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Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Greatest "Trivalry" in Sports

Novak Djokovic beat Richard Gasquet in straight sets today at The French Open, putting him at 41-0 for the year, and just one win away from tying John McEnroe's record of starting the 1984 year with a 42-0 win streak.

But Djokovic isn't the only man making tennis history this week. There's still another player in the tournament you might have heard of named Roger Federer. Federer defeated his Swiss countrymen, Stanislas Wawrinka today, putting him in the quarterfinals, and remarkably, he has now made at least the quarterfinals of 28 straight Grand Slam tournaments. That's an incredible record. If not for Federer's two losses last year in the quarterfinals of the French and Wimbledon, Federer would have made 28 straight Major semi-finals.

But Federer's 28 quarterfinals pales in comparison to the all-time record, held by Chris Evert. Evert, in a stretch from 1971 to 1983, made at least the semi-finals of all 34 Grand Slam tournaments she entered. That's a stunning achievement in sport.

(chris evert)

With Djokovic now finally beating Federer and Nadal consistently, we have a three-way domination of the sport of tennis. Mary Carillo, commenting today at The French Open for NBC, coined a new term for the Federer/Nadal/Djokovic stranglehold on tennis; she said that "we no longer have a rivalry in tennis, we have a 'trivalry'." Clever.

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