On this week's episode, Jon Wertheim speaks with four-time Wimbledon semifinalist Tim Henman on the Big 3, this year's tournament and more.
On the latest edition of the Beyond the Baseline Podcast, host Jon Wertheim sits down with former top-five player and four-time Wimbledon semifinalist Tim Henman, who is still very active in the tournament and the All England Club. The two had a lively discussion on why the Big 3 are still so dominant, this year's tournament and so much more.
Jon Wertheim: We have three familiar names in the men's semifinals. We all stand there in awe. We all cite the statistics. But go deeper. What is it that has enabled these three guys to remain as the titans?
Tim Henman: I think one element that isn't talked about so much is their defensive skills. They have great weapons, they played consistently at such a high level, but it's often how well they defend and are able to stay in rallies and nullify their opponents' shots.
Their athletic ability, their balance. I commentated on Nadal against Querrey, and it's phenomenal how well he moves from the back of the court. His footwork, when he's able to stay in points. I think being a lefty, when he hits that sort of looping forehand cross court deep into the backhand side. They are just at a different level. People talk about the next generation...
Jon Wertheim: Where is the next generation?
Tim Henman: The next generation is trying very hard. It's not for a lack of effort, but there is a significant divide between the top three and the next generation.
Jon Wertheim: What do you think that does to the rest of the field.
Tim Henman: Should motivate them. And I think it does—I think everybody is aware that these three are perhaps three of the greatest male players of all time. So it's not like they're saying this is an easy opportunity, they should be stepping up and winning these titles. That's not the case. I was saying the other day, it would be much easier to quantify if they were 100-meter sprinters. Cuz you would say, 'these three are running it in 9.5 seconds, and the rest are running at 10.5 seconds.' ... Unless they slow down or the others speed up, that gulf is not going to be breached.