Waiting until the night before a Grand Slam final is often described by tennis players as one of the hardest nights to try to sleep. Often players describe him as being the most nervous they have ever been in their lives. Most would make scenarios in their head about how the match would play out. Play match result, trophy celebration, hold trophy above head or stand dejected with runner up plaque.
It’s so hard to even make a Grand Slam final. Many have never could experience the feeling of even losing a Grand Slam final. However, victory can also be so temporary. The elation, the euphoria, the child who dreamed every night of being in this situation, can begin and end so quickly. The sensation, although the most intense a tennis player can feel, is fleeting. A few months later, another major awaits, and you want this one.
That’s why what the Big 4 have done is such an impressive thing. Even Andy Murray, who managed to win 3 Grand Slam tournaments, participated in 11 grand slam finals. Nadal, Federer and Djokovic, however, have each made at least 30 Grand Slam finals apiece. The joy of living is to make a major final at least once in their life, for most players. For the big 3? This is, on average, a semi-annual event. Almost like summer and winter for normal people.
In the United States, Federer was like clockwork in New York. He made 6 consecutive US Open finals. His record since is almost unfathomable compared to his history as the greatest champion in US Open history. However, even the Federer who has had very mixed results over the past decade in New York, has made a Grand Slam final there in recent memory. Many almost overlook his run at the 2015 US Open, where he played a fantastic two weeks before being stopped by Novak Djokovic.
So the question remains: would you rather win 1 Grand Slam tournament and never experience another Grand Slam final, or would you rather have the chance to compete for 10 more finals, even if you lose them all?