Formula One driver George Russell made the observation that greatness isn’t achieved through imitation, citing tennis greats Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal as examples.
The Big Three are arguably the three best players ever, but they couldn’t have more different playing styles if they tried. Formula One legend Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, George Russell, advised him that he need not emulate Hamilton to achieve greatness.
According to Sportskeeda’s paraphrasing of Russell’s comments on the Formula 1 Beyond the Grid podcast, “you have probably the three greatest tennis players of all time, with three totally different approaches to their game.”
“My view is that if you want to be the best, or at least the best version of yourself, you shouldn’t try to imitate others’ successes. Hamilton is the best because he maximized his own potential and found success in all of his endeavors.
Who do you model your tennis game after? Is Nadal your model? To what extent do you try to emulate Roger Federer? Did you try to imitate Djokovic? The only one left in motorsports at the moment is Lewis, but the three tennis greats’ example inspired me to think, “You just have to do what’s right for you.”
It’s still anyone’s guess which of the Big 3 will end up as the greatest of all time.
At the beginning of the 2022 season, the Big Three were all tied with 20 Grand Slam titles. At the midway point of the season, Nadal has won 22 Grand Slams, with Djokovic in second place with 21.
After missing Wimbledon 2021, Federer has moved up to third place on the all-time list of Grand Slam winners with 20. With Federer out of the picture, the Big Three continue to rule Grand Slam competition in 2022. In contrast to Djokovic, who may sit out the US Open because of its anti-vaccine stance, Nadal is likely to compete there.
Similarly, Federer is not likely to participate because he won’t be back in competitive action until the Laver Cup at the end of September.