Originally Posted by YouCantBeSerious
Yeah, I already said that, and I agree.
1. It works both ways. In the first part of their rivalry, Fed was in his prime, and Nadal was very far from it, he was just a kid.
2. Who was in his prime and able to challenge Fed when Fed was in his prime? Hewitt? Safin? Nalbandian? Fed had it quite easy during his prime if you ask me. Way easier than Nadal or Djokovic.
As you said it works both ways: finding prime or your window is sometimes easier, sometimes harder. It being easy doesn't mean you are better at the end of it. Having a few stronger rivals can actually force you to improve at a faster rate.
Fed. really struggled to find his place on the tour at the start, Rafa really exploded from a young age, ask anyone who coached or played the tour when he was 16, everyone shook their heads at how accelerated and talented he was, the intensity too!
Fed. struggled with Nalby too..go back & have a look at some of their matches.
More importantly Fed. struggled with himself, he must have looked at Lleyton & wondered how does he do it? Hewitt won with his intensity & competitiveness when he was no. 1, Fed. did it with his strokes & playing ability more. It doesn't matter how you do it: being no. 1 lasts!
When Nadal, Djokovic came along he had two new threats & now Murray
has broken the Federer spell too.
Every number 1 has their window or "prime", now it looks like Djokovic.
Nobody can be complacent though & with Nadal back & Murray working harder than ever, this should be another great tennis year.