Originally Posted by Blocker
he, Djokavic, Nadal and Murray were all the same age and all 4 started playing the tour at the same time when Federer did?
Would he still have 17 slams to his name?
Would he still be considered a GOAT contender?
Well, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray would not be as good as they currently are for starters. Their frame of reference would be completely different. Federer was responsible for raising the standard, which would not have occurred to the degree it did, as early as it did if he were born later. He set a standard that others tried extremely hard to follow, but nobody blazed a trail for him. If they all came up at the same age, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray would not be able to draw confidence from beating him to the degree they can now. Federer would also be playing them with less pressure than he did, always being the favourite. And conversely they would be under more pressure.
The landscape would be completely different. However, I believe Federer would take them by surprise and start to move away from them at around the same age he did with Hewitt, Safin, Roddick, Ferrero, Nalbandian and the rest of his generation. Federer was just a fellow contemporary when coming up with these players. No one predicted he would go on to dominate the game in the way he did. In fact, he was behind all these players early on and was considered a late bloomer when he did finally win Wimbledon at 21. So your question is sort of answered by what did happen.
To quote Agassi:
"The guy has single-handedly separated himself from a world-class field year after year after year in a way that's probably never been done."
I donít think there would be a significant change in this pattern. A big part of Federerís success is down to his very flexible talent and problem solving acumen, which would still be intact regardless of when he was born.