Originally Posted by NLBwell
You aren't giving Barry MacKay enough credit.
I like your analysis. Still, winning a 3 round tournament filled with guys like Nadal, Murray, Monfils, etc. is pretty impressive. I think in 90's and earlier when early round upsets were more common, playing a 128 draw was tougher, but these days with 32 seeds and everyone playing similar games on surfaces that are closer to medium in speed, the early rounds really are rarely a challenge.
Really? Didn't Nadal just
get taken to five sets in the first round at the French? Federer taken to five sets in the first round of Wimbledon the previous year? Nadal taken to five in both the second and third rounds of the same tournament? And as the OP pointed out, Federer's five-setter in the third of the 2008 Australian Open? His five-setter in the fourth round during his 2009 French title run? Even in his peak year of 2006, getting taken to five by Haas again in the fourth round?