These comparisons are always a bit redundant because there are no constants to measure against. The tour is always improving, so logically Federer will have had to improve to remain competitive. At the same time he will not have improved as much as he would have if he were 5 or 10 years younger. So comparing an improved older version of himself to a younger version not privy to later developments in the game is silly. It's not a scientific comparison that can take account of all the variables or keep the environment controlled.
Clearly, the younger version of Federer, as he hit his prime, would be better than the current version if he had the same opportunity to develop during this period, but that does not mean that the younger version was better than the older version isolated from their respective times. The same applies to all other players capable of achieving similar results later in their career that they were able to achieve at their prime age.
Last edited by above bored; 01-19-2013 at 07:28 AM.