In many ways 2017 proved an intriguing year for the Big Four of tennis. Andy Murray began the year as top seed with Novak Djokovic right behind. The other two of the quartet Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were no.9 and no.17 respectively as 2016 tennis season came to an end. But Nadal and Federer beat all odds stacked against them and kept winning tournaments as 2017 progressed. Djokovic and Murray on the other hand were plagued by injuries and lost several rungs in rankings. Now with the 2018 season just round the corner, every one of tennis’ favorite quartet is ready and they must have plans of their own.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer both had a great time in 2017. Between themselves, they not only equally shared the four Grand Slam titles but won many other titles. They entered the final in year’s first Grand Slam in Australia and fought for 5 sets before Federer emerged as the winner. In Paris, Nadal proved his status of the real King of Clay by winning the French Open for 10th time, when he defeated Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka in straight sets. Then it was the turn of Roger Federer at Wimbledon, where the Swiss recorded his 8th title win by out playing Marin Cilic of Croatia. The last Grand Slam of the year in the US was taken by Nadal. He easily demolished South Africa’s Kevin Anderson to collect his 16th Grand Slam.
Murray and Djokovic began 2017 with a showdown in the final of Qatar Open, where Djokovic defeated the Scot. In the Australian Open a few days later, Djokovic suffered a second-round loss to Denis Istomin while Murray fell in the fourth round against Mischa Zverev. However Murray bagged one title by winning the Dubai Duty-Free championship, where he defeated Fernando Verdasco in the final. Murray didn’t win any other tournament and lost in the quarter-final of Wimbledon to USA’s Sam Querrey. Later he lost his no.1 ranking to Rafael Nadal after his hip injury forced him to skip the Canadian Open and Cincinnati Masters. Two days before the US Open, Murray decided to skip the US Open as well. As for Djokovic, he lost in various stages of the Mexican Open, Indian wells, Monte-carlo Masters, Madrid Open, Italian Open and French open. To the Serb’s credit, he won the Eastbourne International. At Wimbledon, Djokovic retired when playing against Tomas Berdych in quarterfinals. That was Djokovic’s last appearance in 2017. When the year-end rankings were announced, Djokovic was placed at no.12 and Murray at no.16.
As we enter 2018, the good news is that everyone from the Big4 quartet would be back. If Federer and Nadal could return to glory in 2017 from the dumps in 2016, there is no reason why Murray and Djokovic cannot do that. By all accounts, 2018 will be a revealing year and despite several new promising faces, aura of the Big4 would continue to dominate men’s tennis.