The intrigue surrounding men’s tennis at the moment is at an all-time high.
We’re in the middle of an extraordinary renaissance from Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal trails close behind with his own impressive comeback, while major mental and physical question marks hang heavily over both Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
Perhaps once the red dust of Roland Garros has settled at the end of the upcoming French Open we’ll know a little more.
What seems to have floated under the radar is that the current rankings easily represent the greatest top five in the history of men’s tennis.
As of April 12, 2017, the top five players according to the ATP rankings are:
1. Andy Murray
2. Novak Djokovic
3. Stanislas Warwinka
4. Roger Federer
5. Rafael Nadal
Between them, they hold a combined total of 50 Grand Slam singles titles.
This is an astounding number and underlines the sustained period of dominance of Federer (18 majors), Nadal (14 majors) and Djokovic (12 majors), with Warwinka and Murray chipping in with three each.
We’ve never seen the like of this before and possibly never will again.
Sometimes we fail to appreciate a golden age when we’re smack bang in the middle of one – brilliance becomes the norm and we’re constantly seeking what’s next, without properly taking in what keeps unfolding before our eyes.
In years to come, we will look back at this period in the game and shake our heads in wonderment.
So, for now, let’s put aside any debate about the mantle of greatest of all time and acknowledge this mythical ‘snapshot’ in splendid isolation and applaud it.