Originally Posted by Prisoner of Birth
Roddick is 3-7 against Nadal, with 8 of those matches coming when Roddick was past his prime. And he is 5-4 against Djokovic with ALL of those matches coming past his prime. He has shown he isn't too far below them right there, with a combined 8-11 record against them, where 17 of those matches have taken place after Roddick's prime.
Hewitt is a combined 3-13 against Nadal and Djokovic but almost all those matches have come past his prime when he was injury-ridden. He still troubles Djokovic whenever they meet, which is pretty impressive considering how far below his peak-level Hewitt is right now. He is a 2-time Grand Slam champion (and a former #1 with a substantial number of weeks at the top), more than what Murray is right now. So if Murray is considered Djokovic's main competition right now, Hewitt is for certain not too far below Djokovic's calibre either, surely?
I like how you say Hewitt and Roddick were past their prime in most of the matches.
First of all clarify what you think were their prime years.
Secondly, Rafa lost to Roddick in 2004 USO. He was 17 against the defending champ, so if Roddick's post prime losses (assuming you mean 2010 onwards) don't count, then neither does Nadal pre-prime loss. In fact (even though it was on clay) 17 year old beat Roddick in Davis Cup later that year. In their only 2007 encounter on HC, Rafa also won that. In their only grass encounter, Rafa won that also.
As for Hewitt, all 3 of his wins came against pre-prime Nadal at the Australian Open x2 and 1 in Toronto 04. The first one was 2 tight sets then Hewitt ran away with it (interestingly if Rafa had won that match he would've met Fed in the 2004 AO). The second one was Toronto which went to 3 sets. The third one was 2005 AO and Hewitt had a tough 5 set battle against him. This is PRIME Hewitt struggling against kid Rafa before he won his first major. THeir grass encounter doesn't matter since Rafa had to retire the match at 1 set all.
If prime Hewitt and Roddick were playing in this era they wouldn't even come close to winning a major. They'd at best make a few semi's here and there and possibly fluke their way to a final once or twice. Look how weak Hewitt's 02 WIM draw was, do you really think he'd win it if post-prime Fed or prime Rafa, Joker or Murray entered? Not a chance.