Originally Posted by wangs78
One thing to remember is that despite Hewitt's former #1 ranking and 2 slam titles, I don't think he was ever recognized (by fellow players, the media, fans, or himself) as the BEST player on tour. He basically had a window of opportunity where the old guard was winding down and new guard was still maturing and he just happened to mature a bit faster and played consistently enough to accomplish what he did. Don't get me wrong, he deserves credit for what he did but I just don't think anyone ever put him in the league of top top players. With that said, I don't think playing like a journeyman really bothers him at all because he was not at the top long enough to get used the glory, adulation, media attention etc. Someone like Fed, Nadal and Djokovic other hand should definitely quit when the quitting is still good.
I agree with most of what you said except for one thing. Hewitt was definitely a transition player who capatilized on his window between eras, but Hewitt during his time at #1 WAS considered the best player in the World at the time. He was probably only the best since the really great players were either too old and on the way down or not matured yet, but he still was for that year and half period or so the best. The only one you could make a case was better was Agassi, but Hewitt had a winning record vs Agassi and won more big titles during those 18 months, so he was the best. The next closest were people like Safin and Haas who werent really close at all overall, even if Safin on his day could still blow Hewitt off the court.