Aryna Sabalenka picked the Big 3 as three players who are good on clay
Aryna Sabalenka has unsurprisingly named Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic as three players who are good on clay. The Belarusian was taking part in a Q&A session organized by the ATP tour in which a number of players were asked rapid-fire questions on a variety of topics.
When it was her turn, Sabalenka blanked out completely and named the Big- 3 while chuckling to herself about how she almost choked.
“Nadal, Federer and Djokovic,” Sabalenka said.”You might as well go with the Big-3,” the video producer joked.”They’re great on clay court, no?” Sabalenka rationalized.
While Nadal was a common fixture in everyone’s answers, there were a few other interesting names thrown up. Elina Svitolina went with Simona Halep and Dominic Thiem alongside the Spaniard, while Casper Ruud named Thiem and Ferrer to go with the World No. 4.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova opted for the safe trio of Nadal, Halep and Dominic Thiem.
At least 1 of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have been present in the last 17 Roland Garros finals
Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have combined to win 16 of the last 17 Roland Garros titles
Aryna Sabalenka picking Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer as three players who are good on clay might have been an unimaginative answer, but it was well within reason.
Ever since the Spaniard won his first French Open title in 2005, 24 out of 34 finalists have been one of the Big 3. The 21-time Grand Slam champion himself has reached 13 finals, winning the title on each occasion.
Federer has won the title once (2009) and finished as the runner-up on four occasions (2006-2008, 2011), with each of his losses coming to Nadal. Djokovic has been the victor twice (2016, 2021) and runner-up four times, losing thrice to the Spaniard (2012, 2014, 2020) and once to Stan Wawrinka (2015).
The trio have also won the most titles on clay among active players, with the Spaniard winning 62, the Serb winning 17 and the Swiss winning 11. They are also at the top of the list of active players with the most Masters 1000 titles on clay. The Spaniard has 26 ATP 1000 titles to his name on clay, while Djokovic and Federer have 10 and six respectively.