Marin Cilic of Croatia celebrates after defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan in their men's singles final match at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 8, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
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It was the first Grand Slam final since 2005 in which none of the so-called Fab Four – Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray – were present.Now, all of a sudden, the rivalries that have become so familiar – Nadal vs. Federer, Djokovic vs. Murray, Federer vs. Djokovic – are under threat from seasoned campaigners such as Stanislas Wawrinka, rare talents like Grigor Dimitrov and precocious firebrand Nick Kyrgios.Some are already lamenting the beginning of the end of arguably the greatest era in men's tennis – a period that began in 2003 and has since seen Federer claim 17 Grand Slam titles, Nadal 14, Djokovic seven and Murray two.Only six of the 45 Majors on offer since Federer's breakthrough moment against Mark Philippoussis 11 years ago have gone elsewhere – two of them this year, when Wawrinka beat Nadal in Melbourne and Cilic overpowered Nishikori.All four women's Grand Slam crowns were also claimed by four different players in 2014, marking only the third time since tennis turned professional in 1968 that eight different Grand Slam champions claimed the eight titles on offer.
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