Originally Posted by Sreeram
Federer definitely played a weaker batch of players in his prime. He was lucky to get to his prime in that era when players were not both talented and fit as today's Dkjo and Murray. None of the payers he played to win in GS titles who are still playing are in top 10 (exculding Murray and Djko). Those whom he beat in current top 4, Murray and Djko especially are playing at a totally different level now. They are no longer babies like when he beat them.
Rodick, Hewitt, Bahgdathis who were playing with current batch of players cannot even make to top 10. If it happens with one player it is fine but none of them can be in top 10 then it means they were not playing the current level of today's top 4.
Having said all this, I am not a Federer hater, he deserves the credit for his success. But we have to agree that Fed at 25 in today's draw will not have the same success. May be 40% of what he had at that time only he can have if he was 25 in this era.
Baghdatis? guy was top 10 for 5 minutes after 2 decent slam runs, he's not a top player of any generation.
Worst argument I've ever seen on these boards and that's saying something, by your logic Mardy Fish making top 10 recently when he could barely sniff the top 20 back in Fed's prime means this era is twice as bad - Hewitt and Safin beating Sampras like a drum in major finals means that prime Pete would have 10% of his success in that era
Fact is Federer in '04 and '05 faced every number 1 from the past 5 years in slams (Safin/Hewitt/Guga/Agassi/Roddick/Ferrero), 5 in slam finals and won 5/8 majors and 2/2 YECs under those conditions which is ridiculously difficult to do (Djokovic and Nadal couldn't back up their multi slam years with another multi slam year for example).
'06/'07 are weaker due to those top players all falling by the wayside at the same time mainly due to injury (Ferrero/Hewitt/Safin/Guga, and Coria/Gaudio disappeared as well giving easier clay draws), only Davydenko and Nalbandian were still at the top of their games and they choke too much in majors to do anything, because of this it could be argued that it became very easy for very good players who started to succeed in majors ("baby" Murray and Djokovic) had a relatively easier time breaking into top 5 with Fed/Nadal and staying there as the an entire generation of the previous top players bar Fed/Roddick (occasionally) fell off due to injuries.
In short, prime Murray/Djokovic (particularly Djokovic at RG/AO) probably could've taken a match here or there even in Fed's prime just as the previous top players were able to in '04/'05, but to say he'd have less than half as much success just with those two in there is poor form lacking logic and horribly disrespectful to the top players of the previous generation who gave Fed huge challenges.