With the elimination of Rafael Nadal at the hands of Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Australian quarter-finals, Novak Djokovic (still in the running to win the title) is confident that whatever happens, he will still be world number 1 at the end of the tournament. By virtue of this, the Serbian, at an altitude of 308, will certainly equal and exceed the record of 310 weeks at the top of Roger Federer’s ATP ranking. Ben Rothenberg is a name that needs no introduction in the tennis world. Over the past few years, the New York Times journalist has established himself as one of the foremost voices on all things tennis. Now in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Ben Rothenberg has spoken at length about some of his most-favored topics.
Rothenberg on the Big 3
Jim Courier recently said Novak Djokovic is unlucky to be there at the same time as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Do you agree with that? “That’s completely true. People have been saying that for a long time. I mean, it’s rough for Djokovic. He was already in their shadow when he won his first Grand Slam Down Under in 2008. He’s been around for a long time. But those two other guys have also still been around the whole time. That’s very unusual for this era of sport, for the top players to remain unchanged for so long. And maybe he just doesn’t have…Every tennis player is unique and has a unique sort of appeal or aesthetic, or attraction, for their fandom. Maybe his, just for whatever reason, doesn’t resonate as much” – Ben Rothenberg stated. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic took on Russian player Aslan Karatsev in the semifinal of the Australian Open 2021. It was their first meeting and the Serbian ace triumphed over World No. 114. Aslan Karatsev. The match ended in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 6-2, in a match that lasted for 1 hour and 53 minutes. After winning the match, Novak stated, “Huge congratulations to him, he reached the semifinal of a grand slam on his debut, I don’t think that has ever happened in the history of tennis. Congrats to him, he played a great tournament.” Djokovic spoke about the second semifinal to be played tomorrow and added, “It’s going to be interesting to see them play. It’s always a high-intensity match between the two of them. Both are playing great. I’m going to take the popcorn and enjoy it.”
Federer and Nadal have created one of the most intense rivalries in the history of the sport