ATP

Murray not at same level as 'Big Three', says Simon

By Sports Desk June 30, 2023

Gilles Simon believes Andy Murray's inferior trophy haul means he cannot be grouped with tennis' 'Big Three' of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Murray has enjoyed a long and stellar career, reaching 11 major finals and claiming three grand slam titles, as well as spending 41 weeks ranked as the world number one.

But with Djokovic, Nadal and Federer boasting 23, 22 and 20 grand slam successes respectively, Simon feels Murray is not quite on their level.

"He's not part of the Big Three," Simon told Stats Perform at the Roland-Garros eSeries by BNP Paribas. 

"You don't have to compare him with the Big Three, because he played at the very same time and we have the result.

"Andy was a fantastic player, just under these three guys in terms of level. In the end, the gap is huge in terms of titles: 23, 22 and 20, compared to three, so he's not part of the Big Four.

"He played at the same time as everyone and he has three and they have 20 or more. That's how I see it."

Simon – who won three of his 19 meetings with Murray before retiring in 2022 – feels the Scot was unfortunate to have competed with the 'Big Three' and would have been remembered as one of the game's greats in another era.

"He could have won 17 slams without the Big Three," Simon explained. "What is hard for Andy is to compare him to other players from other generations, when other players maybe have more slams than he has.

"If he had played at that time, he could maybe have had 15 and been one of the greatest. You cannot compare him with the Big Three, we saw it already, we saw the results.

"Where I feel sad for Andy is that if you play in a different era, you have 10 [grand slam titles] and then if we take the all-time rankings, we go to [Pete] Sampras with 14 and you say maybe he's here.

"This is where I feel it's a bit of an injustice for him compared to his level, because he would be closer to something like this than to someone who has three slams. He would be much higher in the all-time rankings."

Related items

  • De Minaur beats Korda to capture Libema Open crown De Minaur beats Korda to capture Libema Open crown

    Alex de Minaur overcame Sebastian Korda in straight sets to win the Libema Open title on Sunday, clinching a career-high placing in the ATP rankings in the process.

    The Australian needed one hour and 31 minutes on court to defeat Korda 6-2 6-4, meaning he triumphed at 's-Hertogenbosch without dropping a set in any round.

    Back-to-back breaks got De Minaur through the opener, and though Korda hit straight back following another break early in the second, De Minaur kept the pressure on and got his reward in the sixth game.

    De Minaur forced 14 break points overall while saving four of the six he faced, with Korda producing 26 unforced errors in an erratic performance.

    Data Debrief: De Minaur enjoying productive year

    After beating Casper Ruud to win the Mexican Open final in February, De Minaur has won multiple ATP crowns in a single year for the third time, also triumphing at Sydney, Atlanta and Zhuha in 2019 and in Antalya and Eastbourne in 2021.

    He had already clinched a new career-high ATP ranking of eighth with his semi-final win over Ugo Humbert, but he will now rise to seventh on Monday after lifting the trophy.

  • Raducanu turns down Olympic spot, Murray in squad Raducanu turns down Olympic spot, Murray in squad

    Emma Raducanu has turned down the chance to compete at the 2024 Olympics for Great Britain after being offered a wildcard spot by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

    Two-time Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray was also offered a spot and will compete in what could be the final tournament of his career.

    Two spots are reserved for former Grand Slam winners, but Raducanu, the 2021 US Open champion, has decided against going to Paris as she continues her comeback from injury.

    Raducanu is ranked too low to automatically qualify after wrist and ankle surgery last year forced her away from the sport.

    She also missed the French Open, played on the same courts that will stage the Olympics, earlier this year to ensure she would be fit for the grass-court swing of the season.

    Iain Bates, head of GB's Olympic tennis team, said: "I have had various conversations with Emma over the last couple of weeks and a slightly longer period where it's very clear how much being part of a British team at an Olympics would mean to her.

    "I think she feels this isn't going to be the right timing for her for this summer.

    "She's hopefully got many Olympics ahead of her. I'm very comfortable with the decision that she's made."

    Meanwhile, Murray, who won gold in London 2012 and Rio 2016, will compete in his fifth Olympic Games and has been named alongside debutants Jack Draper, Cam Norrie and Dan Evans.

    Katie Boulter is also set to make her Olympic debut as the only British woman to qualify by ranking for the Games.

    The ITF will announce the full entry list for Paris 2024 on July 4.

  • Jabeur edged out by Pliskova in Nottingham Open quarter-finals Jabeur edged out by Pliskova in Nottingham Open quarter-finals

    Ons Jabeur pushed Karolina Pliskova all the way in their delayed quarter-final match, but it was the Czech that came out on top.

    After rain delayed the match on Friday, and start of play on Saturday, a tough battle ensued, but Pliskova reached her third semi-final of the season with a 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 win.

    Pliskova edged the first set on the tie-break before Jabeur forced a decider with an equally impressive win in the second.

    Despite going toe-to-toe once more in the third, Pliskova just did enough to hold off top-seed Jabeur, getting a vital break to set up a meeting with Diane Parry.

    Meanwhile, Emma Raducanu advanced to her first semi-final since 2022 after receiving a walkover from Francesca Jones, but her match against Katie Boulter was suspended due to rain after the first set, which lasted an incredible 80 minutes.

    In 's-Hertogenbosch, Bianca Andreescu will play in the Libema Open final after her straight-sets 6-4, 6-2 victory over Dalma Galfi on Friday, earning a place in her first final of the season.

    Data Debrief: Jabeur unable to stop the break

    Jabeur had the opportunity to win seven break points during the quarter-final, but had a measly 14 per cent conversion rate (1/7). Pliskova, meanwhile, won half of hers (2/4).

    The Czech also won 94 per cent of her service games (17/18), just one more than Jabeur. It was the fine margins that won out in Nottingham.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.