Originally Posted by Flash O'Groove
Bobby, Anderson is a US Champion, but an amateur champion 1957. Anderson beat Luis Ayala in the QF, some Davidson in the SF and Cooper in the final. Cooper himself reached the final by going through Patty and Flam. I believe that in 1957 the best players in the world were Gonzales, Hoad, Rosewall, Trabert, Sedgman, Segura, Kramer? The same is true for Cooper.
I guess that Baghdatis, Blake, Ljubicic and many other solid players could have won slams in the mid 2000's in the absence of 5-6 of the very best players.
So it is dishonest to acclaim Cooper and Anderson as slam winners and dismiss Gonzales and Baghdatis because they are not. Baghdatis and Gonzales played against a full field, Cooper and Anderson player against a field depleted of several ultra-dominant all time great! By the way, when Cooper had to go through pro instead of amateur, his results weren't the same any more!
Another point which comes mainly form other posts of yours. You often doesn't mention Nadal as Federer's competition in the mid 2000's, or dismiss him as not important because still developing. You leave out that they played a lot between 2004-2008, and you also leave out that Nadal was the number 2 in the world with a huge margin as soon as 2005, when we won 11 tournaments, including RG, 2 clay masters 1000 and 2 hard-court masters 1000.
Your main argument is the following: Nadal can be neglected among Federer's competition because he was still developing, which is shown by the better results he would have on HC and Grass in later years.
Yet, you do not apply the same rule for Rosewall and Laver in the early 60's. You do not consider that Laver is a negligible opponent in the early 60's, despite the fact that he was a new pro who was going to be a lot better in the following years.
So both Federer and Rosewall have very similar "strength of opposition" trajectories. In their most dominant years, both of them competed against past their prime or injured opponents (Gonzales, Hoad, Segura, Agassi, Hewitt), contemporaries players who were stiffled by them, and all-time great who weren't in full flight yet (Laver, Djokovic, Nadal). Both of them would struggle against these younger opponent, either as a result of them being inferior, or them being older.
Yet you continue to mention Baghdatis as one of Federer main competitor in his peak instead of Nadal and acclaim Cooper as a huge titan of tennis because he won some amateurs slams in the absence of the true titans of tennis.