Originally Posted by BigServer1
Sure...I get where the argument comes from. I do. Like you said, we simply disagree (which is fine).
My point with the guys you mentioned...Hewitt continues to trouble Nadal and Djokovic. He doesn't beat them, but he still troubles them. The same can be said for Nalbandian. Rewind 5-10 years to their primes, and imagine how tough they would have been then.
The same can be said for Roddick, who has a 5-3 h2h against Djokovic, and he's troubled Nadal in the past as well (most notably beating him in Miami 2010). The guy is so far out of his prime it's not even funny, but he still manages to trouble some guys at the top. He's wildly inconsistent now, but in his prime he could beat anyone (except Federer, who has always been an awful matchup for Andy).
Tommy Haas beat Djokovic twice in two weeks in 2009 on the grass courts. Nalbandian always gives Nadal and other top players fits, and he's proven himself to be one of the more talented players of the last 10-15 years. Safin beat Djokovic in 2008 at Wimbledon also.
There are even more examples, but for me, looking at "washed up, old, past their prime" guys like I mentioned above continuing to trouble and beat the current top 5 guys says something to me about the quality of that era. It also says to me how incredible Federer was from 2004-2007, because he was able to dominate most of those guys.
I've said it before, give me the top 3 from today (ideally Fed from a few years ago), but the top 30 from 2004 any day of the week.
Problem is -- 10 or 15 years ago is not 2004-2007.
Hewitt began to falter after 2002 when he lost some of his foot speed. Nalbadian although extremely talented, never got his fitness level up to where he could consistently challenge the top players. The only player who was consistently in their prime when Federer started to dominate is Roddick. And I'm sorry but Roddick's prime form is too one dimensional and just does not compare. Roddick never developed a decent transition game. Roddick's ascendency to #1 and perennial presence in the top 8 speaks even more to the relatively transitional time period of 2004-2007.
Again, not weak just weaker than now...