 USO, 09 USO (maybe), RG 11 (maybe), and 2012 WIM. So 3-5 slams in total.
Total: 6-9 slams.

Djokovic to Fed: 08 AO, maybe 10 USO, 11 AO, maybe 11 USO, 14 WIM, 15 WIM, 15 USO, 19 WIM. Roughly 6-8.
Djokovic to Nadal: 11 WIM, 11 USO, 12 AO, 18 WIM, 19 AO, 21 RG. 6 slams.
Total (not double counting): 12-13.

Nadal to Fed: RG 05, 06, 07, 08, 11. WIM 08. AO 09, maybe 12, 14. That's 8-9 slams.
Nadal to Djokovic: RG 07 (maybe), 08, 12, 13, 14, 20. USO 10, 13. 7-8 slams.
Total here is only 14-15 slams to not double-count.

The biggest count here is Nadal to Federer, so you get the biggest gain by removing Nadal from existence. Federer would stand to gain the most.
 

Kralingen

Legend
Slam H2H:

Nadal-Federer 10-4
Djokovic-Federer 11-6
Nadal-Djokovic 10-7

I wonder if Federer without Djokovic could be the real answer? Though Djoko never stopped him from a CYGS and probably 8/8 Slams like Rafa did, obviously.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
Fed showed up in 03, contested every slam (practically) until 2010. From 2003-2009, Nadal lost 2 times to Fed (in slams). After that, Federer only stopped Nadal in slams 2 times - 2017 AO and 2019 Wimbledon, and 2019 Wimbledon wasn't a guaranteed win even without Federer. So 3-4 lost slams.
Fed to Djokovic: 07 USO, 08 USO, 09 USO (maybe), RG 11 (maybe), and 2012 WIM. So 3-5 slams in total.
Total: 6-9 slams.

Djokovic to Fed: 08 AO, maybe 10 USO, 11 AO, maybe 11 USO, 14 WIM, 15 WIM, 15 USO, 19 WIM. Roughly 6-8.
Djokovic to Nadal: 11 WIM, 11 USO, 12 AO, 18 WIM, 19 AO, 21 RG. 6 slams.
Total (not double counting): 12-13.

Nadal to Fed: RG 05, 06, 07, 08, 11. WIM 08. AO 09, maybe 12, 14. That's 8-9 slams.
Nadal to Djokovic: RG 07 (maybe), 08, 12, 13, 14, 20. USO 10, 13. 7-8 slams.
Total here is only 14-15 slams to not double-count.

The biggest count here is Nadal to Federer, so you get the biggest gain by removing Nadal from existence. Federer would stand to gain the most.
This basically. The way I calculate it is that Nadal and Djokovic took about 7 Slams each from Federer. I have a few slight differences in that I think Federer definitely loses 2010 USO to Nadal and think he would be the slight favorite in 2011 USO, so I give him that one. I also think Djokovic was the 2nd best player in 2008 RG and don't give that one to Federer.

On the other hand, Djokovic and Nadal have taken about 6 Slams each from each other.

Federer has taken about 4 from Djokovic (I think Murray would be the favorite in 2012 Wimbledon because Djokovic wasn't at his 2011 level and yet to reach his true peak on grass) and 3 from Nadal. So overall, Federer lost the most.
 
Last edited:

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
If my numbers are correct for the slams (I think that they might be off by 1 here or there):


- Federer without Nadal would have won 8 more slams
- Federer without Djokovic would have won 9 more slams
- Nadal without Federer would have won 3 more slams
- Nadal without Djokovic would have won 6 more slams
- Djokovic without Federer would have won 4 more slams
- Djokovic without Nadal would have won 7 more slams


The conclusions we can draw from this:

- Federer was clearly hurt the most by both these guys. Nadal hurt him basically everywhere. Djokovic hurt him a significant amount in the 2010's, but relatively little in the 2000's.
- Nadal was hurt relatively little by Federer and a moderate amount by Djokovic
- Djokovic was hurt a moderate amount by Nadal, pretty much exclusively at RG and the US Open. He was hurt a small amount by Federer early on in his career, pretty much exclusively at the US Open.

Final verdict: Federer would have benefitted the most without Djokovic. Nadal would have benefitted the least without Federer. However, Nadal did stop Federer winning a calendar year grand slam in consecutive years (2006 and 2007) as well as stopping him winning 11 consecutive slams. So it is debatable if that is worth more than the 1 extra slam that Djokovic prevented Federer winning.
 
Last edited:

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Slam H2H:

Nadal-Federer 10-4
Djokovic-Federer 11-6
Nadal-Djokovic 10-7

I wonder if Federer without Djokovic could be the real answer? Though Djoko never stopped him from a CYGS and probably 8/8 Slams like Rafa did, obviously.
Without Djokovic, Fed would have cleaned up post 2010 after his prime ended.

I think you could easily argue that Djokovic hurt Fed more than the former hurt Nadal.
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
Just to throw in some non-slam talk for fun, I know it doesn't matter legacy wise nearly as much

Fed w/o Rafa definitely gets the Golden Masters set
Fed is YE1 for 7 years in a row in 2004-10, breaking Pete's record
Would easily break Connors overall titles record
*Fed would still be missing a Gold Medal

Nadal w/o Djokovic probably gets the Golden Masters
(and would likely have the Masters titles record by a mile)
Almost definitely wins the YEC in 2013
Would be YE1 an astonishing 4 years in a row at age 31-34
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
This basically. The way I calculate it is that Nadal and Djokovic took about 7 Slams each from Federer. I have a few slight differences in that I think Federer definitely loses 2010 USO to Nadal and think he would be the slight favorite in 2011 USO, so I give him that one.
Wait, am I understanding this correctly? You're giving Fed the edge here? :oops:
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
Fed probably wins 11 straight Slams including two CYGS victories without Nadal (and a third NCYGS in 2008/2009). He’d won nearly everything else and beaten almost everybody else in 2004-2007. But take that one last obstacle in his road out of the way and he’s basically home free. And then you can throw in a few other titles like RG 2011 out of prime. I don’t think you can make the same case for Nadal or Djokovic without one of the other Big 3.

If we eliminate Djokovic, Fed’s post prime looks a lot better (he could win AO 2011, USO 2011, Wimbledon 2014, Wimbledon 2015, USO 2015, AO 2016, and Wimbledon 2019). However, I don’t think it can compensate for not just one but two potential CYGSs and a NCYGS. I mean, 11 straight Slams is just crazy.
 

Adam Copeland

Professional
I would say this is mainly a race between Fed without Rafa and Rafa without Djokovic. Not sure which one to pick though.

Edit: I'll go with Fed w/o Rafa since removing Novak likely doesn't give Rafa a calendar slam, let alone the 2 Fed might have won.
True That.

It is a call between Nadal usurping Federer's throne in 08 and then being a pain till 2014 versus Djokovic usurping Nadal's 2010 year form with his 2011 season and then continuing.

I will go with Federer too considering the fact that Novak could not do any dent to Nadal's clay slam tally while Nadal did significant damage to Federer's slam count even on his favorite hunting grounds, apart from denying him the CYGS twice.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Lol. As if I ever said that, or would say that, and you actually got 2 likes. :laughing:
With the way Nadal played in the 2011 USO final, he is not beating 2004 USO F Fed. Nadal still needs to play at an extraordinary level to beat Fed and honestly in that USO he wasn't.

He got breadsticked by an injured Djokovic who could barely serve anymore. Plus Nadal himself did not serve well in the final. The level was just not there.
With the way Nadal played in the 2011 USO final he absolutely could beat Federer since it's the one style that bothers Federer the most, and Nadal played a very high level match. Anybody saying otherwise, needs to check their glasses. Nadal was coming close to beating peak Federer in 5 sets back in 2005 Miami. He was a much better hardcourt player in 2011.

Yea after they killed each other for 3 and a half hours. Whatever you say, but Federer is definitely not a lock to beat his nemesis in that form.
 

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
I never gave Nadal the edge. I said could beat him as in having a chance, especially considering the matchup but obviously Federer would be the favorite.
 
Last edited:

mike danny

Bionic Poster
I never gave Nadal the edge. I said could beat him as in having a chance, especially considering the matchup but obviously Federer would be the favorite.
Still, you think he could beat 2004 Fed while you're giving 2011 the edge :unsure:

Still, I did remember something ;)
 

Kralingen

Legend
Plot twist: removing Djokovic causes Murray to lose the slams he did win
lol I really have no clue how the DelPo matches at the '12 USO '13 Wimby would go. I don't think they have any relevant H2H matches around that time really.

It was a post near when I first joined... something like
Hewitt: '04 USO, '04 WTF, toss up with Roddick for '05 Wimbledon, very outside chance of '04 AO - 1-2 Slams (injuries really f-cked Hewitt)

Roddick: '04/09 Wimby, '06 US Open, toss up of '05 Wimbledon, '07 US Open, '07 Australian Open, '03 Wimby - 3-6 Slams, depending on how he handles Gonzy or Scud possibly a 6 Slam career

Murray: '11 AO, '13 AO, '15 AO, '16 AO, '16 FO, possibly '12 AO, possibly '14 USO: 4-5 Slams extra (8-9 Slam career)

the conclusion was that Mury clearly > Hewitt by this metric but I think that might summon Sabratha so will keep my opinions to myself.
 
Last edited:

mike danny

Bionic Poster
lol I really have no clue how the DelPo matches at the '12 USO '13 Wimby would go. I don't think they have any relevant H2H matches around that time really.

It was a post near when I first joined... something like
Hewitt: '04 USO, '04 WTF, toss up with Roddick for '05 Wimbledon, very outside chance of '04 AO - 1-2 Slams (injuries really f-cked Hewitt)

Roddick: '04/09 Wimby, '06 US Open, toss up of '05 Wimbledon, '07 US Open, '07 Australian Open, '03 Wimby - 3-6 Slams, depending on how he handles Gonzy or Scud possibly a 6 Slam career

Murray: '11 AO, '13 AO, '15 AO, '16 AO, '16 FO, possibly '12 AO, possibly '14 USO: 4-5 Slams extra (8-9 Slam career)

the conclusion was that Mury clearly > Hewitt by this metric but I think that might summon Sabratha so will keep my opinions to myself.
I'd replace 2004 USO with 2005 USO for Hewitt. I'd say Agassi wins 2004 and Hewitt wins 2005.
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
Without Nadal, Federer basically steamrolls the entire field for an additional 3 years with some additional losses thrown in here or there to Djokovic. Without the mental blows from losing to Nadal, how differently does he look as an older player?

on the other hand if he just swept his way to 20 slams by 2010 he probably just retires then and without Nadal, Djokovic may have had an even more dominant decade than he ended up having. On the other hand, prime Djokovic without Fedal might have also lost interest

Nadal without Federer is an interesting one since so much of his career was defined by his matchup advantage over Roger at a young age and the aura that came with his big scalps over Roger, and also his chase to become an all surface great like Roger already was. Without the precedent of Roger to follow after, does he work as hard to become a good grass and HC player? Hard to say, he obviously doesn’t like being the frontrunner

The head to head between these guys is way less important than the mental and field-related butterfly effects that would have developed

I think there’s no question that by setting such a high standard Federer pushed Nadal and later Djokovic to train to reach greater heights, and then those two did the same for each other. No guarantee they become what they are without that example. On the other hand, it’s possible that all surface domination would have naturally emerged as a goal post-homogenization, even had Federer not been the one to set that standard
 
Last edited:

NoleFam

Talk Tennis Guru
Still, you think he could beat 2004 Fed while you're giving 2011 the edge :unsure:

Still, I did remember something ;)
I would give Federer the edge in most hardcourt matches between them, including 2004, since he's the better hardcourt player, but that doesn't mean he would always win which is why Nadal would have chances. You're conflating two different things.
 

RS

G.O.A.T.
Wait really? I need a source on this.

Somewhere here IIRC.
 

The Big Foe fan

Hall of Fame
Imagine a world where one of the 3 never emerges as a top player and decides to be a footballer, vegan restaurant owner, or pharmaceutical executive instead.

So, in this scenario, the other two Big 3 still exist (i.e. Federer and Djokovic still are born and have their normal careers, or Nadal and Federer still exist with no Djokovic). Everyone else still exists, no non-ATGs change.

which specific player benefits the most from one of the Big 3 not appearing in tennis?

Fed without Nadal
Fed without Djokovic
Nadal without Fed
Nadal without Djokovic
Djokovic without Fed
Djokovic without Nadal
Fed without djo
 

Kralingen

Legend
I'd replace 2004 USO with 2005 USO for Hewitt. I'd say Agassi wins 2004 and Hewitt wins 2005.
Yeah it’s an imperfect one. I think I just did a crude “did he reach the slam final” analysis…

‘11/13/15 AO are close to toss ups for Murray imo given that he likely faces Fed/Wawrinka too. ‘16 AO/FO are the only locks imo.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Yeah it’s an imperfect one. I think I just did a crude “did he reach the slam final” analysis…

‘11/13/15 AO are close to toss ups for Murray imo given that he likely faces Fed/Wawrinka too. ‘16 AO/FO are the only locks imo.
Ummm, Murray definitely loses 2011 AO and 2016 AO without Djokovic. Federer beats him at both.

Murray gets 2016 FO for sure.

2013/2015 AO's would be 50/50 matches vs Stan.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
I would give Federer the edge in most hardcourt matches between them, including 2004, since he's the better hardcourt player, but that doesn't mean he would always win which is why Nadal would have chances. You're conflating two different things.
Fair enough, but I did show you that what I said wasn't really an invention. ;)
 
Top